Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 444] an esteemed resident and justice of the peace of Wampum, Big Beaver township, Lawrence County, who in addition to his official duties is carrying on a successful business as a prominent lawyer, and as an insurance agent, was born in Springfield township, Mercer Co., Pa. He was a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Wilkin) Parshall. Joseph Parshall was probably born east of the mountains in Lackawanna County, in 1822, and was a son of William and Jane (Hawthorn) Parshall; William Parshall was of Scotch origin, and took part in the War of 1812, afterwards following the life of a farmer, and living to a good old age. Our subject's father was a stone-cutter by trade and worked at that trade for thirty-seven years, when his lungs became so affected with the dust made by his chisel that he went west to seek his health in the mountain climate of Wyoming; the disease proved too serious to be remedied, and he died in Virginia City in 1874, aged fifty-two years. He was a United Presbyterian in church matters, and a member of the Masonic brotherhood. Mrs. Elizabeth (Wilkin) Parshall, mother of the subject of this sketch, was a daughter of William and Sarah (Harlan) Wilkin, the latter a daughter of William Harlan, an Englishman, who was a hatter by trade. William Wilkin was also an Englishman; he followed the occupation of a miller and died at the age of seventy-five. His wife was a member of the Baptist Church.

William Parshall, whose biography, is herein set forth, was born and raised in Mercer County and attended school until he was eighteen, He was an ambitious lad, and wished to prepare himself for one of the learned professions, and so became a student in Westminster College; in 1872 at the end of four years he completed the scientific course. Having been enrolled as a student in the office of Griffith & Mason for a year previous to his graduation, he now put himself wholly under their direction, and after one year's faithful work in reading law was admitted to the bar of Pennsylvania in the spring term of court. He opened an office for himself in Mercer, where he stayed until 1879, when he left for David City, Butler Co., Neb., where he practiced two years, and then returned to his native State. Upon once more becoming a resident of the Keystone State, he selected Wampum as a suitable location, and he has never had cause to regret his decision. In 1890, he was elected justice of the peace, and received an endorsement of his good services by an additional term of five years in 1895. In addition to his legal work, Mr. Parshall is the agent of several of the oldest and strongest insurance companies in the field.

On Feb. 26, 1874 in New Castle, occurred the ceremonies that united for life our subject and his wife Eliza J. Nelson of Mercer Co., daughter of John and Elizabeth (Daniels) Nelson, who are highly respected people of Lawrence County. Mr. and Mrs. Parshall are the parents of four children, whose names are: Mary Elizabeth, now Mrs. William J. Miller of Wampum; Beriah G.; Clark M.; and Elta J. Mrs. Parshall is a member of the United Presbyterian Church. Our subject has been faithful to his duty as a citizen and has not missed one election since he cast his first ballot in 1870. He is a Republican, and was chief burgess of Wampum for seven years. He was formerly an Odd Fellow, and is now a member of Wampum Council, No. 226, Junior Order of United American Mechanics. Mr. Parshall is a gentleman who takes a deep interest in the growth and the development of the community in which he resides, and he may always be found aiding and assisting any movement that is calculated to further its interest. He is whole-souled, affable and kind-hearted, never turning a deaf ear to real charity, and ranks among the foremost citizens of Wampum as well as Lawrence County.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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