In the death of Manassah Parks, in 1883, Mission township and Brown county lost one of their valued and representative citizens. He was born in Ohio in 1839 and was reared in Iowa, his father, David J. Parks, having removed with his family to the Hawkeye state at an early period in its pioneer development. There, amid the wild scenes of the western frontier, Mr. Parks spent his boyhood and youth, experiencing all the hardships and difficulties of pioneer life. He pursued his education in the public schools of the neighborhood and assisted in the work of the home farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties that fall to the lot of farmer boys. This proved an excellent training for his own business career and made him a capable and successful agriculturist. In 1861 he chose as a companion and helpmeet of life's journey Miss Elizabeth Hartley, their marriage being celebrated in Buchanan county, Missouri, near De KaIb. The lady was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, in 1838, and is a daughter of James Hartley, who resided for many years at Holton, Jackson county, Kansas. He was born in 1812 and died in 1899, while his wife passed away at the age of seventy-one years. In their family were the following children, namely: Amanda, Mrs. Elizabeth Parks; Robert, who served as a soldier in the Civil war; Barbara; Sarah; Clark; Taylor; Serelda; and Margaret.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Parks came to Kansas, establishing a home five miles from Horton, in Jackson county. During the Civil war Mr. Parks responded to the call for troops, feeling that he might benefit his country, and enlisted in 1862, joining Company B, Eleventh Kansas Infantry, with which he served three years as a loyal defender of the Union. His command was engaged in following the Price raiders and checking their movements west of the Mississippi. During the latter part of the war the Eleventh Kansas was stationed in western Colorado to suppress the Indian troubles, and, although their services came not so much to the public notice as that of the troops in the East, it was often no less arduous and dangerous.
After the war Mr. Parks returned to his home and family in Jackson county. Four children were born to him and his wife, namely: James Leonard, who wedded Miss Alice Snooks and resides upon a farm adjoining the homestead; Robert Clark, an enterprising young farmer who cultivates the home farm for his mother; Minnie May, who died in 1898, in her twenty-seventh year; and David Elmer. Mr. Parks continued to own and manage his farm in Jackson county until 1882, when he purchased one hundred acres of land in Mission township, Brown county. He was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, however, for he died in 1883, at the age of forty-four years. It seemed very sad that he should thus be cut off in the prime of life, but he left to his family an untarnished name. A member of the Methodist church, he was recognized as an earnest and upright Christian gentleman whose life was in harmony with his professions. He exercised his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party and had a just appreciation of the duties and obligations of citizenship. At all times he was as true and loyal to his country as when he followed the stars and stripes in the rebel territory. He left his family in comfortable circumstances and Mrs. Parks and her two younger sons are still living on the old homestead, where they have a pleasant residence and a property that returns to them a good income. They have a wide acquaintance in the community and are highly esteemed.