- Born: 15 Sep 1848, Spring Grove, Green County, WI 678,694,707,1117,2846,2847
- Marriage: Wright Parkins about 1867 694
- Died: 8 Jan 1937, Hoople, ND aged 88
+-BIOGRAPHY OF MRS. WRIGHT PARKINS-PIONEER MOTHER
As submitted by Mrs. R. J. Woods. (daughter Ella)
Angeline Brandt was the daughter of Eli and Mary Brandt of Holland-Dutch descent. She was born September 15, 1848, someplace in PA. Early in her years the family moved to Iowa, thence to Minnesota near Pine Island. The valley in which they lived was called Pumpkin Hollow, or Pumpkin Holler, as the natives called it. They were pioneers of Minnesota.
Angeline's first home was a huge log house with a cook stove in one end of it and a fireplace in the other, and the sleeping quarters were upstairs. Besides the farm, her father owned a sugar bush (grove) about a mile from the farm. She often reiterated her experiences and activities in the operations at the sugar camp, told of tapping the trees and gathering sap and boiling it down, thereby making their year's supply of brown sugar, and also making the sap into maple sugar cakes. Her mother carded, spun, and wove all the clothing for a family of twelve children, and she also wove cloth for bedding. The cloth was made in two colors, was home dyed, and was called linsey. They also had a little flax patch, which she helped with the wool and was called linsey-woolsey. This was their "dress-up" material. All clothing and bedding was made by hand and she became very competent with the needle.
The little stone schoolhouse across the way afforded the only place for their recreations or amusements such as taffy pulls, singing school, and spelling contests, in which Angeline was the champion speller at the age of 18. She was often called on in other districts to compete and always defeated the opponent. She also told the story of the peril they were in during the Sioux Indian massacre of August 20, 1862. their home was only a few miles from that terrible onslaught and were raids took place. One evening they heard a strange noise and her father ordered the family all up stairs. With his gun he watched all night at the head of the stairs while the children fell asleep, but the noise continued while her father kept on his vigil. On investigation in the morning they found a bat entangled in the lightening rod.
Angeline was about fourteen years old when the Civil War was declared. One of her oldest brothers was killed in action at the beginning of the war, and later another was killed. Her girlhood sweetheart also died of wound received while he was in battle.
About this time another boy, Wright Parkins, living in the state of Wisconsin, enlisted in Co. "K" 16th Wisconsin Vol. Infantry, and after two years in the service his parents came to Minnesota, and settled in "Pumpkin Holler" where they were neighbors of the Brandt family. Wright was granted a furlough and came home. It was then that Angeline met the man she later married. They corresponded during the remainder of the war, and he came home with an honorable discharge. They were married about a year later at Rochester, MN, November 9, 1867. They made the trip in a lumber wagon, stayed overnight and came home the next day. Angeline's wedding dress was of a dark red delaino, and her bonnet was black straw. They settled on a little forty acre farm about two and one-half miles from Pine Island where their first three children were born -- Effie R. (August 7, 1868); Ella C. (July 23, 1870) and Eli G. "Dee" (September 10, 1873). After five years of trying to make a living they traded their little farm for a larger one at Kellogg, MN, where they raised grain, hogs, and cattle. Mr Parkins had a contract of cutting oak wood for the Railroad Co. With an ax, maul, and iron wedge he cut and split a cord a day, which sold for one dollar a cord. Mrs. Parkins did all her own sewing by hand, also took in sewing. She got twenty-five cents for making a man's shirt, and thirty-five cents for a pair of trousers.
Two more children were born at Kellogg, MN -- Thomas (August 11, 1876) and Orpha (August 19, 1879). In 1879 and 1880, there was a spirit aroused among the neighbors to go West where government land could be had free; this family was among those who were determined to go. One of Mrs. Parkins brothers (Mason) had gone ahead in 1879; so they knew where they were going. After selling what they could they kept a team of horses and a wagon, the clothing and bedding, started for Sweden, Dakota Territory, May 10, 1880. It was a little inland town consisting of a general store, hotel, a land office, and a blacksmith shop. It was named in honor of the Swedish settlement near where the little town of Nash is now situated.
In this little caravan were J.C. Cliff and his wife (Cora Mae Hostetter, niece of Angeline) , and E. D. Hostetter (Eli Daniel Hostetter, nephew of Angeline) along with Mr. and Mrs. Parkins and family. (Cora and Eli where the children of Manassas and Lucinda (Brandt) Hostetter.) They carried horse feed and their own provisions and Mr. Parkins had a coop of chickens, four hens and a rooster, strapped on top of the wagon. Nothing very eventful happened until one night they camped at St. Cloud and the sheriff warned them that horse thieves were operating in the vicinity. The men alternately watched all night, but nothing happened, but the little dog barked continuously all the time. At Fargo a blind horse became untied and fell into the Red River. The three men worked all night trying to get him and he was lassoed about three miles down the river from where he fell in. After being fed and rubbed down he seemed none the worse for his experience and was able to journey along.
For all the years Mrs. Parkins had experienced in sewing by hand, she had just purchased a new sewing machine, which she hated to leave behind. They took that with them along with a large family Bible, her accordion, a clock, a lamp, a clothes wringer, a rolling pin, and a few choice dishes packed all in bedding in a large box. It weighed 300 pounds and was shipped by railroad to Grand Forks where it was picked up when they arrived there. It was from then on that the trouble began. Their road to follow -- just tracks in a north-westerly direction, and there was water and mire everywhere. They could go only a short distance before the wagons would go down to the hubs and the cargo had to be carried to higher ground or dry knolls. It took 9 days to go from Grand Forks to their destination. On June 1, 1880, Mr. Parkins had only six dollars left and a wife and five children to provide for, very much discouraged and disheartened with the whole outlook. The first thing he did was to trade the horses for oxen as he had no provisions for them. Mrs. Parkins wiped her eyes on her apron and the older children cried as their faithful old team left them -- they had never seen oxen before.
Their new home was a large log house which the brother (Mason) had erected on his own land. It had no door, window frame or roof. Horse blankets were hung at the door and windows at night, and some brush and prairie grass covered a corner for a roof over the part where some crude beds were nailed to the wall. Under this shelter they huddled when it rained. It had the ground for a floor, and twice a week grass was mowed and spread over it for a carpet, this was gathered up and burned when the fleas got too bad.
Mrs. Parkins first stove was a little sheet-iron affair with one hole to cook on and a little oven that baked one loaf of bread at a time. The stovepipe extended through the opening of the window, but Mother Parkins had a heart nearly as big as her stove and she never turned away anyone away that needed something to eat. Sometimes flour wasn't obtainable -- it was consumed by the settlers before more could be shipped so she had to sift the corn meal from her brother's horse feed. From this she made corn "pone", a kind of corn bread. Her little family had no milk, butter or they wouldn't eat the fat pork that came packed in rock salt, and some of them wouldn't eat the corn pone or pancakes. Mr. Parkins often carried a sack of flour two and one-half miles on his shoulder from the little town, the children trudging along carting the other groceries. They occasionally had a nickel to spend and thoughtfully considered how the should spend it as there was no candy, fresh fruit, cold drinks, or ice cream. They usually bought five cents worth of raisins or prunes. The groceries were wrapped in very heavy brown paper. This paper was saved in case of croup. She often had occasion to use it, as little Tommy often had attacks of it. A picture is very memorable yet by the older children being aroused from their sleep at midnight by the rasping bark of little Tommy crying, and their mother in night attire, holding a large piece of brown paper with lard and smoking tobacco over the old kerosine lamp, which when hot wrapped around the little boys body which gave great relief. Mr Parkins never used tobacco, so his job was to run to the nearest neighbors to get some. Mrs. Parkins successfully nursed her family through a siege of scarlet fever without the aid of a physician, as there were none nearer than Grand Forks. In 1881 diphtheria broke out among the settlers and took a toll of lives from most of the families, but Mrs. Parkins kept her family strictly secluded so they all escaped the dreadful malady. Many of the neighbors consulted her in the time of sickness, and she usually assisted in numberless homes where the stork made his visits.
Mr. Parkins first crop in the fall of 1880 was from four acres of wheat that the brother had put in for them on the land now owned by R. A. Swanson. He had 74 bushels of wheat which gave the family their flour and seed for another year. A load of it was taken to St. Joe, someplace where Cavalier is now located. That fall Mr. Parkins got money from his creditors in Minnesota, and prosperity began to rise. He built a comfortable log house, equipped it with a good stove and other necessary furniture, and made a good floor. He traded one of his oxen for a cow, and made a little sod barn. Mrs. Parkins raised 40 chickens from the eggs of her four hens besides the few eggs she used. An egg seemed to her almost as valuable as a gold nugget.
There was no school for the children the summer of 1880, so the two oldest girls were sent back to Pine Island where their grandparents cared for them during the winter. The next summer a neighbor girl - Fanny Irish - was hired for a two months term, held in a vacant log house, while a log school house was being erected on the farm now owned by R. J. Woods. Addie Franzier, ex-senator L. J. Frazier's oldest sister was the teacher.
In the winter of 1881 a saw mill went into operation on the river where Jens Knoff owns the property and Mrs. Parkins baked bread and other culinary products for the mill's crew. Mr. Parkins sold his other ox for their meat.
The settlers cut logs and had them sawed into material for better houses and barns and in 1882 Mr. Parkins erected a frame dwelling which stood for many years, but was consumed by fire in 1938.
On January 30, 1882 their sixth child, a boy named Leo was born and in due time four more followed: Ada (June 2, 1886); Una (July 25, 1888); Ruth (December 29, 1891); and Eva (October 10, 1893). Mrs Parkins spent all her life on the old farm except about ten years in Los Angeles, California and about six years in Hoople, where she passed away after a short illness of a few hours due to a stroke. She was a member of the M.E. Church and internment was made in the Hoople cemetery where her husband and oldest daughter and oldest son were also buried.
***Also from the Walsh county history
From Walsh Heritage : Mrs Wright (Angeline) Parkins Biography
Orpha, born in 1879, married Joseph Anderson in 1898. They farmed in Section 25, Glenwood Township, where their daughter-in-law, Grace still lives. They had four children: Lois of Battlecreek, Mich.: Lynn, deceased, lived on the home farm; Eva, Robbinsdale, Minn; and Vernon, who died in the service of his country. Joseph died in 1921 and Orpha in 1969. both are buried in the Hoople Cemetery.
Rarely have I seen such inconsistancies in describing places of births on the census records as what has been encountered here with the family of Wright and Angeline Parkins...
Father born England and New York??
mother born Wisconsin? New York?
children born in Minnesota after the family had moved to the Dakotas??
Also, the 1900 census indicates only 10 children and all still living so there must be some inconsistancies with the names of the children on the census records as well..
Perhaps Orpha Mary Parkins is the "Eske Parkins" on the 1880 census?
Are Eli and Thomas the same child?
Perhaps there were more than 10 children born in this family..
It is hard to believe anything that they claimed when the census taker came around......jca
Noted events in her life were:
• Residence, 1870, Milton twp, Dodge County, Minn. 2846
• Residence, 1880, Drayton, Pembina County, Dakota Terr. 1115
• Residence, 1900, Farmington twp, Walsh County, N. Dakota. 694
• Residence, 1910, Hoople, Walsh County, North Dakota. 2847
• Residence, 1920, Hoople, Walsh County, North Dakota. 678
Angeline married Wright Parkins, son of George Parkins and Ann Garlick, about 1867.694 (Wright Parkins was born in Sep 1843 in Charlesworth, Derbyshire, England 694,707,1117,2614,2615,2846,2847 and died on 11 Oct 1912 in Hoople, ND.)