Samuel Rose Parkinson

Family Background

Samuel Rose Parkinson was a widely traveled man of tremendous capacity and widespread interest. He was born at Barrowford, Lancashire, England, on April 12, 1831, the son of William Parkinson and Charlotte Rose. His father, who earned his living as a twister in the local factory and who was also a preacher in the Wesleyan (Methodist) Church, was drowned in November, 1831, leaving a seven-month-old son, Samuel, and his wife, as well as her daughter, Elizabeth, by a former husband, John Duckworth. They had previously buried their daughter, Susanna, February 6, 1831, two month before Samuel was born.

Samuel's mother was a well-educated and refined woman, born of honorable parents in the county of Kent near London. Following her husband's death, she was in very humble circumstances. She moved to Stockport, where for four years she taught school to support her family. In the year 1835 she married her third husband, Edmund Berry, a coal merchant. Their daughters Sarah and Lucy were born in Stockport.

Boyhood Travels

Because of labor agitations, business became extremely slow in England. Great inducements were being offered colonists to settle Australia, which was then a comparatively new country. Mr. Berry and his family started for that far-off land in the spring of 1839, traveling from Manchester to Liverpool on one of the world's first locomotive-powered railroads. Samuel was then eight years old.

They left Liverpool in April, sailed down the west coast of Africa, touched the island of Sao Tiago in the Cape Verde Islands, and landed at the Cape of Good Hope on July 30, 1839. They remained at the Cape eight days securing fresh supplies, including live cattle and Cape sheep. Mr. Berry was the ship's butcher, and her service supplied the family with meat. During their brief stay at the Cape, Samuel's sister Ellen was born.

The party embarked from the Cape for Australia on August 8, 1839, and arrived at the town of Sydney late in September. Mr. Berry secured work burning lime from seashells, for which he received fifty shillings (about $12) a week. Samuel's mother baked hot rolls and muffins for eight-year-old Samuel to sell at the marketplace. According to the custom of the times, he would vend his products with the call:

"One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns,
If your daughters don't like them
Give them to your sons."

Fruits, green vegetables, and groceries were added to the breadstuffs, and through Samuel's energy the sales were successful. Eighteen months later Samuel quit his work to assist his father in the sealing and burning of brick in a yard which Mr. Berry had purchased. Since this enterprise was not successful, Mr. Berry decided to go to New Zealand. They left Australia in early October, 1842, and reached Auckland, New Zealand, on November 15. Dissatisfied with that country, after only eight days they continued with the same vessel to South America.

They landed at Valparaiso, Chile, January 15, 1843. They were the first English immigrants from among the working class to arrive in that country. The governor offered them the soldiers' barracks for living quarters until they secured a home one month later, where Samuel's brother William Berry, was born later that year.

Mr. Berry obtained employment as a gardener from a Mr. John Martin. The resulting exposure brought on a sunstroke from which he nearly lost his life. Upon recovery, he was placed in charge of the English waterworks.

At twelve years of age, Samuel earned his board and lodging with Reverend Armstrong, a minister of the Church of England, doing odd jobs such as waiting on tables, working in the garden, watering plants, etc. While there he obtained the only formal education of his entire life, which covered a period of six months. During this time he learned the Spanish language and was later engaged by a dentist as an interpreter. At the age of fourteen he obtained a position as clerk in an iron foundry.

On one occasion, a group of Spaniards, supposing Mrs. Berry and her child William to be home by themselves, attacked and made an attempt to rob the place. Mrs. Berry screamed. When she refused to be silent, they struck her with a sword. Samuel, attempting to escape to get help, was knocked down. One blow of a sword left a scar on his head which he carried throughout his life. He finally escaped, however, and brought a neighbor, Mr. Gibson, back to the house. In the meantime, Mr. Berry who had been sleeping, awoke and, with a large iron key about two feet long, cleared the house. The Spaniards retreated, carrying with them some of their wounded. Finding his son Samuel gone, Mr. Berry, with the weapon in his hand ready to strike the first man who might enter, opened the door just as Mr. Gibson and Samuel reached the door from the outside. Supposing the Spaniards were still inside, Mr. Gibson was armed with an ax to strike the first man to attempt to escape. Samuel, realizing the mistake, sprang between them and prevented the blow which might have been fatal to either one. Samuel was taken to the doctor that evening and with good care recovered rapidly.

The Return to England

After having lived in Valparaiso three years, the family decided to return to England, where Mrs. Berry's married daughter, Elizabeth Duckworth Chappel, was living. Samuel's mother made a money belt in which she put the family savings. When they were traveling. It was worn by Samuel next to his body. Mrs. Berry thought there would be less danger of thievery if a reliable young person carried the money rather than an adult. They sailed in July 1845, and as they rounded Cape Horn, the sea was so rough and dangerous that the ship was nearly lost. They sailed up the eastern coast of South America to Brazil, crossed the Atlantic at the equator, sailed up the west coast of Africa and thence to Queenstown, Ireland.

As they sailed through the Irish Channel, they ran into trouble between the mainland and the Saltee islands and were shipwrecked. After losing the lifeboats, they put up a signal of distress. It seemed so apparent to Samuel's mother that the end had come that she wrapped the young children in a blanket in which they could all go down together. However, an Irishman, responding to the distress signal, fired a rope over to them from a cannon, and by the rope a boat was drawn back and forth until all the passengers had been rescued. Mr. Berry and his family were the first brought to land. They were taken by wagons to Wexford and thence by steamer to Liverpool, thus having circumnavigated the world. They went from Liverpool back to Stockport by rail.

When the party reached Stockport, England, early in 1846, the inhabitants were suffering from a severe famine caused by a potato blight. Mr. Berry found all of his relatives destitute. Mr. Berry had between five and six thousand dollars, which he generously distributed among those who were in greatest need. Among them was his stepdaughter, Elizabeth, her husband, James Chappel, and their two daughters. (Both of these children died during the winter of 1846-47). The only income received by the family during that winter was what Samuel obtained by selling milk from two cows. During 1847 and 1848 Samuel and his stepfather were employed on railroad construction.

Immigration to America

In July, 1848, the family embarked for North America on the "ship European." Elizabeth, although divorced from her husband, remained along in England. The ship cleared customs at New Orleans, September 23, 1848. From there they took passage up the Mississippi River, on Oct. 1, on the steamboat Josh I. Lawrence to St. Louis, Missouri. The first family they encountered while looking for a place to rent were Latter-Day-Saints. This family directed them to a neighboring Mormon family named Clement from whom they rented. This was the first time Samuel and his family had become acquainted with Latter-Day-Saints.

Samuel and Mr. Berry found employment for the winter in a packing house and saved money to send for Elizabeth. In the spring of 1849 Samuel and Mrs. Berry secured work at the Park Flour Mills. Shortly afterward, cholera broke out along the banks of the Mississippi. On July 18, 1849, Samuel's mother, Charlotte, died of this disease. Thus Samuel and the family lost a capable and devoted companion and helpmate.

On December 25, 1849, Mr. Berry married a widow by the name of Thurza Booth, a member of the Latter-day-Saints Church.

From the Clement family young Samuel had learned the gospel, and on January 23, 1850, Samuel, then almost 19 years old, was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder William Clement. The baptism took place in Chouteau Pond, which was situated where the Union Railroad Station now stands. Because it was mid-winter, the ice had to be broken before the baptism could be performed. He was confirmed by Elder Nathaniel Felt. From that time on, Samuel was a loyal, devoted Latter-day Saint. This newfound religion gave direction and purpose for the rest of his life to the fine work habits he had already established.

In the spring of 1850, at the age of 19, Samuel left home, determined to support himself. His first job was driving a team on the St. Louis levee for eighteen dollars a month and board. It was not long before Samuel, though his industry, was earning higher wages. He bought a team for himself and one for his stepfather. In addition to assisting considerably in the support of his family, Samuel accumulated security and independence for himself.

During the summer of 1851, he made the acquaintance of Arabella Ann Chandler, a young English woman who had joined the Latter-day Saints Church in England in March, 1844. Financial misfortune had overtaken her family in England. By her own efforts she had earned enough to support and bring her brother, Frederick, and herself to St. Louis. Samuel and Arabella were married January 1, 1852. At the time Samuel had a good team, seven hundred dollars in the bank, good employment and fair prospects.

To Utah by Mule Team

In June, 1854, Samuel, his wife, his infant son, Samuel, his sister Lucy (the only other member of the family who had joined the Church), and Arabella's brother, Frederick, all started for Utah. They traveled as far as Fort Leavenworth by steamboat. There they purchased supplies and prepared to cross the plains by team. On July 10 they left Fort Leavenworth with the St. Louis Company, consisting of approximately sixty teams, mostly oxen. Samuel was one of the few who had a mule team. The little company arrived in Salt Lake City September 23, 1854.

While crossing the plains, Samuel was one of the men assigned to be buffalo hunters to supply food for the company. In later years, he liked to tell the story of the buffalo hunt to his children and grandchildren and sing the song, "We'll Chase the Buffalo."

Shortly after the family arrived in Salt Lake City, Samuel moved them to Kaysville, Davis County, where he purchased the land and built a log cabin. Here he earned the living of his family by farming.

A bear had been killing cattle in the community, so a group of men including Samuel decided to go after it. They found the bear in a willow flat. Since that was not a safe place for the group to encounter the bear, it was decided to draw lots to see who would bring the bear out of the willows into the open. The task fell to Samuel. He rode into the willows on his mule and found the bear with her cub. The bear charged Samuel on his mule. They retreated at full speed with the bear at the mule's heels. On arriving at the edge of the willows the bear stopped and returned, undoubtedly to protect her cub. After some time Samuel quieted the mule enough to return to the group. On reaching the party, Samuel said, "Well, shall we draw lots to see who goes in next to bring the bear out?" He was reminded that lots had already been drawn for that purpose, and he had not yet completed the task. Whereupon, Samuel and his mule entered the willows again. This time the bear charged and chased them not only out of the willows, but continued chasing the fleeing mule on down the trail. The hunters followed closely behind. In such a chase, very few shots could be fired safely. The chase, with the bear literally at the heels of the fleeing mule, continued down the trail until a threshing crew was observed. Samuel rode toward this group, shouting and making such a noise as he could to draw their attention. The threshers, sensing what was occuring, left their work. Shouting and with pitchforks in hand, they formed a line through which Samuel rode. The bear chose not to engage this group, turned, and ran up a ravine into the mountains. A few days later, Indians succeeded in killing the bear and reported it was one of the largest that they had found in the area.

In the spring of 1857, he journeyed east as far as Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater to haul a load of goods left there the previous fall by a handcart company.

With the coming of Johnston's Army, Brigham Young called Samuel to serve for three months on guard duty in the Echo Canyon War. He joined a company captained by Daniel H. Wells, for whom Samuel developed the warmest friendship and admiration. He returned late in January 1858. In the spring of the same year he was called on a mission to help the Mormons in Fort Lemhi, on the Salmon River, return to Utah for protection against Indians.

In the summer of 1858, Samuel Parkinson and his family moved to Central Utah Valley, where they camped on the west side of the Jordan River, opposite Lehi. They returned in July, 1859, to Kaysville.

Pioneering in Franklin, Idaho

The next fall Samuel went to Cache Valley, which had just been settled to look the area over for possible settlement. He returned to Kaysville for the winter. In the spring of 1860 the Parkinsons and twelve other families came to Cache Valley to live. The southern portion of the valley had been settled the year before, so they settled on Cub River, naming their town Franklin after Apostle Franklin D. Richards. This was the first permanent white settlement in the state of Idaho. They lived in wagon boxes for several months until they built their log houses. Both wagons and cabins were arranged in circle formation for protection against the Indians.

Peter Maughan, Bishop of Cache Valley, appointed Thomas Smart, Samuel R. Parkinson, and William Snader5son to take charge of the group of settlers and distribute the land. Since they had no compass, they used the North Star to determine their base line and a carpenter's square for surveying.

Each family was allotted a ten-acre farm and five acres of meadowland. President Young appointed Preston Thomas on June 10, 1860 as Bishop of the Franklin Ward. He served for three years, followed by Lorenzo Hill Hatch, who served until 1878. During the winter of 1861, Samuel helped construct a canal from Cub River to the bench north of Franklin. During the summer he planted crops, provided irrigation for his farm, and sold dry goods for Parry and Company of Salt Lake City.

Samuel Parkinson's love for Franklin is evidenced by the following incident. Brigham Young, interested in the Mormons colonizing further to the south, called William G. Taylor and Samuel on a mission to Arizona to explore the country between the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers and see if they could find a place to settle and build homes for themselves and others. They left April 10, 1873. Not finding a suitable for settlement, they were released to return home, arriving there July 28. The next time President Young saw Samuel he humorously said, "Brother Parkinson, I thought that I sent you to settle Arizona." To this Brother Parkinson replied, "You told me to go to Arizona, look around, and then settle where I liked. I looked around in Arizona and didn't see any place I liked as well as Franklin, so I returned here to settle."

Church and Civic Affairs

On June 28, 1878, L. L. Hatch was chosen as Bishop of the Franklin Ward to succeed his father. He and his counselors, Samuel R. Parkinson and Thomas Durant, served as the bishopric of the Franklin Ward for thirty years working in harmony during this long period. At the age of 61, Samuel R. Parkinson was ordained a Patriarch by President Joseph F. Smith, in which calling he served for 27 years until his death. For a period of sixteen years he was simultaneously Patriarch and counselor to the Bishop of the Franklin Ward.

Samuel was active and prominent in all kinds of public work. He helped build the first school house, which was also used for church and community gatherings. He was school trustee and served as town policeman for a time. He joined the Minute Company to help guard the town, and he made himself generally useful on Indian expeditions. During each of the years 1861 through 1864, he sent teams across the plains to help immigrants come to Utah. Later he helped build the first church house. He also helped to establish a mail route between Missouri River and Utah.

In January 1863, when Connor's Army was sent to fight Indians in southeastern Idaho, Samuel assisted in the taking of the dead and wounded soldiers to Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City. He adopted an Indian boy, Shem, who was orphaned in this battle. He remained with the family thirteen years, joining the church and becoming a deacon. He died of consumption in 1881.

Business Interests

Samuel Parkinson's progressive mind was continually reaching out for new activities. In 1865 he bought and operated the first threshing machine to be used in the area. During that year and the one following, he and Thomas Smart built and operated the first sawmill in Idaho.

He later went into the sawmill business with John Biggs. They were among the first shippers of lumber over the Utah Northern Railroad from Franklin, Idaho, to Salt Lake City. Samuel continued in this business for a number of years and then expanded in the farming and sheep industry, owning a fine 150-acre farm on the river bottom just north of Franklin.

In the spring of 1861 he started a dry goods store of his own. The store prospered, but when in 1867 it was suggested that he should make it a cooperative venture, he readily acceded and became its first director and business and manager.

In 1872-73 Samuel did considerable freighting from Ogden and Corrine to Montana. During this period he furnished teams for construction work on the Utah Central, Central Pacific, and Utah Northern Railroads.

In June 1819 Samuel went East and purchased machinery for a woolen mill and established the North Star Woolen Mills, the first in Idaho. They manufactured blankets, yarn, wool sheets, and mattresses. This factory belonged to the Co-operative Story Company, but when the Oneida Mercantile Union was formed on June 5, 1889, the woolen mill and their other business holdings were turned over to the Mercantile Union.

After twenty years of management by S. R. Parkinson, the Franklin Co-operative Store wound up its affairs by turning over to its stockholders $1.85 for every dollar they had invested. In addition to managing the Co-op, Mr. Parkinson owned and operated a farm and engaged a sheep and cattle business.

Family Life

Samuel married three wonderful women: Arabella Ann Chandler, on January 1, 1852, in St. Louis; Charlotte Hayter Smart, on December 8, 1866, in Salt Lake City; and Maria Hayter Smart, her younger sister, on February 15, 1868, also in Salt Lake City. Thomas Sharratt Smart, father of Charlotte and Maria, was a beloved friend of Samuel's.

His three wives lived a short distance apart and enjoyed mutual understanding and appreciation of each other throughout their lives. At the time of the marriage of Samuel and Maria, for instance, Charlotte stayed at home to care for Arabella's children while Arabella went to Salt Lake to witness Maria's marriage. Samuel was devout, just, and impartial. Affairs of the family came first in his life. They were exceptional homemakers, coming from large, well-organized families. They were capable, thrifty, and generous; their homes were orderly and attractive with flowers and well-kept grounds. Their children were cherished and well cared for. Their love and help extended to neighbors and all the community in times of illness, death, and other emergencies.

Charlotte and Maria lived in separate living quarters in the same house after they were married until between them they had seventeen children at home. As the family outgrew this house, Charlotte's family moved to another house nearby. The children mention how lonely they were after the separation of the two families. The wives waited upon each other at times of childbirth, during illness of children, and on other occasions when help was needed. When the three families were in Franklin, once a month all gathered for "Family Night," at the Arabella home. On this occasion business was taken care of, a program given by the family members in turn, and refreshments served. These occasions were pleasantly anticipated and proved helpful in uniting the families.

In all there were thirty-two children in the Samuel Parkinson family; thirteen sons and nineteen daughters. Arabella had nine children: Samuel, Charlotte, William, George, Frank, Ester, Albert, Clara, and Caroline. Albert died as a child, and she reared eight children to maturity. Charlotte had ten children: Ann, Lucy, Joseph, Frederick, Leona, Bertha, Eva, Hazel, Nettie, and Vivian. All grew to maturity, Maria had thirteen children: Thomas Luella, Arabella, Sarah Ann, Olive, Edmond, Clarence, Susanna, Hazen, Henry, Chloe, Lenora, and Glenn. Ten grew to maturity. Henry died at twelve years, and Chloe and Lenora as infants. Ten sons served full-time missions. All the children were married in the temple.

Polygamy had its hardships, mostly through persecution by state and federal authorities. The years from 1877 to 1887 were known as the Anti-Mormon Crusade. During those years of persecution Samuel became intimately acquainted with President Joseph F. Smith, Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., William Burton, John K. Barnes, and other church leaders, all of whom held him in the highest esteem for his love of the gospel and his integrity and his integrity in adhering to its principles.

Samuel found it necessary to live in seclusion for a long time. He was arrested on a charge of polygamy, tried under the Edmunds Tucker law in the United States Court at Blackfoot, Idaho and convicted. He asked if he might speak in his own behalf before he was sentenced. These were his remarks; before Judge Hays, Nov. 18 1886.

"Please, your Honor, I would like to say a few words.

"While I am much obliged to my lawyer for his good feelings toward me, I want this court and all men to understand that I embraced Mormonism, for the love I had for the truth I see in it, not because someone wanted to see me join Mormonism.

I married my wives after I understood the principle of plural marriage and for the love I had for them and I did this for my own free will and choice and not because someone counseled me to do it, and my wives did the same. There was no compulsion on either side, and I have been married to my plural wives about twenty years, and I have twenty-seven living children, and I am willing to compare them with the average of monogamist families.

"My credit is good any place where I have lived and I teach my children to always live in this way: that their word is as good as their bond.

"I have a farm and get my living by farming, and I work for a salary. I superintend the Franklin Co-op Store, and I cannot make any promise to disregard my family and turn them out in the cold world; and before I would do it, I would suffer myself to hang between the Heavens and the earth right here in Blackfoot, but your Honor, I am here to pay the penalty your Honor sees fit to place upon me."

The judge was so much impressed with Mr. Parkinson that he told the Marshall not to put him in jail pending the trip to the State Penitentiary in Boise, but instead Mr. Parkinson would notify him when he was ready to go. The judge also asked Mr. Parkinson for the privilege of calling on him when he went to Boise. The judge instructed the warden not to cut off Samuel's beard and hair, a procedure to which nearly all prisoners were subjected. Samuel Parkinson paid his fine of $300.00.

He served his term of six months, and returned home never more to be troubled with the charge against living with his wives.

One day while in the penitentiary the warden asked him, "Mr. Parkinson, which one of your wives are you going to live with when you leave here? You can't go to all of them."

"I will stay here just as you say, but when I leave, I am going home to all of them." Then the warden asked, "Which one do you like the best?" Samuel made a circle in the dust with his cane and said, "You see this circle? Put me in the center and my wives any place on the edge of it. I like the one nearest me."

During these trying times his wives and children were loyal and devoted, sending home-cooked food and other comforts to ease the separation. The townfolk welcomed him home in respect and admiration for the stand he had taken.


Family prayer began and ended the day in the Parkinson household. Samuel attended General Conference in Salt Lake City, and a big day it was for the Parkinsons when he came home on the evening train with gifts and special treats. In the fall he would bring a basket of grapes celery, coconuts, and bananas for each family. The children loved to meet him at the train and carry things home.

He was exceptionally fond of children. He would playfully walk the floor with one clinging to his leg as he gently pulled him along. He would line up the grandchildren and count them in Spanish, tapping them on the head with a rolled up newspaper as they passed him. He would hold his watch to the ears of the young ones and delighted in their expressions when they heard the ticking.

He was quite English in his habits. It was his custom to set his shoes out of the bedroom and to be cleaned and blackened. In his later years he would peek amusingly around the corner in the morning to see if the children had polished them. He never forgot to say, "My, that's good bread, Missus. I like the hard crusts to chew on." He called his wives Missus, and they spoke of him as "Mr. Parkinson" or "your father," never as "Samuel." He was well-organized and neat around the home and in whatever he did. He liked things "ship-shape." Samuel was a fine looking man, above average in size, firmly built with a pleasing dignity. He took pride in his white shirts and light summer suits. In season he wore a flower in his buttonhole. He enjoyed his walks in town, "to see and be seen," to pick up the Deseret News and select a choice piece of meat for dinner. One summer day when he was 84 years old, wearing a Panama hat and carrying a gold-headed cane given him by his children, a photographer called him in as he passed to have a picture taken for window display.

Samuel was friendly and ready with a narrative, anecdote, or quip for the occasion. He had a sense of humor and enjoyed a good laugh. He often took the prize in waltzes and the varsovienne. One Fourth of July he ran a race for men over 70. He won the prize--a dollar's worth of sugar. "My, my," he said, "that took more than a dollar's worth of sugar out of me."

His positive, cheerful philosophy is shown in such oft-expressed sayings as, "The gospel is a cure-all for everything" and "Never worry over things you can't help." On a Saltair Excursion when he was 84 years of age, his long-cherished satchel and forty dollars were taken from his bathing locker. In relating the incident he would cheerfully remark, They may take my money, but they can never take my good time."

His children were taught to work, to be self-reliant and dependable and to make the best of their talents and opportunities. He was truly an educated man himself through his remarkable experiences, travel and enterprises from childhood.

Later Life

Several years after Arabella's death, for school and temple opportunities, Charlotte and Maria moved to Preston and Logan. Then, for a time Samuel and Charlotte lived in Rexburg homesteading dry farms near their sons, who had large farms. Samuel Parkinson secured considered genealogical data, and at his death there had been 6,000 baptisms, over 5,000 endowments, and many sealings for progenitors in the Parkinson line.

The annual family reunions were memorable events. Samuel was never happier than at these gatherings when he would say, "This is Heaven on earth." He would always voice his strong testimony and express his love for his family. Among his favorite songs were "Dandy Jim from Caroline" from Samuel's days working on the Mississippi levee; "Come, Come Ye Saints," and We'll Chase the Buffalo" from days on the plains. "The Mocking Bird," and "When you and I were Young, Maggie" were long-time favorites, and in later years he would sing "Darling, I am Growing Old." with all joining in the chorus. A highlight of these occasions were the reviewing the Family Tree, a painting on canvas 4 ;by 5 1/2 feet presented to Samuel by his children on his 73rd birthday and brought up to date on his 80th birthday when his descendants numbered 219. This painting is a permanent exhibit at the Pioneer Memorial Museum in Salt Lake City.

He had a remarkable constitution. At 88 he read without glasses and had lost only three teeth. He walked erectly with a spring in his step, with a countenance of satisfaction and well-being, a real English gentleman.

Samuel paid several visits to his two sisters, brother, stepfather and other relatives in St. Louis. He sought to impress them with his testimony and teach them the truths of the restored gospel. His last visit was made in the fall of 1918, a few months prior to his death. He returned to Salt Lake City in time for the October conference.

Samuel died May 23, 1919, in Preston Idaho. He was preceded in death by Arabella, who died August 9, 1894, in Franklin, Idaho, and by Maria who died July 15, 1915, in Logan, Utah. At Samuel's death his estate by last will and testament, after full provisions for his living wife, Charlotte, was left for genealogical and temple work and research. Charlotte died June 14, 1929, in Logan, Utah. All were buried in the Franklin cemetery in the town they helped settle and where they reared their children.

On Samuel's 134th birthday anniversary, April 12, 1965, his descendants numbered 2,186. They had spent 300 years on long-term mission, and 41 of them had served on stake missions, seven on short-term missions. They had spent 387 years in military service for the United States. Their temple work consisted of 8,500 baptisms, 7,700 endowments and 5,800 sealings.

Samuel Parkinson was a devoted Latter-day Saint. He excelled as a family man. His life was full of faith-promoting experiences, and he was ever an influence for good. In his patriarchal blessing by John Smith it states, "Your name shall be held in honorable remembrance from generation to generation." May his example and teachings continue to live in the hearts of his large family, and may the remarkable events of his life and character be forever honored and cherished by his posterity.

A Statement from the Last Will and Testament of
S. R. Parkinson

"I take this occasion to express my approval and appreciation of the devotion and faithfulness of those of my family who have so generously and faithfully contributed of their time and means for the purpose of carrying on our temple work, and it is my earnest desire that each individual member of the family shall actively and faithfully cooperate in the prosecution of this great undertaking.

"I have shown evidence of my interest in the work of the redemption of our dead ancestors by creating a Perpetual Temple Fund and by consecrating thereto the entire amount of my life's savings, and I earnestly entrust each and every member of my family to give heed to this sacred obligation. Let those whose circumstances will permit, contribute from time to time to this fund, that our temple work may grow in-to larger proportions and the way opened up for a consistent and honorable temple record of the Parkinson family."

Saying of Grandfather Parkinson
Mary Parkinson Cannon

Actions speak louder than words, they say:
Yet words call loudly through the years.
And Grandfather's words of yesterday
Bring forth our laughter and our tears.

As child and grandchild with him meet,
Filling the rooms with sounds of mirth,
We hear him in his joy complete,
"Well, Missus, this is Heaven on earth."

"Will our good times never cease?", he joys
for "The fat of the land is ours."
And here amidst his girls and boys
His hospitality on them showers.

First to young folks his message is sent;
"Educate yourselves, do not shirk,"
Take this advice; ‘twill bring content;
"Never be ashamed of work."

"Let your work be as good as your bond."
Such virtue is hard to find.
This throne of honor never abscond.
Now, let's keep this advice in mind.

Lest matrimony should be a wreck,
This thought he gave which is quite smug,
"Don't hang a millstone ‘round our neck,"
Also, "Keep up your end of the tug."

If from hard times we feel quite maimed
When untold difficulties we cope,
"Let's look for the best," he oft exclaimed,
"What would life be if 'tweren't for hope?"

If it's puzzling you just what to do,
Whether to sell or hold on tight,
Remember his words still ringing true,
"Just wait until the sign is right."

"Don't let the grass grow under your feet,
"Look alive," or ‘twill raise his ire.
For the man who was lazy, his wrath complete,
"He'll never set the world on fire."

Work he always teamed with thrift.
In his children this lesson he burned.
They knew it true, tho' might seem miffed,
"A dollar saved is two dollars earned."

And so for worthwhile things he stood.
"There's more to the bee than its buzz."
To console us who don't look so good
He said, "Pretty is as pretty does."

To humorous mood let't shift the scene.
Now with a twinkle in his eye
He hands a child a candy bean
With "See how long you can keep it dry."

Forgetting something she had planned,
We see his wife with worry fraught.
He strokes his beard, strand by strand;
"Yes, Missus, you're troubled with afterthought."

Later, on him the joke may be.
He turns to us and strikes the pith.
In mock resentment 'tis his cry,
Then say, "I've nothing to put up with!"

The merry banter goes on and on,
Each wifely thrust receives our laughter,
"Go on with your abuse," he says,
"If you think there's no hereafter."

And now we see him at his meal,
Be his oxtail soup thicker or thinner,
Can't you hear him say with plenty of zeal,
"Well, Missus, I've enjoyed my dinner."

In memory now we've been with him.
Let's remember his words and give them heed,
When chances for guarding our tongue are slim,
Let us know words live as well as deeds.

Please don't begin your brow to mop,
I'll cease right here, least with him you beg,
"Enough's enough," my girl, please stop,
Ere it's "too much candy for one egg."

Following are two testimonies left by
Samuel R. Parkinson


For some time past, I have been impressed to leave my family a signed statement setting forth my last solemn testimony to the divinity of the gospel as revealed to the world through the Prophet Joseph Smith. This statement I would like read at my funeral services, and a copy given to each member of my family.

This will be read at the time when by body, cold in death, will lie in its casket, but my spirit, immortal and indestructible, will also be there. My statement will be simple and brief, but true, and as a voice from the eternal worlds, I pray you hearken.

I know that God lives and that His Son, Jesus Christ, is the Redeemer of the world; that He came into the world, that He suffered an ignominious death that He might bring us (the human family) back into the presence of our Eternal Father, whose face had been long hidden from us as a result of the fall of our forefather in the Garden of Eden.

It is my solemn testimony that Joseph Smith was divinely commissioned to bring for the everlasting Gospel, the only true plan of salvation, inaugurated and planned by God Himself, with all its wonderful gifts and blessings, for the benefit and final exaltation of the human family. He will stand at the head of this gospel dispensation, the greatest of all dispensations of God to man. Through his ministry, the Church of Christ has been organized and established by direct revelation from Heaven. Under divine protection and guidance it has grown and prospered. Through its power and authority this Gospel is being preached to the inhabitants of the earth, and I bear solemn witness that no power on earth will ever be permitted to disturb or stop its progress.

It is my testimony that this body will be resurrected, and that, in the due time of the Lord I shall be permitted to re-enter it in a changed and immortal condition.

Christ's resurrection was the example. It was real, it was literal and, as His mortal body became immortal by reason of this wonderful principle, the RESURRECTION, so I believe that this body, which I now possess, will come forth from the grave clean, pure and immortal, purged of every imperfect element and glorious in appearance as the finished work of the Great Master. My spirit will then re-enter the body, and I shall be a living, active, immortal soul.

I believe that I shall be rewarded or condemned as the case may be, for the deeds done in the body, and being familiar with all the secret of my heart and the conduct of my life in all its details, I have implicit confidence that I shall be permitted to enter into the presence of God, my Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. That the good deeds and purposes of my life will out-weigh the weaknesses of the flesh and that I will soon be permanently and forever associated with my loved ones who have gone before, and that my happiness there will far exceed the understanding of the human mind.

It has been my practice and determination in life to sustain and uphold the authorities of the church and to respect their counsels and teachings. I recognize them as God's anointed, they having been duly chosen and given authority to act in His name in all things pertaining to the carrying forward of His great work, and I sincerely admonish you, my beloved children, to regard most sacredly and with profound respect, the rules and regulations of the church. Therein you will find safety and happiness in this world, and in the next exaltation and everlasting life with continuation of happiness, growth, progress and the eternal development and unfoldment of the attributes and powers destined to bring you into the companionship of your family and give you power to minister forever at the head of your generation.

With deepest gratitude and appreciation for the great love and support which you have always given me, I leave you with my most heartfelt affection and blessing. I am at peace with all mankind, and my soul is full of love and gratitude.

Affectionately, Father

S. R. Parkinson


Not being able to appear before the publis at this time and having a desire to leave my testimony and counsel to my family and to the world, I bear this my testimony, of the truthfulness of the gospel of our Savior which testimony I many times in my life have borne before.

I first heard the gospel in St. Louis and went and lived next door to a "Mormon" missionary who taught me the "Mormon" faith, and after much investigation I accepted it and was baptized in the winter of 1850. Since then I have been a believer and defender of the faith and have had a testimony that Joseph Smith received a revelation that this is the true plan of Salvation and the only plan by which people can be saved, by being baptized and having hands laid on them for the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is my testimony that the claims made by Joseph Smith as to the restoration of the gospel, the authority of the Lord having been restored to the earth, to administer in the ordinances both for the living and the dead with all the power, gifts and blessings appertaining thereunto is true, and that Joseph Smith was chosen as Prophet, Seer and Revelator unto the people of his time and commissioned to organize the Church in its fullness, in this, the last dispensation, and commissioned to go out and preach the Gospel of Repentance to all mankind. That the commandment given to Joseph Smith was carried out and that he gave his life to seal the testimony he bore unto all the children of men. That Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant are the true successors of the Prophet and duly appointed by the Lord to carry on the authority and work of the Lord upon the earth; that the Saints through the divine guidance of the Lord were led across the plains and established in the valleys of the mountains, here to become a great and mighty people.

I know the Book of Mormon to be a divine record and that it was translated by the gift and power of God through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In other words, I know that the Lord lives; that His Son, Jesus Christ, was the Redeemer of the world; that there is no other name under Heaven whereby mankind can be saved other that that name, Jesus Christ; that through the faith given me of the Lord, and in answer to prayer and the assistance of the Lord, I have been able to accomplish what I have here upon the earth.

Now, my advice to my family and to all mankind is to always be true to the Church and never oppose its doctrine, for no man can oppose truth and remain in the faith. Support the authority of the Lord on the earth; give heed to their counsel and advice and you will never go astray. Give all diligence to retain unity and peace and harmony in the family and unto another and you will receive joy and satisfaction all the day long.

And now, dear children, God bless you; success to you al; I love every one of you with all my heart. May you all be preserved by the Lord that in the eternal world we may all meet again, rejoicing over the part we have played in life, saved, exalted, glorified, is my testimony, advice, and prayer, Amen.

S. R. Parkinson

Compiled by Carmen Daines Fredrickson, granddaughter, 1966, Chairman History Committee, Edited by Samuel C. Monson, Grandson, Material taken from earlier brief histories written by his son, William; by his daughter, Vivian Taylor Hales; by his granddaughter, Mary Rose Parkinson Cannon; and by his sons-in-law, Charles D. Goaslind and Mattias F. Cowley.