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Carroll County Biographies


Josiah B. Parkinson, editor and proprietor of the Savanna Times, the leading paper of Carroll County, is classed among the able and scholarly men of his profession in this part of the West. His paper meets the demands of the public as a bright, newsy, and well-edited journal, and, having a large circulation, its influence is potential and far-reaching.

Our subject is a native of Illinois, born in Willow, Jo Daviess County, Sept. 3, 1854. His father, James Parkinson, was a pioneer of that county, and actively assisted in the development of its agriculture and in promoting its growth. He was a native of Centre County, Pa., where his father, James Parkinson, Sr., a native of Ireland, was for many years engaged in teaching, he being a gentleman of sound education, and there spent his last years. The father of our subject was reared in his native county, and resided there until 1939. In the spring of 1839 he emigrated to Illinois, coming by the way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Landing at Savanna, he resided there a few weeks, and during the time explored the surrounding country for a suitable location, and, penetrating into the wilds of Jo Daviess County, he bought a claim in Berryman Township. After completing his purchase he returned to Savanna for his family, and set up housekeeping in the rude log cabin that stood on the place. The county was then scarcely advanced from its primitive state, it being sparsely populated, and there were no railways, and Galena and the mines were the nearest markets, an occasional trip being made to Chicago.

When the land came into market Mr. Parkinson entered it from the Government at the Land Office in Dixon. He improved a valuable and highly productive farm, erected a commodious stone house, and other suitable buildings, and resided there until his death, in October, 1875. He was an active, wide-awake man, possessing sterling sense, and was well regarded in the community where so many years of his life were passed. His wife, who was devoted to his interests, and ably assisted him in the upbuilding of their home, now lives with her daughter in Savanna. Her maiden name was Christina Hoy, and she was born in Madisonburg, Centre Co., Pa. To her and her husband were born twelve children, all of whom grew to maturity.

Josiah Parkinson was reared on the old homestead where he was born, and in after years he purchased a part of the place hallowed by so many associations, and it is still in his possession. He acquired the preliminaries of his education in the district school, and being a quick scholar and fond of books, he was given further advantages. He completed a good course of study in the Rock River Seminary at Mt. Morris, in 1878, and still further fitted himself for a professional career by becoming a student at Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., whence he was graduated with honor in the Class of 1881, with the degree of B.S. In the spring of 1883 our subject tried life on the Pacific Coast, establishing himself in the real-estate business in Portland, Ore. Eight months later he returned to Illinois, and for one year was engaged in teaching. He then entered the journalistic profession, purchasing the Savanna Times with the office and appurtenances, and has since devoted himself very successfully to the management of that paper.

Our subject possesses in an eminent degree the geniality, tact, and quick wit, together with good business qualifications, so essential for an editor if he would succeed in his calling. As a man of good principles, and as a public-spirited citizen, he is highly regarded in this community, where he was a large circle of acquaintances and friends. In his political views Mr. Parkinson is a strong supporter of the Republican party, and in 1882 was his party's candidate for County Superintendent of Schools for Jo Daviess County.

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