Samuel Rose Parkinson was born at Barrowford, Lance., England on 12 Apr 1831. He was the son of William Parkinson and Charlotte Rose. His father earned his living by daily toil as a twister in the cotton factory. He was also a preacher in the Wesleyen Church (Methodist), and died on November 10, 1831, leaving his wife and infant son, Samuel; also a daughter by a former husband, John Duckworth, in humble circumstances. They had previously buried their only daughter, Susanna, February 6, 1831.
Samuel’s mother was an educated and refined lady, being born of wealthy parents in the County of Kent, near London.
Shortly after the death of his father the family moved to Stockport, where his mother taught school. In the year of 1835 she married Edmund Berry, a coal merchant. While residing at this place their daughters Sarah and Lucy were born. Owing to labor agitation, business became very dull in England and great inducements were 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 the first railroad built in England and perhaps the first recorded in history. They left Liverpool in April. They remained at the Cape eight days, where fresh supplies were secured including live cattle and sheep. Samuel’s father was the ship butcher and as such was allowed all the offals for killing which supplied the family with meat. During their brief stay at the Cape, Samuel’s sister, Ellen, was born. Many interesting instances occurred on the voyage. One evening a child was thrown from the deck into the water by the rocking of the vessel. A large Newfoundland dog immediately leaped into the water after it. Simultaneously the Captain ordered his men to the life boats to rescue the child. They were about to return without success, when the dog was seen swimming from a distance with the child in its mouth unharmed.
The Party embarked for Australia on August 8th and arrived at Sidney late in September.
Mr. Berry became engaged in the burning of lime from sea-shells at the town of Sidney late in September. He received fifty shillings a week. His mother baked hot rolls and muffins for Samuel to sell at the market place. Fruits, provisions, and green groceries were added and through Samuel’s energy and natural business tact they were very successful. Eighteen months later Samuel found it advisable to close out the store to assist his father in the sealing and burning of brick in a yard which his father purchased. At this they were not so successful, and Mr. Berry became discouraged and determined to go to New Zealand on November 15. Dissatisfied with that country, they continued with the same vessel to South America, having spent but eight days in Auckland. They landed at Valparaiso, January 14, 1843, being the first English emigrants from among the working class ever to land in that country. The governor tendered them the soldiers barracks for living quarters until they secured a home one month later. Mr. Berry secured employment as a gardener from Mr. Martin, shortly after which he was sunstruck and came nearly losing his life. Upon recovery, he was placed in charge of the English water works.
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, etc. While there, he obtained the only scholastic training of his entire life, covering 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. His brother, William, was born in 1843.
On one occasion a group of Spaniards, supposing Mrs. Berry and her child to be home by themselves, attacked and made an attempt to rob the place. Mrs. Berry screamed, and after refusing to be silent, they knocked her down with a sword. Samuel, from another part of the building attempted to escape to gather help and was also knocked down. One blow of a sword left a scar on his hand which he carried to his grave. He finally escaped, however, and brought a neighbor, Mr. Gibson, back to the house. In the meantime, Mr. Berry, who had been sleeping on the lounge, awoke, and with a large iron key about two feet in length, cleared the house. Finding his son, Samuel, gone, Mr. Berry opened the door, with his weapon in his hand, and prepared to strike the first one who might enter. At the same time Mr. Gibson and Samuel had reached the door from the outside and supposing the Spaniards were still inside, Gibson was armed with an ax to strike the first man to attempt escape. Samuel, seeing the mistake which was about to be made, sprang between them and prevented the blow which might have been fatal to both. The Spaniards retreated, carrying with them some who were wounded. Samuel was taken to the doctor that evening and with good care he recovered.
After having been in Valparaiso three years they concluded to return to England, where Mrs. Berry’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth Duckworth, was living. They left in July, 1845, rounded Cape Horn, where they encountered a very rough sea and many icebergs. The sea was so rough and dangerous that the entire crew came nearly losing their lives. They sailed up the west coast of Africa and from there to Queenstown, Ireland. Passing through the Irish Channel, they ran between the mainland and the Salt Islands, and were shipwrecked. After losing both life boats they put up a signal of distress. It seemed so apparent to Samuel’s mother that the end had come that she wrapped all her children in a blanket in which they would all go down together. However, an Irishman, responding to the distress signal, fired a rope over to them from a cannon, and by that rope a boat was drawn back and forth until the entire party had been rescued. Mr. Berry and family were the first brought to land. They negotiated the distance from Liverpool to Stockport by rail, making the trip a completely one around the world.
When the party reached Stockport, England, early in 1846, the inhabitants were suffering from a severe famine caused by a potato rot. Mr. Berry found all his relatives in destitute circumstances and that his grandfather was dead. He then had five or six thousand dollars which he generously distributed among his relatives who were in greatest need. Among them was his step-daughter, Elizabeth Duckworth, who had married James Chapel, and by whom she had two girls. Both children died during the winter of 1846 and 1847. The only income received by the family during that winter was what Samuel obtained by selling milk from two cows.
In the spring of 1847 Samuel and his step-father were employed on the Blackburn and Preston railroad, making it necessary for the family to move to Blackburn. The change was made during the month of April. Two months later they moved to Ratenstall where they were employed on the Ratenstall and Bakups Railroad. In November, 1847, the family moved to Caffold for work on the Blackburn and Ackrington Railroad. In the spring of 1848, Samuel and his mother visited his Uncle Henry and family at Fort Pendlehill.
In the spring of 1848, Elizabeth was divorced from her husband and in July of the same year the entire family, consisting of parents and five children, Elizabeth, excluded, embarked for North America on the steamer, European. They arrived in New Orleans, October 1, 1858, and from there they took passage up the Mississippi river on the steamboat Jos. R Lawrence to St. Louis.
The first family they encountered while looking for a place to rent were Mormons. This family directed them to a neighboring Mormon family by the name of Clement. This was the first time Samuel or any of the family had ever seen or heard of the Mormon people. Several months later, December, 1848, Samuel was baptized in Chostoes Pond, where the Union Station now stands and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder William Clement. It being midwinter the ice had to be cut before the ordinance could be performed. He was confirmed by Nathaniel Felt.
Samuel and Mr. Berry found employment for the winter in a packing house and saved enough money to send for Elizabeth. In the spring of 1849 they secured work at the Park Flour Mills. Shortly afterward the cholera broke out, which on July 18, 1849, caused the death of his mother, and a devoted wife. Samuel’s sister, Elizabeth, and her husband, William Higgins, arrived from England in August, 1849. On December 25, 1849, Mr. Berry married a widow by the name of Thurza Booth, a member of the Mormon Church.
During the summer he made the acquaintance of Arabella Ann Chandler, a very worthy and gifted young English lady who was also a member of the Mormon Church. They were married on January 1, 1852. Samuel had a good team, about seven hundred dollars in the bank, good employment and fair prospects. On February 23, 1853, their son Samuel Chandler was born. In June, 1854, Samuel and family, accompanied by his sister, Lucy, started for Utah. They traveled as far as Fort Leavenworth by steamboat. There they purchased supplies and prepared to cross he plains by team. They left Fort Leavenworth with the St. Louis Company on July 10th and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 23, 1854. The St. Louis Company consisted of approximately sixty teams and was captained by William Field. Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake City, Samuel moved his family to Kaysville, Davis County, where he earned their living by farming. On August 2, 1855, his family was increased by the birth of twins, William and Charlotte. In the spring of 1857, he journeyed east as far as Devil’s Gate on the Sweetwater and hauled a load of goods left the previous fall by the handcart company.
On July 18, 1857, his son George was born. Several months later he went out to meet Johnson’s Army from whence he returned late in January, 1858.
Samuel Rose Parkinson was called on a mission to the Salmon River in the spring of 1858 to help the people from there to Salt Lake Valley that they might have protection from hostile Indians. At this time missionaries were called home from all nations to protect their families. In the summer of 1858 Samuel and his family moved south to Utah Valley where they camped on the west side of Jordan River, opposite Lehi. They returned to Kaysville the following autumn. His son, Franklin, was born in July, 1859.
In the fall of 1859, Samuel moved his family into Cache Valley and in the spring of 1860 they settled where the town of Franklin, Idaho now stands. Peter Maughan appointed Thomas Smart, Samuel R. Parkinson, and William Sanderson to take charge of the people and distribute the land until the bishop was appointed. The land was surveyed and distributed by casting lots. Samuel planted a crop and worked on water ditch for the summer. At the same time he sold drygoods for Parry and Company of Salt Lake City and assisted in building the first school house ever erected in the State of Idaho. During the winter of 1861, he assisted in constructing a canal from Cub River to the Bench north of Franklin. President Young appointed Preston Thomas as bishop of Franklin Ward.
In the spring of 1861, Samuel started a drygoods store and sent a team across the plains for Mormon emigrants. His daughter, Esther, was born February 2, 1862. He continued farming and merchandising, joined the minute company and made himself generally useful on Indian expeditions. He was active and prominent in all kind of public work. During the years of 1861-2-3-4, he sent teams across the plains for the poor. On August 8, 1863 his son, Albert, was born. He bought and operated the first threshing machine to be used in the area in 1865. During that year and the following one he and Thomas Smart built and operated the first sawmill in that vicinity.
Samuel spent considerable time on Indian expeditions, assisting in the building of a meeting house, and standing guard as a town police. While living at Kaysville, he lost his mules. After spending two days looking for them without success, he went with his wife to see a lady who had a peepstone and who often located animals and things lost, to see if he could be directed to his mules. She looked into the stone and saw them lying down under a tree on the side of a mountain. She asked him if there was anything else he would like to know? At that time there was a great deal said about entering the Celestial order of plural marriage. Samuel was anxious to keep all the commandments and requirements of the Gospel and asked to see his future wife. Accordingly two young girls appeared in the stone, dressed the same, arm in arm. He asked his wife if she would like to see them? She said, "Yes," and to her great surprise she saw the same two girls. She said, "When I see those girls, I’ll consent for you to marry them, but no others."
In 1860 Samuel moved to Franklin and the same year Thomas S. Smart moved to Franklin from Provo. They were thrown together in a business way and he visited Thomas’ home often, but did not recognize those girls as being the ones he saw in the peepstone. After meeting one day he took his wife to a place where he knew the girls would pass on their way home; turning a corner they met them face to face. Samuel noticed a change come over his wife and he said, "Mrs. (that is what he commonly called her) what did those girls remind you of?" She answered with some hesitation, "They are the girls we saw in the peepstone." She was true to her promise and like Sarah of old gave to her husband in marriage Charlotte R. Smart, December 8, 1866, and one year later her sister Maria H. Smart, February 16, 1868.
Ten Children, eight daughters and two sons were born to Charlotte, and to Maria, thirteen, six sons and seven daughters. These two girls were the daughters of Thomas S. Smart, Sr., and Ann Hayter. They and their ancestors for generations back were among the most sturdy and substantial families in England, industrious and thrifty.
In 1868 when Conner’s Army was sent to fight Indians on Bear River Samuel assisted in the hauling of dead and wounded soldiers to Salt Lake City. He adopted an Indian boy by the name of Shem, from this battle, who remained in the family until 1881, when he died, a victim of quick consumption.
The Co-op store was organized about 1868, and Samuel was director and business manager. He did a great deal of freighting from Ogden and Corrine to Montana. While conducting the business of the Franklin Co-op store in the spring of 1872, he and William G. Nelson were called on colonizing missions to Arizona. He was honorably released by President Young the same year. In 1874 he was re-instated as manager of the Co-op store. He had teams working on the Utah Central, the Pacific and Utah Northern Railroads. On June 26, 1878 he was chosen and sustained first counselor to Bishop L. L. Hatch of the Franklin Ward. This position he filled with honor and ability for thirty years. He was one of the chief promoters and stockholders of the first woolen factory erected in the State of Idaho, located at Franklin. Shortly after its completion the factory was taken over by the Co-op store, making Samuel manager of both until the years of 1886 when the store became amalgamated with other mercantile interests. During all these years he owned and operated a farm and engaged in the cattle and sheep industry. During the years of what is known as anti-Mormon crusades against the doctrine of Patriarchal or Plural Marriage, he was arrested on a charge of polygamy, tried at Malad, Idaho, and acquitted for lack of evidence. Later he was on the "underground" as it was called, for several years. He was finally convicted. After being tried in the U.S. Court at Blackfoot, Idaho, before Judge Berry, in his address to the court before sentence he told them that he would suffer his life to be taken rather than desert his wives and children. He served six months in the Boise penitentiary because of his obedience to the Law of God. Before leaving the court room the judge instructed the U.S. Marshall not to shave the beard and hair off Mr. Parkinson before his imprisonment. This was an exception to the rule.
As old age came upon him, he closed out his business affairs in order to increase his opportunities to work in the temple for the salvation of his dead ancestors. Of these he secured about six thousand names with sufficient data for temple work. These have all been baptized for and over five thousand endowed, with sealing up to date. This work was the joy and comfort of Samuel. He expressed great anxiety in his children continuing this work, as he realized it was the greatest work of this dispensation.
He made several trips to St. Louis to visit his relatives and sought to impress them with his testimony of the truth of the Gospel. His last visit was made in the fall of 1918 when his daughter Luella joined him there on her way home from St. Paul, Minnesota, where she had just spent six weeks with her children, Laura, Edgar, and Elna. The latter were attending school at the University of Minnesota at that time. Together they visited Samuel’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth, widow of William Berry, her daughter, Winona Baker, who lived with her mother, and his sister Sarah’s two sons, John and Weston Mc Kinney. They all treated them very kindly and Patriarch Parkinson had the joy of realizing a long cherished desire to bear to them his most earnest testimony for the last time. Enroute home, they saw Nauvoo, Carthage, and Independence. They arrived in Salt Lake City in time for October Conference.
During the days of the terrible epidemic of influenza in 1918, he contracted it and was confined to his bed. Charlotte, his only living wife waited on him with a tender care and constant attention that only loving hands can give. Without any special pain, he steadily declined and peacefully went to sleep, May 23, 1919 in Preston, Idaho. The funeral services were held in Franklin, his old home, May 26, thus a beautiful life came to a glorious sunset in the faith and assurance found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His blessed posterity will forever revere his name.
(Taken from Aunt Caroline’s Sketch)
The following are a few items of interest to add to the foregoing Biography of Samuel Rose Parkinson.
At the time the twins were born, Charlotte and William, this family lived at Kaysville in a log room with dirt roof. While his wife was still confined to her bed, a fierce storm of wind and rain came, blowing the roof off directly over he bed, allowing the water and mud to come in upon her, causing serious exposure to both mother and babies; but by the providence of God, their lives were saved.
On February 2, 1862, Esther C. Parkinson was born and in August 28, 1864 their son, Albert was born. However, he died when only nine months old, on May 8, 1864. On April 18, 1865, Clara C. Parkinson was born and on November 10, 1866 their daughter, Caroline, was born, Making nine children from this marriage.
Battle Creek War
In 1863 the Indians of Idaho were very hostile and the U.S. Government sent a regiment of soldiers under Captain Conner, to protect the citizens. They met the Indians in what was afterwards called Battle Creek about 12 miles northwest of Preston, Idaho. Here a fierce battle was fought and almost all the Indians were killed. There were some Indian children left alive. These were taken into the white families. One was taken into Samuel’s home. They named him Shem and he was a member of the family until after he grew to maturity. He died in 1881 at Franklin, Idaho.
A number of the soldiers were killed, and Samuel R. Parkinson helped to care for their bodies and took them to Sat Lake City for burial. This was in November. The snow was then two feet deep and the weather registered below zero.
Celestial marriage was a belief of the L.D.S. and in harmony with this belief he married two sisters—Charlotte Smart on December 8, 1866 and her sister Maria on February 16, 1867. Both were worthy daughters of a prominent family. Charlotte bore ten children, two boys and eight girls, and Maria bore thirteen children, 6 boys and seven girls. His total number of children was 32, 13 of which are boys and 19 girls.
Arrest For Polygamy
During the time known as the Anti-Mormon crusade against plural marriage he was arrested and tried at Malad, Idaho, but was acquitted for lack of evidence; and for some years afterwards, he was on the underground, as it was called, to escape the officers, but he was finally arrested and taken to Blackfoot, Idaho, for trial, before a prejudiced court. He was found guilty and sentenced to a fine of $300.00 and six months in the State Penitentiary at Boise, Idaho. At the time of his sentence he bore the following testimony to the court:
Speech of S.R. Parkinson
Made before the Judge at Blackfoot, Idaho, 18 Nov 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 have for the truth I see in it, not because someone wanted me to join. I married my wives after I understood the principle of plural marriage, and for the love I had for them. And I did this of my own free will and choice, and my wives did the same. There was no compulsion on either side. I have been married to these wives about twenty years. Now in my three families I have 27 children, and am willing to compare them with the average of monogamist families.
My credit is good wherever 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. I work for a salary. I superintend Franklin Co-op store, and I cannot make any promise to discard my families and turn them out in this cold world. Before I would do so, 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, whatever your honor see fit to place upon me."
Samuel R. Parkinson
Samuel R. Parkinson was a leading figure in the affairs of the Franklin village, and soon was appointed as one of the presiding officers, acting as first counselor in the Bishopric, for upwards of thirty years. On his release from this position, he was ordained a patriarch, which position he held at the time of his death. His duties as presiding officer necessarily placed upon him the question of missionary work. He therefore sent ten of his sons on foreign missions. He was also outstanding in his activities in the matter of education.
He was General Manager of the Oneida Mercantile Union, and General Manager of the Star Woolen Factory, superintendent of his farming interests, salesman for the John Biggs Saw Mill Company, and manager of the large band of sheep. He was successful in all his business affairs. He soon began to read-just his businesses, as they were prior to his going to the penitentiary. He also reassumed his religious duty and took his place in the social activities of the community. The Lord prospered him in his efforts, for he soon recovered from his financial losses and regained his social prestige. To show their gratitude to God for such deliverance, he and his wife Arabella gave a banquet in their new home. Invitations were sent to all over sixty years of age, and to the widows and orphans regardless of creed or color, to come and enjoy the feast. This proved so successful that it was made an annual custom every year thereafter until the death of his wife in 1894. (About eight years)
During his entire membership in the Church he was a believer in Temple work for his ancestors. When his sons William and George were on missions in England, in 1880 to 1883, they gathered a great many family names with sufficient genealogy to have the Temple work performed. Later on other efforts were made, and some 6,000 names, with sufficient genealogy to have the temple work performed, were gathered. Much of their temple work was done under his supervision. In making his last "will" he provided for a continuance of temple work by setting aside a sum of money for this purpose, for he realized this to be the work of God.
Relatives in the East
He made several trips to St. Louis to visit relatives for he was anxious to have them understand his religion and gave them his testimony of the truth of the Gospel. He was in his 88th year when he made his last visit in 1918. He visited his brother William’s wife Elizabeth, and her daughter, Mrs. Baker, then living with her mother. His brother had previously died. He also visited his sister Sarah Mc Kinney’s two sons, John who owned a large bakery, and her son Wesley.
He was a perfect specimen of physical manhood, about 5 feet 10 inches in height, weighing 175 to 180 pounds, dark complexion, piercing eyes, and curly hair, inclined to be athletic, fearless as a lion. He was kind and considerate. He enjoyed good health with the exception of periodical headaches. When about 66 years old, he suffered an attack of appendicitis and was examined by Dr. W. B. Parkinson, who advised that he be taken to the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City. Arrangements were hurriedly made and his two sons, W.C. and Geo. C. accompanied him. His suffering was so intense that by the time he reached the hospital he was unconscious. Nine doctors diagnosed his condition—eight of whom said he could not live. One doctor said he had a chance. The operation was performed. By the faith and prayers of his family and friends his life was spared. He was called on a mission to settle in southern Utah. After making a trip of exploration, he was honorably released. It is remarkable to know that the last few years of his life he received his second sight and had never lost but one tooth.
Statement Dedicated To Family by Samuel Rose 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 my 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.
Upon numerous occasions I have borne this testimony and now at the age of eighty-eight and while my mind and intellect are as clear and bright and my spirit as buoyant and hopeful as at any time in my life, I repeat it for the last time in mortal life, and sincerely hope that it will be seriously considered and remembered by all members of my family, and by all others to whom it may come, whether friend or stranger. 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 has 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 forth 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 Jesus Christ has been organized and established by direct revelation from Heaven, and under divine protection and guidance, it has 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 secrets 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 weakness of the flesh and that I shall 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 families 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 blessings. I am at peace with all mankind, and my soul is full of love and gratitude.
Affectionately your father,
S. R. Parkinson
*This copy was made by David Parkinson Parkinson on 3 Feb 1963; and printed by Lee and Diane Colston. It is hoped that greater love and appreciation for our great common ancestor may be gained by our reading of the man’s life and testimony.