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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HORACE K. PARSONS, whose portrait* appears on the page opposite and an outline of whose course in life as a very capable man of business and a patriotic citizen of the Republic is given below, died after a lingering illness, in Florence, Mass., on June 8, 1891, at fifty-six years of age. His widow, Mrs. Sarah A. Parsons, still resides at the pleasant home in this village where they had lived together nearly twenty years. Mr. Parsons was born in Enfield, Conn., and was a son of Josiah and Lucy (Markham) Parsons, and a grandson of Josiah, Jr., and Demias (Kellogg) Parsons. His grandparents had one son and two daughters; and the son, Josiah Parsons, Jr., died in 1845, in the prime of life, leaving two sons, Russell D. and Horace K., and one daughter, Mrs. Fidelia Fairman, of Enfield, Conn. Russell D. Parsons died in 1883, leaving three sons and a daughter. He was a painter by trade, and met his death by a fall while engaged at his work.

Horace K. Parsons received his education at Wilbraham Academy, and taught school a few terms in early life. After his marriage he settled in Thompsonville, Conn., where he lived until he volunteered for service in the Civil War in the fall of 1861. He entered the Tenth Connecticut Regiment, of which Henry Clay Trumbull was Chaplain, and served at first in the ranks, but was afterward detailed as Commissary Sergeant and later was promoted to the position of Quartermaster of the regiment. He was present at the surrender of Lee, being soon after joined by his wife at Richmond, and was mustered out at Hartford, Conn., in August, 1865, having served about four years. In January, 1866, he came to Florence, Mass., as agent for the Florence Mercantile Company, which he managed successfully for ten years, the company then closing up its affairs. Mr. Parsons continued in mercantile business during the remainder of his life. His marriage with Miss Sarah A. Levitt was solemnized on March 4, 1860.

Mrs. Parsons is a daughter of William and Agnes (Hurd) Levitt, and was born in England. Her parents and an uncle came to this country about 1842, and settled in South Hadley, from which place they afterward removed to Thompsonville, Conn. Her father was a manufacturer of textile fabrics. Mrs. Parsons has two sisters and four brothers, namely: Elizabeth, the wife of Clifford Parsons, living in Bristol, Conn.; George Levitt, who served in the Civil War, married in Virginia, and has two children; Thomas Levitt, living in Bristol, Conn.; Robert Levitt, residing in Westerly, R.I.; Mary, who married William Fulton, of Florence, Mass.; and Willie Levitt, of Ellington, Conn. Their mother died at fifty-three years of age, and their father twenty years later, in 1887, at seventy-seven years of age. Their remains rest in Windsorville cemetery, two miles from their home at Broad Brook, Conn.

Mr. and Mrs. Parsons became the parents of eight children. They lost their only daughter in infancy and a son Freddie at the age of twenty-one months. The six living children are as follows: Lincoln Horace Parsons, who was born on the day of President Lincoln’s inauguration, is married, and is engaged in business as a meat dealer in Florence; Charles O. Parsons, the successor to his father in trade and at one time Postmaster of Florence, who married Miss Mary Dilworth, of Belfast, Me., and has one daughter; Royal A. Parsons, unmarried, residing at home; George K. Parsons, a plumber and tinsmith in Springfield, Mass., who married Miss Lucy German; Harry M. Parsons, a young man nineteen years of age, at home and engaged in the jeweller’s trade; and Robert F. Parsons, a promising lad of fifteen years, attending school.

Mr. Parsons was a stanch Republican. He served as Alderman, and was Postmaster at the time of his death. Fraternally, he was a member of the Masonic Order, and also of the William L. Baker Post, No. 86, Grand Army of the Republic. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he was one of the founders, the first meetings being held at his home. Mrs. Parsons is now a firm believer in Christian Science. She is a woman of fine physical and remarkable mental ability. Her husband was a clear-headed business man, and left a goodly estate. In 1873 he erected their fine home on his little fruit farm, which he purchased soon after coming to Florence, and the store, post-office building, and substantial barn were all built before his death.

*Editor's note: Portrait was included in the original printed book.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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