Terry A. Parkinson. In the management of the affairs of the counties of Oklahoma, one of the most important departments is the office of county clerk, in the direction of which there are required advanced abilities of an executive nature. These are possessed in a prominent degree by the present county clerk of Wagoner County, Terry A. Parkinson, a resident of Wagoner since 1890 and a citizen who has displayed progressive views and energetic activities both as a business man and a public official.
Mr. Parkinson is a native of Coffey County, Kansas, and was born May 12, 1866, a son of James and Emma Jane (Randell) Parkinson. His father, born in Knox County, Illinois, May 18, 1840, was a small lad when taken from the Prairie State to Iowa, and there he was reared amid agricultural surroundings, being given ordinary educational opportunities, such as were offered by the district schools. In 1855, when but fifteen years of age, he left the parental roof, determined to enter upon a career of his own, and made his way to Kansas, where, being ambitious and energetic, he soon secured employment, and for several years was engaged in teaming across the plains to New Mexico, for the pioneer firm of Fuller & Carney, for which concern he subsequently was engaged in buying cattle for the United States military posts in Kansas. While engaged in the latter occupation, Mr. Parkinson first visited what is now Eastern Oklahoma. When the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad was being constructed in what was then Indian Territory, James Parkinson became a sub contractor in the construction of this line, and in that capacity built a stretch of twenty miles of track. Later he continued to be identified with this road in other capacities, principally in supplying railroad ties. Deciding to enter mercantile lines, Mr. Parkinson established a general store at Honey Springs, near where Checotah now is, but subsequently removed to the old Creek Indian Agency, where he also was proprietor of a mercantile establishment, continuing to conduct that venture until removing his family from LeRoy, Kansas, to Muskogee, in 1874. In 1882 he went to Springfield, Missouri, but soon decided no opportunities were to be found there as they were in the newly-opened country, and in the next year returned to Indian Territory and located at Red Fork. In 1892 he established his residence at Wagoner, Oklahoma, and here has continued to make his home, being alert and energetic in spite of his seventy-five years. His business experiences have been of a varied character and wide in their range, but in each line he has maintained a high reputation for integrity and probity, and he still remains a respected citizen and is numbered among Oklahoma ’s worthy and venerated pioneers.
Terry A. Parkinson obtained a common school education, was reared on the home farm in Kansas, and was eight years of age when his father removed the family to Muskogee. In January, 1890, following in his father’s footsteps, he established himself in business as a merchant at Wagoner, but after three years disposed of his interests in that direction and turned his attention to the handling of cattle„a venture in which he had engaged as a side line several years before, and which grew and developed to such an extent that it demanded his undivided attention. In this line he continued with varied success until his appointment, December 20, 1913, as county clerk, to fill a vacancy, and in 1914 he was chosen by the voters as his own successor in that office. In the discharge of his official duties, he has shown himself thoroughly competent and faithful, and his administration has been marked by many movements which have tended to strengthen the county’s prosperity as well as to conserve the interests of the taxpayers. His only public experience prior to his entering the county clerkship, was as mayor of Wagoner, a position in which he had served one term. Clerk Parkinson is a democrat. A Mason fraternally, he has filled all the chairs in the blue lodge, chapter and council, and is generally popular with his fellow-members in the order, as he is in all the other walks of life.
In 1891 Mr. Parkinson was married to Miss Addie Cobb, daughter of Joseph B. Cobb, of Wagoner. They have eight children, all living, and the two oldest daughters are married and each have two children.