Parks, Gavion D. A.

Born: 1817-XX-XX New York

Died: 1895-XX-XX Joliet, Illinois

Alternate name: Park

Born in Ontario County, New York, Gavion D. A. Parks was an attorney, newspaper editor, judge, public servant, and Republican. He was admitted to the bar in New York City in 1841, and moved to Illinois the next year. In February 1848, he married Lucretia Story, with whom he eventually had two children. By 1849, he was living in Lockport, Illinois and editing the Will County Telegraph, a politically independent newspaper. Later that year, voters elected him county judge. He ceased being the Telegraph's editor when he moved to Joliet in 1850 to assume his judgeship. There, he also began a law practice with Nelson D. Elwood as his partner. In the election of 1854 he ran as an anti-Nebraska candidate, and voters elected him to the Illinois House of Representatives. In 1856, voters elected him to the Illinois Senate as a Republican. Between 1854 and 1860, he also served on the board of directors for the Illinois Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb in Jacksonville, Illinois. He was financially comfortable by 1860, owning $14,000 in real and personal property. In 1864, Governor Richard Yates appointed Parks commissioner of the Illinois State Penitentiary.

Souvenir of Settlement and Progress of Will County, Ill. (Chicago: Historical Directory, 1884), 156-58, 329-30, 480; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Will County, 3 February 1848, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Franklin William Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879, vol. 6 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910), 227; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Joliet, Will County, IL, 442; Gravestone, Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet, IL.