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Mrs. Jane M. Parrish, Page 357
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MRS. JANE M. PARRISH. The women of this grand nation play a conspicuous part in the history of the country, and some of the most valiant deeds have been performed by them. The worthy lady whose name heads this record is one of the sterling pioneers of Sheboygan County, having been a witness of its growth since 1844. She has long made her home on section 8, Lima Township. Her husband, J. D. Parrish, a respected citizen of this community, died October 8, 1883.
The birth of Mrs., Parrish occurred December 20, 1819, in Oswego County, N. Y. Her parents were Timothy and Beulah (Harmon) Maltby, who had six sons and six daughters, all but three of whom are living. Hiram, a mason by trade, and a resident of New York, is now retired. John, who lives in Fayetteville, N. Y., has been engaged in the manufacture of paper. Rollin, who was a wealthy farmer, is now retired, and living in Pulaski, N. Y. Albert, also residing in the same place, is a manufacturer of sash and blinds. Ralph R. is employed in a large wholesale and retail store in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lives with his son at a place sixty miles distant. Maria Josephine became the wife of James G. Brewer, who has been engaged in milling and now lives retired on a farm near Lone Tree, Neb. Chauncy S. is a farmer near Grand Lodge, Mich.; and Emma Celestia is the wife of A. D. Husen, a farmer of Lima Township.
Mrs. Parrish passed her maiden days in her native State and was educated mainly by her own exertions and by the aid of her mother. She is a lady of remarkable mind and pleasing address, and is one of those grand women only met with now and then during life's journey. She had access to good books and was reared among the most cultivated people. The Maltby family was widely known for their strict honor and integrity. Her father, Timothy Maltby, was born March 17, 1794, in New York, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and made of farming a signal success. His education was that of the old primitive subscription schools. He was ambitious to obtain an education and let no opportunity escape. On one occasion, he rode for miles on horseback to secure a spelling-book, so scarce were the means of information in those days. About this time the humble home was burned to the ground and nothing was saved. His first question was, "Is my spelling-book saved?" and when the answer came, "No," he manfully replied, "Well I have my axe left, so I can earn another one." He was one of the soldiers of the War of 1812, and continued to live in Oswego County until his death. In politics, he was an old-line Whig, and his character was above reproach. In early life he was an ardent supporter of the Presbyterian Church, but later became a member of the Congregational denomination. Mrs. Parrish was her father's great support in all his undertakings, and always sanctioned what he did. At his death, he was not only mourned by his children, but by all who knew him. His wife was born September 13, 1793, in Vermont, being a daughter of Thaddeus Harmon, Sr., also a native of that State. Her marriage was celebrated March 22, 1815, and after being an invalid for many years, she died September 27, 1846. The father afterward married Lucinda Davis, a native of Westford, N. Y., born February 12, 1811, who is still living. She was married January 5, 1847, and became the mother of two daughters, Rosamond Irene, widow of Henry Trumbull, and a resident of New York; and Celia Selina, the wife of Rev. George Benson, of Copenhagen, N. Y.
Mrs. Parrish was a maiden of twelve summers when her mother became an invalid, and thus upon her young shoulders devolved the responsibility of rearing her younger brothers and sisters. She was married January 18, 1841, to John D. Parrish, and by this union were born three sons and seven daughters, six of whom are living. Mary T. is the wife of George Poland, who makes his home in Appleton, Wis., though engaged in sailing on the Lakes. Julia J. is the wife of A. B. Dye, of Oshkosh, Wis., an artist, skilled in his profession. Ralph R., who was born July 18, 1853, and is a prosperous farmer of Lima Township, married Mrs. Ella Maltby, a native of New York. They have four sons and two daughters. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Methodist Church, and is one of the stanch and upright citizens of the township. Letitia B. is the wife of Cyrus B. Knight, who is engaged in farming near Sheboygan Falls. John O. lives in the same township and is one of the substantial farmers and citizens of the district. He was born February 7, 1860, and married Miss Ida C. Oeder, a sketch of whose parents appears elsewhere in this work. They have four children. He and Ralph live on a part of the original homestead. Nellie J. is the wife of Henry La Gee, who runs a feed store in Plymouth. The children of George and Mary T. Poland are as follows: Rollin, Clarence, George, Bessie, Ralph, David La Gee and Adorah.
It was in 1844 that Mr. and Mrs. Parrish, with their two children, came by wagon and boat from New York to Sheboygan County, where they arrived at the end of fifteen days. Landing in Milwaukee, they proceeded to this point on foot. They buried a little daughter, Mary Almina, aged fifteen months, while stopping in Milwaukee. The first land they purchased was two tracts of eighty acres each, in Lima Township. This was wild, and entirely unimproved. The first home in which they lived was a log cabin, and here the family spent their happiest days, though there were no windows or doors. The floor was not laid for some time, and in order to ascend to the loft they climbed up by means of pegs put into the logs. There were only a half-dozen neighbors in their locality, and the Indians were far more numerous than the white settlers. Mr. Parrish helped his neighbor, Mr. Dye, to harvest his potatoes on shares, and was thus enabled to have that vegetable in the winter for his family. One day a band of some thirty Indians passed, and Mrs. Parrish was much amused at seeing a very tall redman riding on a diminutive pony, so small indeed that the Indian had great trouble to keep his feet from dragging on the ground. Mr. Parrish, like many of the other pioneers, made shingles from pine trees transported by ox-teams across the country, and traded them for provisions in Milwaukee. One morning four deer were seen grazing only a stone's throw from the cabin door, so tame and unsuspecting were those timid animals. There was no church near, and worship was held at the different homes. The settlers attended, going in ox-carts, and the greatest friendship and cordiality existed is those good old days. When Mr. and Mrs. Parrish first came to this county they had $114 in money. they at once loaned $100 on interest and sent $11 to Milwaukee to purchase a young cow, saving the other $3 for other expenses.
Mrs. Parrish made quite a reputation for herself as a fine weaver of cloth, she having learned the art from old Mrs. Wheeler. She ran a loom for nearly twenty years, spinning and weaving clothes for her family. She is truly one of the pioneers of the county. When she came here, Sheboygan city was a small hamlet, with a dense growth of pines on its present site. In the early days she often rode to Sheboygan in an ox-cart, and would knit all the way to town. Their possessions at one time numbered two hundred and twenty acres. Mr. Parrish was an active man in politics, a strong advocate of the Republican party, and had the entire respect of his neighbors. He was noted for his industry and was a practical man of business. His own education having been mostly obtained by the light of a hemlock knot, he was strongly in favor of good school facilities. For a number of years he was Township Clerk, and was Justice of the Peace for several years. He died lamented by all who knew him, for he was a loving husband and father, a friend to the poor and needy, and a devout member of the Methodist Church, to which his wife still belongs. We are glad to give the full sketch of this sterling pioneer family, which will be cherished by their loving children in after years.
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