Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 357 - 359
The women of this grand nation play a conspicuous part in the history of the country, and some of the most valiant
deeds have been performed by them. The worthy lady whose name heads this record is one of the sterling pioneers of
Sheboygan County, having been a witness of its growth since 1844. She has long made her home on section 8, Lima
Township. Her husband, J. D. Parrish, a respected citizen of this community, died October 8, 1883.
The birth of Mrs. Parrish occurred December 20, 1819, in Oswego County, N. Y. Her parents were Timothy and Beulah
(Harmon) Maltby, who had six sons and six daughters, all but three of whom are living. Hiram, a mason by trade, and
a resident of New York, is now retired. John, who lives in Fayetteville, N. Y., has been engaged in the manufacture
of paper. Rollin, who was a wealthy farmer, is now retired, and living in Pulaski, N. Y. Albert, also residing in
the same place, is a manufacturer of sash and blinds. Ralph R. is employed in a large wholesale and retail store in
Cincinnati, Ohio, and lives with his son at a place sixty miles distant. Maria Josephine became the wife of James G.
Brewer, who has been engaged in milling and now lives retired on a farm near Lone Tree, Neb. Chauncy S. is a farmer
near Grand Ledge, Mich.; and Emma Celestia is the wife of A. D. Husen, a farmer of Lima Township.
Mrs. Parrish passed her maiden days in her native State and was educated mainly by her own exertions and by the aid
of her mother. She is a lady of remarkable mind and pleasing address, and is one of those grand women only met with
now and then during life's journey. She had access to good books and was reared among the most cultivated people.
The Maltby family was widely known for their strict honor and integrity. Her father, Timothy Maltby, was born March
17, 1794, in New York, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and made of farming a signal success. His education was
that of the old primitive subscription schools. He was ambitious to obtain an education and let no opportunity
escape. On one occasion, he rode for miles on horseback to secure a spelling-book, so scarce were the means of
information in those days. About this time the humble home was burned to the ground and nothing was saved. His first
question was, "Is my spelling-book saved?" and when the answer came, "No," he manfully replied, "Well I have my axe
left, so I can earn another one." He was one of the soldiers of the War of 1812, and continued to live in Oswego
County until his death. In politics, he was an oldline Whig, and his character was above reproach. In early life he
was an ardent supporter of the Presbyterian Church, but later became a member of the Congregational denomination.
Mrs. Parrish was her father's great support in all his undertakings, and always sanctioned what he did. At his death
he was not only mourned by his children, but by all who knew him. His wife was born September 13, 1793, in Vermont,
being a daughter of Thaddeus Harmon, Sr., also a native of that State. Her marriage was celebrated March 22, 1815,
and after being an invalid for many years, she died September 27, 1846. The father afterward married Lucinda Davis,
a native of Westford, N. Y., born February 12, 1811, who is still living. She was married January 5, 1847, and
became the mother of two daughters, Rosamond Irene, widow of Henry Trumbull, and a resident of New York; and Celia
Selina, the wife of Rev. George Benson, of Copenhagen, N. Y.
Mrs. Parrish was a maiden of twelve summers when her mother became an invalid, and thus upon her young shoulders
devolved the responsibility of rearing her younger brothers and sisters. She was married January 18, 1841, to John
D. Parrish, and by this union were born three sons and seven daughters, six of whom are living. Mary T. is the wife
of George Poland, who makes his home in Appleton, Wis., though engaged in sailing on the Lakes. Julia J. is the wife
of A. B. Dye, of Oshkosh, Wis., an artist, skilled in his profession. Ralph R., who was born July 18, 1853, and is a
prosperous farmer of Lima Township, married Mrs. Ella Maltby, a native of New York. They have four sons and two
daughters. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Methodist Church, and is one of the stanch and upright
citizens of the township. Letitia B. is the wife of Cyrus B. Knight, who is engaged in farming near Sheboygan Falls.
John O. lives in the same township, and is one of the substantial farmers and citizens of the district. He was born
February 7, 1860, and married Miss Ida C. Oeder, a sketch of whose parents appears elsewhere in this work. They have
four children. He and Ralph live on a part of the original homestead. Nellie J. is the wife of Henry La Gee, who
runs a feed store in Plymouth. The children of George and Mary T. Poland are as follows: Rollin, Clarence, George,
Bessie, Ralph, David La Gee and Adorah.
It was in 1844 that Mr. and Mrs. Parrish, with their two children, came by wagon and boat from New York to Sheboygan
County, where they arrived at the end of fifteen days. Landing in Milwaukee, they proceeded to this point on foot.
They buried a little daughter, Mary Almina, aged fifteen months, while stopping in Milwaukee. The first land they
purchased was two tracts of eighty acres each, in Lima Township. This was wild, and entirely unimproved. The first
home in which they lived was a log cabin, and here the family spent their happiest days, though there were no
windows or doors. The floor was not laid for some time, and in order to ascend to the loft they climbed up by means
of pegs put into the logs. There were only a half-dozen neighbors in their locality, and the Indians were far more
numerous than the white settlers. Mr. Parrish helped his neighbor, Mr. Dye, to harvest his potatoes on shares, and
was thus enabled to have that vegetable in the winter for his family. One day a band of some thirty Indians passed,
and Mrs. Parrish was much amused at seeing a very tall redman riding on a diminutive pony, so small indeed that the
Indian had great trouble to keep his feet from dragging on the ground. Mr. Parrish, like many of the other pioneers,
made shingles from pine trees transported by ox-teams across the country, and traded them for provisions in
Milwaukee. One morning four deer were seen grazing only a stone's throw from the cabin door, so tame and
unsuspecting were those timid animals. There was no church near, and worship was held at the different homes. The
settlers attended, going in ox-carts, and the greatest friendship and cordiality existed is those good old days.
When Mr. and Mrs. Parrish first came to this county they had $114 in money. They at once loaned $100 on interest and
sent $11 to Milwaukee to purchase a young cow, saving the other $3 for other expenses.
Mrs. Parrish made quite a reputation for herself as a fine weaver of cloth, she having learned the art from old Mrs.
Wheeler. She ran a loom for nearly twenty years, spinning and weaving clothes for her family. She is truly one of
the pioneers of the county. When she came here, Sheboygan city was a small hamlet, with a dense growth of pines on
its present site. In the early days she often rode to Sheboygan in an ox-cart, and would knit all the way to town.
Their possessions at one time numbered two hundred and twenty acres. Mr. Parrish was an active man in politics, a
strong advocate of the Republican party, and had the entire respect of his neighbors. He was noted for his industry
and was a practical man of business. His own education having been mostly obtained by the light of a hemlock knot,
he was strongly in favor of good school facilities. For a number of years he was Township Clerk, and was Justice of
the Peace for several years. He died lamented by all who knew him, for he was a loving husband and father, a friend
to the poor and needy, and a devout member of the Methodist Church, to which his wife still belongs. We are glad to
give the full sketch of this sterling pioneer family, which will be cherished by their loving children in after
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer