PARKES, JAMES, farmer and stock man on sections 7 and 18 Gardner Township, was born in Cooper Township, near Berry Station, April 2, 1851, a son of William and Polly or Mary (North) Parkes. The father was born January 29, 1807, at Jonesboro, Washington County, Tenn., going later to Jefferson County, Tenn., where he married, April 14, 1830. His wife was born in 1810, in Buckingham County, Va. Their two children born in Tennessee died in infancy. Later they moved to Posey County, Ind., where another child was born and died. In 1836, they came to Illinois, settling in what is now Cooper Township, but in 1838 moved to Mechanicsburg, where they lived until 1848. In this year they returned to Cooper township, where his wife died September 12, 1873. He was there married June 7, 1875, to Mrs. Mary (Enyart) McMurray. He died December 28, 1890, and both he and his first wife now lie at rest in Oak Hill Cemetery, Cooper Township. They were of English and Irish ancestry, and representatives of their families took part in the Revolutionary War. Mr. Parkes was a Whig, then a Republican and was very active in his party. A strong admirer of Mr. Lincoln, he was proud to follow in his footsteps. Both he and his first excellent wife were members of the Christian Church. Both a farmer and blacksmith, Mr. Parkes, was always a hard working man, and, dying, left a comfortable estate. Their children were as follows: Caroline, born January 12, 1839, married September 24, 1857, Charles Boslime; Eveline, born January 4, 1841, married January 8, 1863, J. South, and died January 15, 1880; Henry, born January 15, 1843, enlisted in August, 1862, in Company C, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois volunteer Infantry, dying while in service at Chickasaw Landing, June 29, 1863; Minerva, born April 6, 1845, married August 14, 1867, Charles Roberts; Elizabeth, born January 3, 1847, married January 14, 1869, Edgar Eckel; and James Hiram, born April 8, 1854. The other children died young, under six years. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Parkes married Mrs. Sarah McMurray, whose maiden name was Enyart. She died in 1888.
James Parkes was reared on the farm now owned by his brother and was educated in the district schools, remaining at home until about twenty-four years old when he married. This occurred February 11, 1875, to Hannah Boehme, born near Arenzville, Cass County, Ill., April 13, 1852, a daughter of Henry and Augusta (Polletts) Boehme. Her parents were natives of Hanover, Germany, and her maternal grandfather was for forty-five years pastor of the Lutheran Church at Hanover, Germany. About 1850, the Boehme family came to America, settling in Cass County, Ill., but in 1856, moved to Cartwright Township, this county, where the father died in 1873, and the mother in 1880. Mrs. Parkes was the only child of her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Parkes had children as follows: William H., born March 12, 1876, a merchant of Jefferson City, Mo., married Cora Anderson; Robert Edgar, born September 1, 1877, a farmer near Pawnee, Ill., married December 12, 1904, Louise Foster; Ella Belle, born January 22, 1880, married September 28, 1903, W. J. Ross, and they have one child, Ralph Parkes; Bertha Augusta, born November 28, 1883, married Sidney Maxcy of Springfield, one child, Algernon G.; Hiram Arthur, born September 19, 1887, married Mary Noble, on October 11, 1910, and he is operating a portion of the home farm; Mamie Grace, born July 10, 1891; and Lillian and James Russell, twins, born January 20, 1895.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Parkes began farming her parents' homestead, but in 1882, they moved to their present farm, on Sections 7 and 18, Gardner Township. Here they have made many improvements. In addition to his homestead, he owns sixty acres in Cooper Township, making a total of 274 acres in Sangamon County. Mr. Parkes raises horses, cattle, hogs and sheep, specializing in Duroc-Jersey hogs and Shropshire sheep. In all of his operations he is very successful, and is regarded as one of the most progressive farmers of the county. A stanch Republican, he supports the party, but has never desired office. He and his family belong to the Methodist Church. Fraternally he belongs to M. W. of A. of Pleasant Plains. The pleasant home of the Parkes family is a delightful place to visit, for here is found true hospitality.