Among the leaders of the younger generation of agriculturists of Shelby County is Edmond Parrish, a breeder and driver of trotting horses, who resides within the environs of Shelby township. He is a son of James Parrish, and was born April 21, 1873. His father was born July 14, 1833 in the same county, and he was a son of Edmond Parrish, a native of Madison county Kentucky who married Martha Floyd, a woman of Scotch- Irish descent. His father was of Virginia.
The great-grandfather of the present Edmond Parrish was a native of Scotland, of Irish extraction, and settled in Virginia in the early days, and later located in Madison County, Kentucky, where he died. A large family of the Parrishes grew to maturity, and Edmond's grandfather was twice married. He was a great hunter and woodsman. He and his family came overland from Kentucky, driving a team composed of a horse and an ox, and located in Hendricks Township. Later they moved to Shelby Township, in section 36, and were among the very first settlers. Farmers of that section at that time hauled their grain overland to Cincinnati, Ohio and while on one of these trips he was run over by a wagon and died. The wife kept her little brood together until they grew up. There were six children, as follows: Lear, married twice, first to a Mr. Campbell, and later to Martin Stephens, one daughter of the second marriage, Kate Harris; Levi, farmer and drayman at Shelbyville, married and died in 1907; William, a soldier of the Mexican war and a farmer, married four times and was the father of five children; E. K. Parrish, known as "Kip", drove an ox team in 1849, through to California. He returned to Shelby County in later years and bought a farm, removing to near Kokomo in 1885, where he purchased land and still resides; he married, first, Nancy Swinford, who became the mother of five children: John W., a farmer and contractor and later a builder of railroads, died in Shelby County; Theodore, of Frankfort, Indiana, married Salle Stephens, and the following children were born to them: Harriet, deceased; Sarah, deceased; John B., teacher; Charles and Allen, North Vernon, Indiana; Cora, Alfred and Lettie; James F., father of Edmond.
James received what education he possessed from the little log school in the neighborhood. He was largely self-educated; he married Frances Clarke, of Shelby County, in 1855. She was the daughter of William Clarke and Mary Van Benthusen. Mrs. Clark's father was the first representative from Shelby County to the State Legislature and assisted in revising the statutes of the state with Thomas A. Hendricks. He also helped to lay out the pike roads of the state and blaze the way through from Shelbyville to Columbus, Indiana. He owned a large farm, and was an influential man in the county. He died of cholera when that plague swept Indiana. William Clarke was born in Cheshire, England, and he came to America. He taught in an academy in England, and was considered a learned man. When he arrived in America he located in Baltimore, and later in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. He went to Jackson Township, Shelby County, and took up government land, which he steadily improved. It was here his wife died. There were six children born to the union: Frances, mother of Edmond Parrish; Elizabeth, widow of Isaac Watson, Kokomo, Indiana; Mary Ann married James Green, of Shelby Township; Margaret married William Chesser, deceased; she is now a resident of Washington Township; John, soldier of Civil War, deceased, married Kansas Doran; William, deceased, who married Phoebe Osborne, who now lives on the old home place.
After his marriage in 1856, James Parrish went to Shelbyville and engaged in the hardware business. In 1862 he removed to Addison Township and obtained eighty acres of land. Eventually he erected the farm home where Edmond now lives and succeeded in adding one hundred thirty acres to his holdings. He died May 18, 1907, and his wife in August 1906. He was known as a pioneer breeder of fine horses and Poland China swine. In politics he was a Democrat, but never held office. The children born to the union were: Eliza, who married Ezekiel Jackson, is the mother of one child, Ora, they lived in Washington Township; Dr. J. Willard [Parrish], of Shelbyville, prominent physician, a graduate of the Medical College of Indianapolis and Rush Medical School of Chicago; he is at present head of the City Board of Health, of Shelbyville; William L., a teacher at the age of seventeen years; farmer and gardener at Flat Rock, Shelby County; he married May Billingsby, and has two children, Lawrence and Sadie; Mary Ellen married William Gray, of Addison township; farmer, three children, Nora, Bertha and Bessie; George, single, for many years [a] teacher in county schools; Fran, now of Sacramento, California, and connected with the Union Pacific Railroad; he married a Miss Lamasters; Edmond, farmer in Shelby Township. He has always lived on the farm he now owns, and was educated in the common schools of the county. He and his brother, George, are partners in farming the one hundred fifty-five acres of the old homestead. Edmond is a lover of fine trotting horses and breeds and deals in this grade. He has made the rounds of the various county fairs, and always drives his own racers. He is favorably known over the county and has many warm friends. He belongs to the Odd Fellows'Lodge at Smithland. The other member of the family is Eva, who married Elmer Hurst, of Shelbyville; they have five children - Marie, Ethel, Leo, Carl and James. The Parrish family is one of the pioneers of Eastern Indiana, and all the members are esteemed as good citizens.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Edward Chadwick.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming