Biography of Barnett P. Parrish

BARNETT P. PARRISH. Although almost eighty years have passed over the head of the gentleman who is the subject of this sketch, he is well preserved, physically and mentally, and is a typical representative of the native Ohioan, honest and upright in word and deed, energetic and pushing, and of a decidedly practical turn of mind. He was born in the Buckeye State September 13, 1818, and is a son of Ira O. W. W. and Ruth (Cheneworth) Parrish.

It is thought that the father was a Virginian by birth, but at an early date he was married in Ohio and, when our subject was but seven or eight years of age, he and family removed to Vermillion County, Indiana, and in 1835 to Illinois. Later they left that State and settled in the woods of Polk County, Missouri, improved a farm, and there passed the remainder of their lives, Mr. Parrish dying a number of years after the war, when eighty-three years of age. He was a well-to-do farmer and hotel man, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He was of Irish descent. His wife died before the war. They were the parents of nine children: William Thomas, who died when a boy; Barnett P., the subject of this sketch; Casandria, deceased, who was the wife of Calvin Gaylor; Joseph, a soldier of the Mexican War, and also a soldier of the Confederate Army under Gen. Price, was killed while at home in Taney County; Meredith, resided in Arkansas when last heard from, was a federal soldier under Gen. John A. Logan; John, a farmer of Polk County, was a soldier in the Mexican War, and was also under Gen. Price, and in the Home Guards during the Civil War; America, is the widow of Thomas Hankins; Elijah, a soldier in the Federal Army under Col. Geiger, died in Polk County; and Washington, who also was a soldier in Col. Geiger’s Company, is deceased.

Our subject passed his boyhood and youth on a farm, with limited educational advantages, and came with his parents to Polk County, Missouri There he was married when twenty-two years of age to Miss Emeline Wright, daughter of William and Sarah Wright, who came from Illinois to Polk County, Missouri, at a very early day. Mr. Wright was a soldier in the Black Hawk War, and died in Illinois while on business there. Mr. and Mrs. Parrish became the parents of sixteen children, ten of whom lived to an adult age: Mary, wife of William Burns, of Polk County; Ira 0. W. W., a farmer of Polk County, who was orderly sergeant in the Rebellion under Gen. Sanburn; William Thomas, a soldier under Col. Geiger, died at Little Rock, Arkansas; America, deceased, was the wife of Harvey Harris; John, a merchant of Forsyth, was in the Home Guards during the war; Landon is farming in Polk County; Calvin, a prominent stockman of Forsyth; Robert, also of Forsyth; Sarah, the wife of Abraham Lane, died in Texas; Lincoln, the youngest living, is in business in Forsyth; the others died in infancy.

Mr. Parrish selected his second wife in the person of Miss Mary Harris, who bore him four children, all now deceased. Mrs. Parrish is also deceased. Our subject’s third wife was Laura Lane, who died about eight months later. On the 5th of December, 1875, he married Miss Rebecca Frazier, a native of South Carolina, born in 1837, and the daughter of Trustom and Nancy (McDonald) Frazier, both natives of the Palmetto State. Mr. Frazier died in Georgia, and his wife in Arkansas. Our subject was in the Mexican War and assisted in building the forts around Santa Fe, and operated in the North against the Indians. After remaining North fourteen months, he started for home and was sixty-two days on the way. After returning home, Mr. Parrish farmed in Polk County until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he joined the Federal Army and served until 1863, being then discharged on account of his age. In 1866 he came to Forsyth, and has been engaged in farming and the hotel business since. He is one of the oldest settlers of southwestern Missouri, and is very familiar with its people and the changes that have taken place in the country. No man is more highly respected.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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