Source: REGISTER OF OLD SETTLERS , BOOK One, page 397a & 397
submitted by Charlene Nichols Hixon, Sept. 29, 2007


William Parkins, for the past thirty-five years one of Muscatine’s most respected citizens, died at three o’clock this morning at his home on Third street, of paralysis. The deceased was first stricken with the dread disease July 4, 192, and had been in feeble health since that time, although able to ride occasionally. On Tuesday, the 7th inst., he suffered another stroke, which left him very weak. Last night the third attack came on and at an early hour this morning he passed peacefully away.

William Parkins was born in Sacriston, Durham, England, in 1820, where he grew to manhood. He came to America in 1854, locating at Pittsburg, where he remained for four years. In 1858 he came west to Muscatine and secured employment. Soon afterward he embarked in the coal and lime business, which he successfully conducted for over twenty years, retiring from business eleven years ago on account of poor health. He enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his business associates during his long business career in their midst.

In response to the first call for volunteers at the braking out of the rebellion Mr. Parkins enlisted in Company C, First Iowa regiment. He was a good soldier and was always ready to respond to any call for duty. He had been an earnest member of the Methodist church since his 15th year and was always willing to work for his church and the cause of Christianity.

Mr. Parkins was united in marriage November 17, 1859, in Muscatine, with Miss Susan Hare, who, with a son and daughter, William and Miss Emma, survives him. They have the sympathy of many friends in their bereavement. Three brothers also survive: John, of Pittsburg; James, living in England, and George, of Columbus Junction, Iowa.

The funeral services will be held at the First M. E. church Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock, and will be in charge of Shelby Norman Post, G. A. R., of which deceased was a member.

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William Parkins was born at Sacriston, Durham, England, Sept. 3, 121, and died in Muscatine, Nov. 18, 1893, in the 73d year of his age, of paralysis. In 1854 he came to America, and located at Pittsburg, Pa. After four years’ residence there he came to Muscatine, where he resided until his death. Soon after locating here he engaged in the lime and coal trade which he conducted with success till about 1882, when owing to declining health, he was compelled to retire from active business. He had the utmost respect and confidence of his associates in business. Bro. Parkins was converted and united with the M. E. church in his fifteenth year, since which time he has lived a life of devotion to Christ. He was a Christian not only in name, but in fact. He was not one of those who had a form of Godliness and denied the power, but was a practical believer in this scripture: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Those who were accustomed to meet Bro. Parkins in the prayer circle and testimony meetings could not fail to realize the fact that he experienced the power of god unto salvation.

While he had a clear knowledge of sins forgiven he believed and practiced the injunction “Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection.” One of his favorite Scripture quotations is found in 1st cor. 1st chapter and 30th verse: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus who is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”

His walk and conversation adorned his every day Christian life. He has gone to rest but his influence remains with us, and the seed which his prayers, testimonies, conversation and example have sown will bring forth fruit to the glory of God and the salvation of souls. His works do follow him.

At the outbreak of the rebellion Bro. Parkins responded to the first call for volunteers and enlisted in Co. C, First Iowa regiment. In addition to being a good soldier, and always responding to the call for duty, he did not neglect his Christian obligations. He organized a prayer meeting among his comrades, many of whom, as well as himself derived much benefit therefrom.

Nov. 17,1859, Bro. Parkins was united in marriage with Miss Susan Hare. Of this union three children were born two of whom, Will R., and Emma G., with the mother, survive the husband and father. A daughter died in early childhood. Bro. Parkins was an affectionate husband and kind father. In addition to the surviving members of his family there are three brothers yet living, George, of Columbus Junction, Iowa; John, of Pittsburg, Pa., and James, who remains in England. The family have the earnest sympathy of their many friends. The funeral services were conducted from the First M. E. church, Rev. A. Davidson officiating. The discourse related to the death of those who “die in the Lord,” and was a fervent testimonial of appreciation of the Christian character of the deceased and the glory and greatness of the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the redeemed to eternal life. The choir closed these exercises by singing, “It is well with my soul.” A large delegation of the G. A. R. marched from their hall to the church to attend the obsequies and thence to the cemetery. Their services were very impressive.

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