Facts and Events
William was born in New York and married in Palmyra. Palmyra is in western New York between Rochester and the Finger Lakes region, just south of Lake Ontario. He met and married Mary Foster. They were both in their mid-20s. William was a successful farmer. Several years passed and Mary was thirty years old before their son Henry was born. They are listed in the 1850 census with the four year old son. But Mary died some time in the next couple of years. William took Henry and moved west to Valparaiso, Indiana just south of Lake Michigan.
When Henry was eight William re-married, again to a girl from New York, Catherine Perkins. Catherine was born in New York, but moved to Adrian in southeastern Michigan when she was around 8. It’s not clear how they ended up together in Valparaiso, but they married there in 1854 and lived there for the rest of their lives.
Catherine was a good deal younger than William when they married. She was 27 and at 39 William was almost twelve years older. William kept farming. Catherine helped to raise Henry. Just over a year after they married they added a girl, daughter Eliza. Sadly, Eliza died at a year old. Catherine was well into her pregnancy with oldest son Will when it happened. The family grew again quickly, when daughter Lillian was born a year after Will.
Eventually William stopped farming and started a grocery business. Catherine’s fourth child must have come as quite a surprise. Stepson Henry was 21, Will was ten and Lillian nine when the forty year old Catherine learned she was once again pregnant. William was now 52. They expressed their expectation that the boy would be their last child as they named him Zenith. They called him by his middle name Arthur though. Sadly, the family would once again mix the birth of a child and the death of a child. William’s eldest son Henry died just five weeks after Arthur was born.
They lived in Valparaiso for the rest of their lives. Son William moved to Kansas where he became a Farmer. Lillian stayed in the Valparaiso area. Son Arthur moved a few miles west to Illinois where he took up the then quite new trade of being an Electrician. William died in 1885. In 1900, Catherine was living with daughter Lillian and her husband Will Huntington. Catherine died in 1908.
- ↑ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake Temple. LDS International Genealogical Index: Parke Perkins Marriage. (IGI Record, 2002), 1854, Primary quality.
- ↑ Z. Arthur Parke Death Certificate. (Death Certificate), 1932, Primary quality.
- ↑ 1860 US Federal Census: Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana, 1860, Primary quality.
- ↑ 1870 US Federal Census: Valparaiso Ward 3, Porter County, Indiana, 1870, Primary quality.
- ↑ 1880 US Federal Census: Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana, 1880, Primary quality.