William D. Parsons, son of James and Catherine (Myers) Parsons,
was a grandson of Jacob and Harriet (Dick) Myers and a brother
of Lilly Belle Parsons, all of whom are buried at Salem. His parents
are buried in the Chariton Cemetery. Will Parsons is buried in
Rockvale Cemetery, Joliet, Carbon County, Montana.
WILL PARSONS KILLED
James Parsons and sons, Albert and George, left Friday
for Joliet, Montana, in response to the terrible intelligence
that their son and brother, Will Parsons, had been injuried
in an automobile accident and was thought to be in a
dying condition. The accident occurred a few days before
when the machine he was driving turned turtle. The
gentleman who was with him was killed instantly.
Will Parsons passed away Sunday noon at the hospital
in Billings, Montana, where he had been removed for
treatment, his death occurring shortly after his father and
brothers reached his side.
- Clipping dated 1914, Lucas County Genealogical Society Collection
DEATH OF W. D. PARSONS
At St. Vincent's hospital, Billings, Montana, occurred the death
of W. D. Parsons, November 29th, 1914, a well known and
respected business man of Joliet, Mont. Mr. Parsons was born
near Chariton, Iowa, June 3d, 1878, and resided here until 23
years of age. He was married in this county to Miss Maud Ream.
In 1901 he moved to Carbon county, Montana, and settled on a
farm in the Clark's Fork valley; later he moved to Joliet, where he
engaged in the blacksmith and automobile business. Mr. Parsons
had sold a car to a neighbor who resided on a farm a few
miles from Joliet and the two men went to Billings to get the car.
On the return trip, and while the new owner was driving and trying
to avoid a deep sand hole, he lost control of the machine and
before Mr. Parsons could grasp the emergency brake the car
plunged over a 14-foot cement pier, turned completely over and pinned
both men under it, completely submerging the driver under the
waters of Canon creek. They were rescued by the crew of a
passing freight train, taken to Billings in the caboose and thence
to the hospital, where Mr. Chapple, the driver, died a few hours
later. The physician attending Mr. Parsons gave little hope
of recovery because of the great shock, but relying
on his strong constitution and clean, manly life his friends
entertained hope of his recovery. For eight days he fought for
life, but owing to complete paralysis of the kidneys, uremic
poisoning set in and at noon Sunday, November 29th, the end
came. He was conscious to the very last, arranged business
affairs and spoke of very many of his friends, his faith in God,
his hope of an immortal life and his love of his Savior. Mr.
Parsons was an honored member of Carbon Lodge No. 65,
A.F. & A.M., also of Aloha chapter No. 41 O.E.S. For some
years he had been a member of the Joliet Christian church,
one of its main supporters, always ready to give of his time and
means for the advancement of christian work; he held the office
of deacon and secretary to the church board. Funeral services
were held in the Christian church at Joliet, conducted by the
pastor, Rev. B. L. Kline. The large, floral offerings and the
great crowd which attended the services, testified to the high
esteem in which he was held. The interment took place in the
beautiful Rockvale cemetery. At the grave the beautiful and
impressive Masonic funeral service was conducted by Dr.
W. H. Allen, Deputy Grand Master of the State, and for many
years an intimate friend of the deceased.
Mr. Parsons is survived by his wfie, two sons, Lovell and
Harold, father, mother, six brothers, three sisters, besides
a host of warm friends, who deeply sympathize with those
left to mourn the loss of a loving husband and father.
- Clipping dated 1914, Lucas County Genealogical Society collection
NARRATIVE: BURDETTE SMITH
Sadly, Burdette Smith's death was responsible for a good
many of the recent improvements to Salem Cemetery. His
wife, Connie, and sons, Dennis and Doyle, used memorial
and other funds to install new gateposts and a new decorative
fence at the front of the cemetery, and also accomplished a
good deal of needed cleanup work in the cemetery itself.
Burdette grew up in the general Salem neighborhood. His
parents, Montie and Martha, owned and occupied for many
years the farm just east of Brush College that previously
was the home of my great-aunt and uncle, Harriet (Myers)
and Nelson Reynolds.
Burdette and his family developed one of Lucas County's
largest cattle operations, headquartered just across the
section southeast of Salem. Connie and her sons have
continued that operation, and run many cattle indeed on
many acres in the Salem neighborhood, including the
old Irwin Myers family farm which my dad sold to Burdette
and Connie when he retired.
Burdette is buried in one of the new lots created in the
former Salem churchyard, just east of where the church
once stood, with his infant daughter, Linda M. (27
December 1968-4 January 1969).
Willard Burdette Smith, son of Montie Cleo and Martha
Marie Ambelang Smith, was born June 24, 1933. He
passed away June 29, 1996, at the age of 63 years and
five days due to complications of multiple myloma.
Burdette was raised in Lucas County and graduated from
Chariton High School in 1951.
He served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany
part of that time. He was employed by Brown Motor and
Implement as a partsman before entering the service. Following
his discharge, Burdette returned to Brown Motor and
worked until 1963, when he started farming full time.
He was a member of the NFO, the Lucas County Pork
Producers and the Lucas County Cattlemans. Burdette
was inducted into the Lucas County Outstanding Cattlemans
Hall of Fame in February of this year. He also served two
terms on the Farmers Co-op Board of Directors in Chariton.
He was married to Connie Marie May on April 6, 1957. To this
union, two sons and one daughter were born.
Burdette enjoyed farming and helping his sons and their
families get started farming. He also enjoyed the short
trips to Las Vegas with his friends.
He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Linda
Marie; his parents; and his in-laws, Merle and Kathleen May.
Burdette is survived by his wife, Connie; his sons, Dennis
Wayne and wife, Lisa, and Doyle Duane and wife, Deanne,
all of Chariton; two grandsons, Bradley and Chad Smith; two
granddaughters, Bailey and Brittney Smith; his brother,
David Smith and wife, Sharon, of Chariton; two sisters,
Margaret Curtis and husband, Eldon, of Chariton; and Ruth
Argenta and husband, Don, of Ames; his sister-in-law, Karen
Stansbery and husband, Dick, of Chariton; several nieces,
nephews and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 1,
1966, at the Fielding Funeral Home with the Rev. Clyde
Sparks officiating. Burial was in the Salem Cemetery.
Serving as bearers were grandsons, Brad and Chad Smith;
nephews, Bruce and Bob Smith; and uncles, Bernard and
- The Chariton Leader, 9 July 1996
ABOUT ALL THAT CORN AND THOSE SOYBEANS
Planning a fall field trip to Lucas County? Fair warning that about
half those pickups out there this time of year are being driven
somewhat erratically as their owners assess the condition of their
own and their neighbors' crops - through the driver's side window,
without stopping. So watch out. If you like adventure, wait a few weeks and
come dodge combines, tractors and grain wagons with us.
The beans are beginning to ripen and some of the corn
looks as if it could be ready to pick in a couple of weeks if the hot, dry
conditions continue. A few of the cottonwoods are beginning to turn,
and it won't be long at all before autumn settles in. We planted
hard maples across the front of Salem three years ago when my
mother died, and they're almost big enough this year to put on a good
(if small) show.
Rural Iowans amuse easily, which probably is why we decided to drive
an hour and a half yesterday evening to Wendy's at Bethany, Missouri,
for supper (you may think this pathetic; we thought it was rather good).
But the real reason was in order to drive back across country with the sun at
our backs, swooping through the hills and valleys of north Missouri
from Mount Moriah and on to Princeton on the road home. Southern
Iowa and northern Missouri really are at their best this time of year so,
seriously, come home!
AND ALL THOSE PARSONS, TOO ...
Once I get organized here, I plan to deposit a good many Parsons
obituaries in the archives of this list. I've been transcribing the
contents of my "Parsons" file and forwarding obituaries, etc., to various
members of the Parsons family, and will get most of that material
to the Salem list as time permits.
Catherine Myers, daughter of Salem's Jacob and Harriet (Dick) Myers,
married James Parsons; and one of their daughters who died young,
Lilly Belle Parsons, is buried at Salem. James and Catherine moved
from Benton Township to a farm just south of Chariton after Lilly Belle
died, and chose to be buried in the Chariton Cemetery rather than at
But this list encompasses not only those buried at Salem but also their
families, so all of this material is fair game I figure.
If any of you-all are related to the Parsons, Audrey H. and I had the
pleasure this summer of meeting (online) a number of Parsons and
learning a good deal about our in-law, James's, family. The annual
Parsons family reunion was held Aug. 25 in Fairfield (Jefferson County),
and Wayne Parsons, who organized the event, distributed after the
reunion a list of some 75 individuals and families who descend from
the southern Iowa Parsons family. He's always on the lookout for
more cousins, so if you'd like to contact him, contact me and I'll forward
his address to you.
THIS IS YOUR LIST, TOO ...
As membership in the Salem list grows, it's probably a good time
to remind you that this list is not just Frank's toy. Anyone who wishes
to submit obituaries, family data or queries is welcome to do so.
The more the merrier.
There are only two rules: (1) No anti-virus or any other "warnings."
There are just too many hoaxes out there (if you have a concern,
contact me personally); (2) No politics and/or religion.
It's not that I'm either apolitical or irreligious, it's just that this is a little like
a family reunion, and everyone who has been to one or more of
those knows the quickest route to disaster is to start discussing
either of those topics, especially before dessert.
AND THEN THERE'S COUSIN HELEN
I had great visits this week and last with Cousin Helen, an 80-year-old
who is related to me on a non-Salem family line. Helen cruises the
country during the summer in a 2000 Dodge van with a bunk and
generous storage in the back doing genealogical research, visiting
friends and relatives (but always sleeping in the van) and touring
anything that grabs her interest as she drives along - several thousand
miles since May 6 when she left her New Mexico home, from Oregon
on the west to West Virginia on the east.
We toured dead Browns during a marathon field trip Tuesday, and
Helen was last seen headed for Stanton (southwest Iowa) to view a
water tower shaped like a cup and saucer, then on to Missouri and
homeward toward New Mexico, since she has to be back there by
the end of the month to take a trip (!?!) with a friend.
What a spectacular example of staying active and involved when
some might think a rocking chair more appropriate. And what a
wonderful way to persecute your adult children if you've ever had
the urge to get even. We didn't talk too much about just how much
Helen's two daughters disapprove of Mother's summer travels,
but I did get the feeling they'd sure like to get their hands on the keys
to that van!
If you're interested in a similar lifestyle yourself, Helen
recommends Wal-Mart parking lots when a friendly or related
driveway isn't available (she has the best ones marked on her atlas).
Truckers are her biggest allies on the road. And if your hair is gray,
don't color it she says. Gray hair, a lawn chair and a sign that says
"help" ensures that someone useful will stop to help you change a
Cousin Edwin Johnson, son of Carl A. and Minnie Myers Johnson,
and grandson of Salem's Daniel and Mary Belle Redlingshafer
Myers and Charles and Christina Johnson, died Sept. 2 (2002)
at 88 after a long battle with congestive heart failure. Funeral
services were held Wednesday, with burial in the Chariton Cemetery.
His survivors include his wife, Betty; two children, Duane and Martha;
and a brother, Carl Ferman - the last of the six Johnson boys.
Edwin was my dad's age, and they had been best friends for all
88 of their years - from the cradle until their last visit a few days
before Edwin died. So he certainly will be missed on this front.
Until the next time,
Frank D. Myers