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Parden, James 1838-1925 and Mary Gallagher Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 11/16/2021 at 12:53:23

Parden, James 1838-1925 and Mary Gallagher Family

This story was taken from the ‘Rock Valley Records & Recollections’ book written about 1976 in honor of the two hundredth birthday of our nation. It was a revision of the history written by Lottie Thomas in 1955. It was transcribed for this BIOS by Beth De Leeuw of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society and some research notes were added.

Among the early settlers in Rock Valley was the family of James and Mary Parden, who came in the spring of 1882. They had been living in Andover, New York.

Mr. Parden built a two story building on Main Street and opened a furniture store on the first floor of this building, and the second floor was used as a gathering place for church and school activities, dancing, and other functions. The first roller skating rink was introduced in Rock Valley in Parden’s Hall. Today on the north side of this building can be seen the evidence of the stairway which led to Parden Hall. This building is now occupied by the Bee Hive and Valley Wood Works.

Mr. Parden was one of the first postmasters of Rock Valley, serving in that capacity for eight years.

The Parden residence was located on the site of the present St. Mary’s Church on 14th Street. This residence was moved to 2000 15th Street and is now the residence of the Ed De Vos family.

In 1898, the Pardens bought a farm in Lyon County near George, Iowa. In 1915, Mr. Parden and his family retired from the farm and moved into their new home in George, where he and Mrs. Parden lived until the time of their death. One of their daughters, Irene, is still living in George at the present time.

(A revision of the 1955 history written by their daughter Dorothy, deceased)

Source: Rock Valley Bee, October 30, 1925
The funeral of James A. Parden, George, was held at the Holy Name Catholic church in Rock Rapids Friday. Rev. Father Bullard celebrated requiem mass. The large congregation of relatives and friends bespoke the high esteem of the deceased man.
Mr. Parden’s death came with little warning and was a shock to the community, where he had lived so many years. Although 87, he had seemed to be in fairly good health. Upon arising Wednesday morning, he stated that he felt as well as usual. A few minutes later he was found lying on the floor of his bedroom. The doctor who was hurriedly summoned to the house pronounced it a case of heart failure.
The deceased man was born at Andover, N.Y., August 31, 1837. He came to northwestern Iowa in 1878, stopping at Sheldon. From there he went to Rock Valley, and for many years he was engaged in the furniture business. Later he was postmaster at Rock Valley for eight years, proving a capable official. In 1989, the family moved from Rock Valley to a farm southwest of George, and lived on it sixteen years. In 1914 Mr. Parden moved to George.
He was married in 1874 to Mary Gallagher at Andover. To them were born five sons and daughters, as follows: George Parden, Paullina; James Parden, Mason City; Mrs. H. S. King, Ashton; Dorothy Parden and Irene Parden, George. Mrs. Parden died six years ago.
“James A. Parden was a man of fine personality and with a large capacity for friendship—kindly, genial, upright and honorable,” says the George News. “Stalwart as a citizen, he ever stood for the best things. He was manly and devoted as a husband and a kind and loving father. Thus our friend and brother lived among us and leaves to all happy memories of a well spent life, abounding in good will.”—Rock Rapids Review.
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His death certificate has him as James Parden (no middle name or initial), born August 31, 1838 in New York; father William Parden, born in Ireland, mother’s name not known to informant (Miss Dorothy Parden); died October 14, 1925 in George, of a cerebral embolism, contributory cause chronic heart disease.
FindaGrave.com has him as James W. Parden, 1838-1925, confirmed by a photo of his headstone.

Source: Rock Valley Bee, August 1, 1919
Mrs. James Parden, a former resident of Rock Valley vicinity, died at her home in George, Iowa, last week Thursday. She had been suffering from a complication of diseases, due mostly to her advanced age, for several months.
The deceased will be remembered by many of the older residents of this place who extend sympathy to the bereaved husband and children. The Parden family moved away from Rock Valley some twenty years or more ago.
The remains were taken to Rock Rapids Sunday for burial. Several of the Rock Valley friends of the family attended the burial services.
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FindaGrave.com has Mary T. Gallagher Parden, 1852-1919; spouse James W. Parden (1838-1925); buried in Holy Name Cemetery, Rock Rapids. It also lists five children.

According to a family report on ancestry.com Mary Gallagher was the daughter of James Gallagher 1806-1885 and Bridget Cleary 1809-1882. Mary T. Gallagher born 1852 Ireland died 1919.


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