June 5, 1822 - July 18, 1912
Story by Philip George Parsons, his
grandson, written November 5, 1970
Photo of Charles, 1880
Charles Parsons was born June 5, 1822 at Tullamore, Kings
County, Ireland. He was the youngest son of Robert and Hannah
Parsons and grew up in a large family. He had four brothers and
two sisters who lived to be adults.
When Charles was about 21 years of age, the family came to
America. There was his brother Richard with his wife Margaret
and three small daughters, his brother William, sister Hannah,
and his mother, besides himself who came to Zanesville, Ohio.
These three brothers learned the cobbler trade in the old
country, and set up shop on Main Street in Zanesville, where they
made shoes and harness for horses. Brother William was a master
shoe maker and did very well. Brother Richard worked hard, had
eleven children, but died prior to the census of 1860, leaving
his widow, Margaret to raise his large brood.
December 8, 1851, Charles Parsons married Maria Bagnell, a
fine young lady from near Athlone, Ireland and they had two
daughters, Mary and Tallie, and four sons, William, Charles,
Robert and Richard.
Photo of Maria Bagnell, 1880
Grandpa Charles Parsons worked hard as a shoe repairman,
however he was content to operate a one man shop. Part of the
time his shop was a room in the home. About 1876 or 1877, sons
William and Charles arranged to buy a farm near Edorado, Kansas
and the family moved onto this land. Charles Parsons continued
with his shoe shop while his wife and sons ran the farm. The
elder son, William had become a salesman for the Queensware House
in Zanesville, and the younger boys tried, but the farming
venture was not too successful. They finally decided to sell and
held a big farm sale in early March 1886. His wife, Maria,
always a very able worker, prepared a great feast for all who
came to the sale. About a week or so later she passed away.
As a grade school kid, I remember my grandfather Charles and
his little shoe shop on South Broadway and Alameda, in Denver.
Whenever my shoes needed repairs, mother would send me to see
grandpa. I liked to visit him, he was always busy, but would
chat with me while he fixed shoes. I remember the iron last
which he placed the shoe over, his special hammers, and sharp
knives for cutting leather. Mother always sent money to pay for
the shoes Grandpa repaired, but he would seldom take pay and
often gave me a nickel to take home. A nickel was a big teat for
a school boy in those days!
One time I went to see Grandpa and his shop was closed. There
was a note on the door, "Gone to Meeting, back soon." Grandpa
was very religious and loved to attend meetings. He would often
lock his shop to go to a meeting. After aunt Mary was lost at
sea, Grandpa went to live with his youngest son, uncle Dick and
Photo of Parsons family, 1898. Standing" Robert, Maud (Frost), Tallie, Richard, Mamie (Garlick) Parsons
Seated: Ann Margaret (Nichol) Frost, Ella (Garlick) Gould, Mary Parsons, Charles Parsons
Children: Philip Parsons, Charles Gould. ( at 655 So. Penn, Denver)
Early July of 1912, Grandpa had the misfortune to be
knocked down by a tramway car. He boarded the electric tram cars
where they went around a corner at Pennsylvania and First
One day he stepped a little too close to the tracks,
and the fender which protrudes as the car rounds curves, hit his
foot and knocked him over. No bones broken, however he was badly
bruised and shaken, too much for his ninety years, and he passed
away two weeks later on July 18, 1912. He was always very
gracious, very kindly, friendly and kind-hearted to all his
family and friends.
Photo (1910) of son, Richard Parsons and
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wife, Mamie and Mary Ann Parsons, Charles' dau.
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