Lee County Biography


Robert Bruce Parks, of Lincoln precinct, Saline County is a well known citizen of this portion of southerastern Nebraska, where he has made his home since 1884. He has made the tilling of the soil his vocation in life, and is a wide-awake and progressive farmer who has elevated his daily toil from the realm of mere drudgery and found it a pleasant, profitable and most honorable occupation.

Mr. Parks was born in Lee county, Illinois, near Dixon, December 13, 1844, being a son of Hiram and Martha (Moon) Parks. His father was born in New York state and was a early settler of Lee County IL. He was at Chicago when that present great city was a small village, with a few stores set on the swampy land about the Chicago river. He bought a claim of government land near Dixon and he farmed there the remainder of his life, passing away at the age of 75 and his wife at the age of 90. Their daughter Rebecca was the second child born at Dixon. These parents were members of the Baptist church and he was a republican. There were eight children; Mary, Eunice, Rebecca, Wayne, an officer of the 140th Illinois, Robert Bruce, Henry, Fred and Abner.

Mr. Robert B. Parks was reared on the old farm in Lee County, receiving his early education in the district schools. When he was 21 on May 10, 1864, he enlisted at Dixon in Company D, 140th Inf. in Captain Smith's company and Colonel Whitney's regiment. They were encamped at Dixon, then at Springfield and from there were sent south toMemphis. They were engaged in fighting General Prices' troops in southern Missouri and saw considerable campaigning during the later months of the war. They were finally ordered to St. Louis, and thence to Chicago, where Mr. Parks received his honorable discharge from the service of the Union, on October 27, 1865.

Mr. Parks was married in Lee County August 23, 1868 to Miss Ellen Deck, who has been a faithful and inspiring companion and helpmate for the succeeding 36 years. She was born in Northampton County, PA and at the age of 9 years, in 1856 she came to Lee County with her parents, Elijah and Hannah (Heller) Heck, both natives of Pennsylvania. Her father, who was a farmer, a strong abolition Republican in politics, and a member of the Presbyterian church, died, at the age of 69 and her mother passed away at the age of eighty. Mrs. Parks was one of nine children, as follows; Valentine, a soldier in the Thirteeth PA, Susan, Mary, Joseph, in the 34th IL for fouryears, William, in Company E of the 10th Illinois, John, in Captain Cheney's Illinois battery, Ellen, George , and Martha. Mr. and Mrs. Parks are the parents of six children; Harry W., Sidney E., Bert M., Walter, Irvin and Fanny F., the wife of G. Gerdis of Seward County Nebraska.

Mr. Parks came out to Nebraska and settled in Saline County in 1884, and has been a prosperous farmer here ever since. He owns a beautiful estate of 240 acres, on which are excellent improvements of all kinds, both residence and outbuildings being in evidence to the thrifty management of the owner. The farm is situated six miles northwest of Dorchester, and is one of the model farmsteads of the precinct. Mr. Parks is a Populist in politics. He takes much interest in the question of local education, not only for the benefit of his own children but for the entire community and is a member of his district school board. He is a member and a past commander of the W.T. Sherman Post of the GAR at Dorchester. He and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church and he serves on the board of trustees. He is a sincere and reliable man and citizen, and is a valuable factor in compassing the welfare of his community.

A Biographical and genealogical history of southeastern Nebraska By Lewis Publishing Company 1904


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