Missing Link (LK=unknown; Nathaniel Hall Parks of Chardon, OH)

Missing Link (LK=unknown)
Nathaniel Hall Parks of Chardon, OH

PS Newsletter, Vol. 47, No. 3, Page 33 (2011)

Nathaniel Hall Parks was born 9 July 1793 in Suffield, Connecticut. According to one source, his parents were Stephen and Delight Parks of Suffield Township, Hartford, CT, with his birth date given as 10 July 1793. Nathaniel served as a Private in the 1st Regiment (Brainerd's) Connecticut Militia during the War of 1812 and was stationed on Long Island, New York. Sometime after his discharge around 1815, he left Connecticut for Ohio, spending a short time in Painesville, Ohio before moving on to Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio.

Although Western Reserve was ceded by Connecticut in May, 1800 and became Trumbull County in July, only the eastern part of the county was free of Indian titles.

In 1806 Geauga County was created from part of the Trumbull County area but its final boundaries weren't set until 1843. In 1810 Geauga included all of the present county and most of Lake County along with part of Ashtabula. Chardon Township is No. 9 of range 8 of the Western Reserve and in 1808 came to be distinguished as the Shire town of Geauga County, although several of her sister townships were settled some years before. This was because Peter Chardon Brooks, a large land owner, offered to donate land to the county for the county seat with the provision that it be named Chardon. This proposal was accepted by the county commissioners in March, 1806. Chardon Hill in the southeast part of the township was selected and approved by the Court in June, 1808. A deed was made of the site to S.W. Phelps as Director on September 16, 1811 and by him dedicated in December, 1812.

The year 1815 had brought peace if not prosperity to all the western borders and trees in the Hambden wilderness were cut to provide lumber for cabins for the settlers. Jonathan Allan, Nathaniel H. Parks, and Hezekiah Stocking, all arriving from Connecticut, built homes in this area soon after the war. Also coming from CT in 1815 were two brothers, Luther and Jacob Pease, who were blacksmiths. Once their shop was set up, the townspeople no longer had to travel to Painesville to get their blacksmithing done. In 1818 John Roper built a grist and saw mill in the northeast part of the township on Big Creek, the tributary of the Chagrin - the first grist mill in Chardon. The Roper family arrived in Geauga County about 1812 from Wilbraham, Hampden, Massachusetts, and it was their daughter, Almena, who married Nathaniel H. Parks on 14 February 1822 in Chardon.

Hambden and Chardon are located quite near each other and although Nathaniel is identifi ed with Chardon history through a long period of fifty years, he did not live all his time there since in 1827, he voted in Hambden and was also elected as Town Clerk. About 1820-21 Nathaniel Parks operated a wool-carding machine on the northeast corner of Chardon's public square. The driving or moving power of this machine was not water or steam but two faithful horses who by persistent circling in the ground story caused the machinery to move in the second story. This machinery was made in Painesville by Marvin Huntington and Daniel Olds, and afterwards was used by Nathaniel Spencer for similar purposes. On United States census data, Nathaniel listed his occupation as a carpenter and in 1860 had real estate valued at $2,000, with personal worth of $300. He also served as Town Constable for many years.

Nathaniel and Almena celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in February, 1872. The news article states that although no formal invitations were issued there were many who chose to "testify by their presence, words, and gifts to the universal esteem in which this venerable couple are held, in the community where they have resided during the whole of their long, eventful and happy married life." The writer felt this couple who had been active participating citizens throughout their marriage mirrored the history of Chardon almost from the time of its organization.

Nathaniel died 10 February 1875, during his 82nd year, of pneumonia. He is buried in Chardon Municipal Cemetery. His long obituary in the Geauga Republican characterized him as a man below medium height, compactly built, possessing a robust constitution, well fitted to endure the hardships of the frontier. He would be missed by his family and from society. His wife, Almena, who was younger, being born 14 September 1803, died 5 May 1883 in Chardon. She was a member of the Disciple Church and always exemplifi ed its Christian ideals. Nine children were born to this couple:

  1. Edwin H. Parks (1823-1868) m. (1) Olive Butts (1830-1852); m. (2) Loretta Butts (1831-1884). Settled in Auburn, OH. His daughter, Lenora Parks (b.1851) mar. Dwight W. Sprague. Family lived in Auburn, OH.
  2. Arletta D. Parks (1827-1894) m. Charles H. Marsh (1823-1879) 2 sons: Charles Henry Marsh (b. 1851) and George P. Marsh (b. 1858)
  3. Maria E. Parks (1829-1905) m. Lemuel Rider/ Ryder (1823-bef.1900) lived in Lake Co, OH. Two daughters: Delight Rider/Ryder (b.abt.1856) mar. Orator L. Pinney; Addie Rider/Ryder (b.1862) mar. David F. Galloway.
  4. Samuel Griffith Parks (1831-1853) buried in Chardon Village Cemetery.
  5. George N. Parks (1835-1916) m. Maria A. Chase (1843-bef.1916). George started out in life for himself at the age of fourteen years, learning the tinnerÕs trade in Chardon and Painesville. At age of 20, in company with J.K. Marsh, he engaged in the tin and stove business at Painesville as a member of the firm of Marsh and Parks, remaining there for three years. After selling this business, he was for eight years engaged in the manufacture of tinner's machines in partnership with L.T. Herbert of Painesville. Coming to Warren, Trumbull County in 1865, he managed the National Hotel for five years with his father in law, Phineas Chase. He then went on to become a general merchant and city property owner. Two sons: Harry C. Parks (b.1868) of Chicago, IL and Frank E. Parks (b.1870) of Pueblo, CO. According to one source, Harry Parks was secretary and treasurer of the Chicago Coated Board Company, Chicago, IL. In 1900 Frank Parks was Supt. of O.H. Dept. Mill, Allegheny Co, PA and by 1920 was manager of the C.F. and P. Open Hearth Furnace Company, Pueblo, Colorado.
  6. Henry L. Parks (1837-1909) m. (1) Mary A. Pike (1840-1892); m. (2) Eva Unknown. Four sons and 1 daughter from first marriage: Henry Dunwreath Parks (b.1862); Everett P. Parks (b.1864); Lyman Seymour Parks (b.1869); Lucia A. Parks (b.1870); and John W. Parks (b. 1879).
  7. Mary E. Parks (1839-1883) m. Abram Parnell Tilden (1816-1909). Two daughters: Martha S. Tilden (b.1872) and Almana P. Tilden (b.1879)
  8. Charles A. Parks (1842- ?) m. Liza E. Unknown (1860- ?). One daughter: Almena Parks (b.1879). Family lived in Painesville, Lake, OH
  9. Orrin R. Parks (1845-1918) m. (1) Virginia Stone (1850-1872); m. (2) Chloe Barker (1858-1933). One son from mar.#1 and one daughter from mar.#2. Orrin was a tinner and hardware merchant who subsequently organized and became senior member of Parks Brothers - later Parks and Warriner, a hardware firm that for many years has stood in the front rank of Chardon business enterprises. In the Civil War he was a Union soldier, a member of Battery C of the First Ohio Light Artillery serving through the last two years of the war. His son, Robert Stone Parks (b.1872) graduated from high school in 1891, then entered the law dept. of the University of Michigan receiving the Bachelor of Laws degree with the class of 1894. He was admitted to the Ohio bar June 6 that year and immediately engaged in practice at Chardon and his active membership in the bar of that city was continuous except for a few years when he was engaged in practice at Lorain, OH and at Willoughby. He also served for over twenty years as village clerk of Chardon. Robert mar. Nina Ames. Orrin Parks's daughter Mildred Parks (b.1879) mar. E.E. Clark Parks.

Sources: Record Title: Connecticut Births and Christenings 1649-1906; War of 1812 Service Records; Geauga Republican 21 February 1872; Geauga Republican 24 February 1875, page 5; Geauga Leader 25 May 1883, page 2; United States Census data, various birth and death records; "The Henry R. Baldwin Genealogical Records" 34 books of handwritten records from 1867-1918; History of Geauga and Lake Counties, OH with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men 1798-1878, pub. Williams Brothers of Philadelphia.; A Twentieth Century History of Trumbull County Ohio by Harriet Taylor Upton, Vol. II, pub. 1909; History of Ohio by Charles B. Galbreath Vol. IV, pub. 1925; Pioneer and General History of Geauga Co. with Sketches of some of the Pioneers and Prominent Men, 1798-1880, pub. by The Historical Society of Geauga County; "Geauga County Cemetery Inscriptions" copied by Edith Sherman.

I especially want to thank the Information Services Center of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, and the Genealogy and Local History Reference Department of the Chardon Library for their help.

The Society does not presently appear to have any members from this lineage. For more information, please wobens1899@gmail.com to me.