San Bernardino County
HARRY H. PARSONS
††††††††††† In the spring of 1932, San Bernardino gained a valuable addition to its citizenship in Harry H. Parsons, who came here from Missoula, Montana, where he had practiced for thirty years and won recognition as a brilliant and resourceful lawyer.† He was born in Brownsville, now known as Sweet Springs, Missouri, June 25, 1872, a son of Dr. W. Buchanan and Lydia J. (Mockbee) Parsons.† The father lived for many years in that state and was accounted one of its leading surgeons.† Of English origin, the Parsons family was founded in this country about the year 1635.† As descendants of Lieutenant General Parsons and Lieutenant General McCarty, who served with distinction under General Washington, Dr. W. B. Parsons and his wife were eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution, respectively, but were not affiliated with these organizations.† The latter was a daughter of Cuthbert Mockbee, who was an officer in the Mexican War, holding the rank of colonel.
††††††††††† In his native town, Harry H. Parsons attended the grammar and high schools and Doyleís Academy.† His higher education was acquired in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he first took a literary course, and in 1895 was graduated from the law school of that institution.† Feeling the strain of his studies, Mr. Parsons then came west to recuperate and here remained for two years, rebuilding his health.† In 1897 he went to Marshall, Missouri, where he entered upon his professional career, having as a law partner Colonel Samuel Boyd, who was the senior member of the firm of Boyd & Parsons and who died a year later.† Mr. Parsons continued to serve the firmís clients until 1902 when he located in Missoula, Montana.† While identified with the legal fraternity there he successfully handled some of the most difficult cases ever tried in the courts of that district and his practice steadily increased, due to his prestige as an attorney and counselor.† He never entered the courtroom without close study and thorough preparation, spending many hours in his law library, which was considered one of the best and most complete in the state of Montana.† He served as president of the Montana State Bar Association, as a member of the advisory council of the American Bar Association, and represented the Montana Supreme Court before the Washington Bar Association in 1922.
††††††††††† Keenly interested in politics, Mr. Parsons became one of the leaders of the Republican Party in Montana.† In 1898 he was nominated for member of congress from the seventh judicial district of Missouri and gave his opponent a lively race for that office.† As census supervisor for the Missoula district in 1900 he made a good record, and in 1916 he opposed Thomas Walsh in the contest for a seat in the United States Senate.† He and Senator Walsh tried many cases together, both as associates and opponents.† During the World War Mr. Parsons was chairman of the western Montana Liberty Loan drive and raised over eight million dollars for war purposes.
††††††††††† From early manhood Mr. Parsons has displayed talents for leadership and initiative and he has been the originator of many ideas of worth which have been recognized by universal adoption in the cities interested.† As an instance of this insight and originality it may be mentioned that, while pursuing his studies at Ann Arbor, Mr. Parsons, who was very active in college athletics and early recognized the importance of training along the lines now in use in government practice, was an influential factor in the organization there of the American College of Republican Leagues, which has since become an important part of the activity of all students in every leading college of the country.† Another idea that originated with Mr. Parsons while at Ann Arbor and that has been adopted by many large colleges and universities was the formation of a miniature model of our national house of congress.† In this one of the university professorís acts as president and the student members transact the business of the country in exactly the same manner as it is done in Washington, D. C.† The value of such work as this as training for actual work in that line or for an intelligent understanding of the processes of law making and government business methods is obvious and it is doubtful if the idea developed by Mr. Parsons could be improved upon.† At the request of President Duniway of the University of Montana, he spent some time lecturing before the students of that institution in the year 1910.† He now maintains a law office in the Fox Theatre Building at San Bernardino and has already become well established in practice here.† His brother, Dr. H. H. Parsons, is one of the cityís prominent physicians and surgeons.
††††††††††† In 1900 Harry H. Parsons was married to Miss Ethlyne Jackson, a member of one of the old and aristocratic families of the south.† She is related to Governor Breathitt of Kentucky; is a niece of Governor M. M. Marmaduke, and a cousin of General John S. Marmaduke, both of Missouri; and a granddaughter of Missouriís famous war governor, Claiborne Fox Johnson.† Mrs. Parsonsís father, William S. Jackson, was a gallant Confederate officer who served with the rank of colonel.† Mrs. Parsons is a Daughter of the Confederacy and by special appointment as sponsor for Missouri, with a maid of honor from each congressional district; she represented that state at the Confederate reunions held throughout the south.† She has one child, Ethlyne A., who resides with her parents in Redlands.
††††††††††† Mr. Parsons belongs to the Masonic and Elks lodges and to an aerie of Eagles.† His college fraternities are the Delta Chi and Phi Delta Phi and of the latter he is honorary member.† In his legal work he has always in mind the dignity and responsibility of his profession and exemplifies its highest ethics in his practice.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 85-88, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis.† 1933.
© 2012 †V. Gerald Iaquinta.