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Obituaries - NY - 1915 - John Edward Parsons
Parsons, John Edward, died of pneumonia on January 16,
1915, at his residence, No. 30 East 36th Street, New York City. He
was born in New York October 24, 1829, a son of Edward Lamb
and Matilda (Clark) Parsons. He was a graduate of New York
University in the Class of 1848 (A.B.), (A.M., 1851), Honorary
A.M., Yale, 1851.
He married (1) November 5, 1856, Mary Dumesnil McIlvaine;
(2) March 12, 1901, Florence Van Cortlandt Bishop, daughter
of Benjamin N. Field and widow of David Wolfe Bishop.
Mr. Parsons was one of the most distinguished members of the
Bar in New York City, having been admitted in 1852, after studying
in the office of James W. Gerard. He entered into partnership
with Lorenzo B. Sheppard in 1854. In 1857 the firm name was
changed to Man & Parsons. In 1890 the name became Parsons,
Sheppard & Ogden and was re-organized in 1902, becoming Parsons,
Closson & McIlvaine. For many years Mr Parsons occupied a
most prominent place in the public eye and was identified with much
important litigation. He was one of the original members of the
Bar Association and its Counsel in Proceedings against the three
Judges, Barnard, Cordoza, and McCunn; also lawyer for the Managers
of the Impeachment of Judge Barnard.
Mr. Parsons was the legal counsellor of the American Sugar
Refining Company, one of the earliest Trusts, from the date of its
incorporation in 1891 to 1910. He won for this company the famous
Knight case, in which the Government attacked the right of the
American Sugar Refining Company, under the Sherman Anti-Trust
Law, to purchase a controlling interest in the E. C. Knight Company
of Philadelphia and other Sugar Concerns.
Mr. Parsons was one of the founders of General Memorial Hospital
for the treatment of Cancer and allied diseases and President
of the Woman's Hospital in the State of New York and President
of Cooper Union. He was a Director of the Metropolitan Trust
Company and Trustee of the Bank of Savings, a member of the
Signa Phi, the American Geographical Society, National Academy
of Design, American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan
Museum of Art; Ex-President of the Association of the Bar
of the City of New York.
Among the Clubs of which he was a member were the Metropolitan,
Century, University, Down Town Association, Riding, Players,
Turf and Field, and ex-President of the City Club.
In 1867 he was made a member of the Counsel of the New York
University and was President of its Alumni Association for several
years. The only public office Mr Parsons ever held was Assistant
to Mr. Edward M. Shepard, District Attorney.
Although a vestryman of the Protestant Episcopal Church at
Lenox, Massachusetts, where his country place "Stoneover" was
situated, he was a member of the Brick Presbyterian Church of
New York City and for several years a member of its session. President
of its Board of Trustees, and a member of the Presbyterian
Board of Home Missions.
To the Church at Lenox he gave a Parish House and built a
Memorial Church at New Lenox. He was interred in St. Helen's
Home for children near Lenox. At Rye, where he also resided, he
gave a public school, and, with a brother and cousin, he bought and
presented as a Village Hall to Rye, the Old Square House, an Inn
visited by Washington in the Revolutionary Days. As a memorial
to his family, which for many generations had lived in the Parish of
Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, England, he placed a window in the
old Church at Cubington.
Mr. Parson's funeral was held at the Brick Presbyterian Church
at 5:00 P. M., on Monday, January 18. He was interred at Lenox,
He is survivied by his widow, four daughters and a son, Herbert
Parsons, formerly a Congressman and at one time Chairman
of the Republican Committee. The daughters are Miss Mary Parsons,
Mrs. Edith P. Morgan, who married Dr. D. Percy Morgan,
Miss Gertrude Parsons and Mrs. Montgomery Hare. His son,
Herbert Parsons, married Miss Elsie Clews, daughter of Mr. Henry
Source: The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. XLVII, 1916
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