Biography - A. J. Parmly

A. J. PARMLY, farmer and fruit-grower, P. O. Cobden. John Parmly, the father of our subject, was born on the present farm of N. B. Collins, Alto Pass Precinct, November | 22, 1816. He was the son of Giles Parmly (see sketch N. B. Collins), who was one of the earliest settlers in the county. John Parmly resided in this county all his life, except one year he lived in Stoddard County, Mo. In the latter part of 1835, he was married when about nineteen years of age, to Bernice Henson. She was also born in this State, and was but fourteen years of age at the time of her marriage. She was the daughter of Jesse Henson, who was an early settler in Jackson County, and who made quite a good property by stock-raising near Grand Tower, Jackson County. For some years after marriage, Mr. Parmly would buy and sell farms, so he did considerable moving from place to place. In 1841. he sold out and went to Missouri, where he remained for one year; then returned to this county, and settled on the Mississippi River bottom, and lived there till 1858; he bought the present farm owned by his widow as her dowry. At time of his death, October 6, 1878, he had a landed property of about 900 acres. His first wife died either in the last days of 1859 or first of 1860. By her he had five children who reached maturity — Martha J. (Seely), Elizabeth (Biggs), deceased, A. J., W. L. and N. B. June, 1860, he was married to Mrs. Sarah (Biggs) Freeman, daughter of J). W. Biggs, an old resident of this county (see sketch of B. F. Biggs). She still survives. She was the widow of James H. Freeman. By this wife, there are four children living — Olive M. (Tweedy), W. D., Sarah E. and Thisbe E. Mr. Parmly never had the opportunities of an education, but was a man who did a good deal of reading and studying, and when undertaking anything he made it a study till it was fully understood. He did not make up his mind hastily, but when convinced that anything was right, he could not very easily be changed. In early life, he was rather wild and reckless, but in later years professed religion. and for some years before death was a minister in the Baptist Church. His occupation was that of farmer and fruit-raiser, and he was eminently successful because he made it a study. His home farm in Section 6 was one of the best in the north part of the county. . He was a man with a great influence in any direction in which he was willing to lead, in politics or in agriculture. Often his advice was asked with regard to kinds of fruits best to cultivate, etc. Till after Lincoln's first election, he had been a Democrat, but he then changed and was so outspoken in regard to the war that he made many enemies, and it was threatened to burn him out, but none dared to make the venture. His family seem to have imbibed the same spirit of thrift and attention to business, and we find his sons among the successful farmers and fruit-raisers of the precinct. Our subject, the eldest son of John Parmly, was born November 4, 1846. His early education was obtained in the district schools of the county. He afterward attended one term at McKendree College, Lebanon, Ill., and his father offered to furnish money for him to complete the course and take a profession, but he preferred the farm, and remained at home till he was twenty-nine years of age. He was married, March 5, 1875, to Miss Gertie A. Freeman, daughter of James H. and Sarah (Biggs) Freeman. Here we find a peculiar relationship. Elizabeth Parmly, daughter of John Parmly, first married B. F. Biggs. John Parmly married for his second wife Mrs. Sarah Freeman, who is a sister of B. F. Biggs. Then our subject married his stepmother's daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Parmly have two children — Sarah Nellie, born August 5, 1878, and Bernice Alice, born February 14, 1881. Since his marriage, Mr. Parmly has been on his present farm, which consists in all of 490 acres, his wife also having an undivided half of 248 acres. About 112 acres of his land is in cultivation, with about seventy acres of that in fruits; thirty acres in apples, large peach and pear orchards, also strawberries. In politics, he is Republican, but never took any active part in polities till the fall of 1882, when he was persuaded to take the field as a candidate -for Assessor and Treasurer of the county. He was elected by a good majority. Mr. Parmly is not a member of any church or society, but is free to give his support to anything that will advance the moral and intellectual standard in his county.

Extracted 26 Jul 2021 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 137-139.

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