A life of intense and intelligently directed activity has numbered J. 0. Parrish among the representative agriculturists and stockmen of Lima township, of which he is a native, his birth having occurred February 7, 1860, in a log cabin, opposite the schoolhouse on that portion of the old Parrish homestead now owned by his brother.
The early years of his life were not unlike those of other farmer lads reared in the rural sections of Wisconsin at that period. He acquired his education in the district schools and assisted his father with the work of the fields and care of the crops until he was of age, when he rented the home farm and began his independent career as an agriculturist.
Following the death of his father two years later he purchased a portion of the old homestead from the other heirs, and here he has ever since resided. About the same time he completed his arrangements for a home by his marriage to Miss Ida C. Oeder, the event being celebrated on the 8th of February, 1883. It is to her Mr. Parrish attributes the greater part of the credit for his success, as she is a woman of practical intelligence and clear judgment. He always seeks her opinion in regard to a contemplated business transaction, and says that her foresight and intuition have proven of inestimable value to him in the direction of his undertakings, while her efficient and capable management of the household affairs has appreciably contributed toward their prosperity. They have lived on their farm ever since their marriage with the exception of the years 1888 and 1889, when Mr. Parrish was on the road as a traveling salesman. He withdrew from this business in the fall of 1890, however, and on October 1, of that year, resumed his agricultural pursuits, and has met with more than average success.
His principal crops are seed, grain and corn. He raises large quantities of the former, the quality of which is so superior that it has brought him much more than a local reputation, and as a result the demand far exceeds his supply. He is also engaged in stock-raising, and is now making a specialty of registered Holsteins and has at the head of his herd Sir Reitje De Kol, a grandson of Reitje Pebie De Kol of Pinehurst, one of the finest animals in the state. It is Mr. Parrish's intention ultimately to keep only this breed of cattle and with this purpose in view he is gradually disposing of his graded stock.
Mrs. Parrish is a daughter of the late Christopher Oeder, one of the well known residents of Lima township, who was for many years actively identified with local politics and served for a long period as chairman of the township. Her mother, whose maiden name was Magdalena Etta, has made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Parrish ever since the death of her husband. She is a well preserved woman of seventy-two years, and enjoys excellent health for one of her age.
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Parrish: Grace E., who is teaching in Plymouth; Robert J., who for the past three years has been operating the Oeder homestead; Edna R., who is keeping house for her brother Robert; Rexford 0., who expects to complete his course in the agricultural college at Madison during the winter of 1913; Gordon D., a sophomore in the Waldo high school; and Alice J., who is at home.
The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they take an active interest. Mr. Parrish has been a member of the board of stewards and a trustee of the church at Waldo for several years, and teaches a Bible class. Mrs. Parrish is also a church member. Mr. Parrish's political allegiance is accorded to the republican party, except in local elections when he gives his support to the man he deems best qualified for the office. He takes a helpful interest in all affairs affecting the welfare of the community and served with efficiency as supervisor of the township.
The Parrish homestead is known as East View Farm and is one of the most attractive and valuable properties in the district. It is located on section 8 and as it has been the home of Mr. Parrish from childhood is greatly endeared to him by reason of its early associations as well as those of later years.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL