F. W. Parrott

F. W. PARROTT. Probably no agency so molds public opinion as does the reputable newspaper, and on this account the editor of a journal of standing occupies a position of great accountability. It may matter little, perhaps, whether one can convince his next door neighbor of the value of his enlightened opinions, but when his audience numbers hundreds and thousands his effort become a force of momentous strength and solemn responsibility. That this is generally realized by the men who through special talents are called upon to accept such a position may be seen when they show not only the disposition to preserve the ethics of journalism, but, from their necessarily broad field of outlook, they lead the fleeting thought of the public aright and thereby help sustain law, order and stable government. Such a one is found in Frederick William Parrott, who is the able editor of the Dispatch-Republican at Clay Center, Kansas, and president of the Clay Center Publishing Company.

Frederick William Parrott was born in the Village of Wyke, County Surrey, England, February 12, 1865. His parents, Joseph and Emma (Belgrove) Parrott, were also of English birth, the father born in Buckinghamshire in 1832, and the mother in 1836. They were married in their native shire and came to the United States in 1885. The mother survives and resides at Lawrence, Kansas. The father was a farmer in England and after he brought his family to the United States and settled at Wakefield, in Clay County, Kansas, followed agricultural pursuits for two years or more but retired in 1888 and resided at Clay Center until his death which occurred in 1904. He was a man of liberal political ideas and identified himself with the republican party. Both he and wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

To Joseph Parrott and wife the following children were born: Frances Emily, who is the wife of Dr. R. A. Thrale, a practicing physician at Croydon, England; Agnes Mary, who is the wife of William Duffield, a farmer residing in San Luis Obispo, California; Frederick William; Jesse Isabel, who is the wife of A. H. Griesa, a horticulturist near Lawrence, Kansas; Philip Ernest, who is treasurer of the Battreall Shoe Company at St. Joseph, Missouri, Florence Emma, who married Professor Marshall Barber, a very distinguished scientist, who is now in the English Government service in the Malay Peninsula, and formerly was professor of bacteriology in the Kansas University at Lawrence and visited the Philippine Islands as a member of the sanitary commission for the United States Government; Edith May, who is the wife of J. S. Olds, a merchant at Delphos, Kansas; Percy John, who is a resident of Geneva, New York, is director of the entomological department of the New York Experiment Station; Alfred H., who resides at Fargo, North Dakota, is registrar of North Dakota Agricultural College; Margaret Louise, the wife of William Jeffreys, who is connected with the San Francisco Water Works Company and resides at Santa Rosa; and Thomas Arthur, who died in infancy.

Frederick William Parrott was educated in the public schools in County Sussex and Whitgift College at Croydon, where he spent three years, leaving then for the United States in 1885, and Clay County, Kansas, where he followed farming for one year. He then spent a year in an abstract office in Clay Center, after which, until 1907, he was engaged in a real estate and loan business. During this period he served as deputy revenue collector, under Senator Baker.

Mr. Parrott was twenty years old when he came to America and before many years had passed he was a naturalized citizen and thoroughly in accord with the principle of the republican party, with which he has been identified ever since and has served as chair, man of the republican county central committee. In 1907 he became the editor of the Daily Republican at Clay Center, and in June, 1914, when it was consolidated with the Daily Dispatch, one of the old papers of the state, he accepted the editorship of the Dispatch-Republican and has made of it a journal of influence far beyond this section of Kansas. It mainly circulates in Clay and surrounding counties but is frequently heard of much farther afield. It has a daily paid list of 1,450 subscribers, which is a large one for a city and district, in the interests of which it is issued. Mr. Parrott is president of the Clay Center Publishing Company, incorporated, of which P. M. Wickstrum is secretary and business manager. The plant and editorial office is situated on Lincoln Avenue, Clay Center. Mr. Parrott has additional business interests, in the way of property investments and fraternal organization responsibilities. He owns his residence on Crawford Street, a business block on Lincoln Avenue and a garage on Fifth Street, Clay Center, together with two farms in Clay County, aggregating 192 acres. For many years he has been officially identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and is past consul of Clay Center Camp No. 408, and present banker of the same, and for eleven years was a member of the board of auditors of the order. He belongs also to the Knights of Pythias, a member of Custer Lodge No. 19, and is past chancellor commander of the same.

Mr. Parrott married in 1915, at Fort Collins, Colorado, Miss Marie Emma Towse, a daughter of Charles H. Towse, who is in the sugar manufacturing business at Gering, in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska. The mother of Mrs. Parrott is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Parrott have one daughter, Dorothy Rae, who was born April 26, 1916 They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which Mr. Parrott is a member of the board of stewards and formerly served as a trustee. He has taken part in many public demonstrations, has served on many boards and committees, political, benevolent and social, and has been president of the Kansas Day Club.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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