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Parks, Samuel C.

Born: 1820-XX-XX Middlebury, Vermont

Died: 1917-02-08 Kansas City, Missouri

Flourished: Logan County, Illinois

Samuel C. Parks, attorney, moved with his family to Indiana in 1821, when his father opened an academy in the town of Madison. Parks attended his father's academy, then earned an A.B. degree from Indiana University in 1838. He relocated in 1840 to Springfield, Illinois, where he read law and was admitted to the bar, then settled in Logan County in the mid-1840s. Parks taught school in Elkhart in 1845, moved to Mount Pulaski in 1848 when it became county seat, and relocated to the new county seat of Lincoln in 1856. He and Abraham Lincoln encountered each other frequently at trial in the Logan County Circuit Court. He served as Logan County Commissioner of Schools, 1849 to 1855, and represented the county in the Illinois House of Representatives, 1855 to 1856. A Whig and later a Republican, Parks was a delegate to the 1856 and 1860 Republican National Conventions, and at the latter supported Lincoln’s candidacy by canvassing the delegates from his native Vermont. In 1860, he was living in Lincoln and owned $9,000 in real property, with a personal estate valued at $1,000. In 1863, Lincoln appointed Parks associate justice for the territory of Idaho. Parks married Elizabeth A. Turley in 1853, and at the time of his death was survived by four children.

Lawrence B. Stringer, History of Logan County Illinois (Chicago: Pioneer, 1911), 1:324-25, 398, 401; W. D. Howells, Life of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1938), vi-vii; Register of the Graduates of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 1899), 5; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Mount Pulaski, Logan County, IL, 177; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 17 November 1853, 3:2; For Lincoln’s cases involving Parks, search Participant, “Parks, Samuel C.,” Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis, et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Lincoln, Logan County, IL, 324; David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Touchstone, 1995), 248; Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1887), 13:223, 275; The Kansas City Star (MO), 8 February 1917, 5:3. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.