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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Richard Jones Parry

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 134-135 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The hope that led Richard Jones Parry to leave his native land and seek a home in America has been more than realized. He found the opportunities he sought, and making the most of them he has steadily worked his way upward, as a painter and decorator.

He was born in Bangor, one of the most important cities of Wales, on November 15, 1869, his parents being Edward Jones and Judith (Parry) Parry. Edward Jones Parry was also born in the city of Bangor, Wales, in 1844, and died in the same city in March, 1918. He was a painter and decorator. Owen Parry, paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was also a painter and decorator and lived and died in Bangor, and his wife, Catherine Parry, was born and died in Bangor. Judith (Parry) Parry, mother of Richard Jones Parry, was born in 1843, in Beathesta, Wales, and died in Bangor, Wales, in July, 1875. She was the daughter of Richard and Margaret (Parry) Parry, both of whom lived and died in Beathesta. Richard Parry was a slate quarryman, that section of the country being noted for its excellent slate.

Richard Jones Parry's early schooling was received in the public schools of Bangor, Wales. At the age of twelve he began the study of architecture, but on account of failing eyesight was forced to give up this work after a period of six months. He then began as an apprentice decorator and paperhanger and served his six years apprenticeship with Green & Company of Bangor. While serving his apprenticeship he joined the English navy, signing up for the period of twenty-one years, but had only served thirteen months when his father bought him out and he returned to Green & Company, and finished his apprenticeship. He then went to England and worked for the same firm as an improver. In 1889 Mr. Parry came to America and settled in Amsterdam, New York, where he worked at his trade for five years. In the spring of 1894 he came to Tribes Hill and since that time has continued in the decorating business.

On November 9, 1892, at Amsterdam, Richard Jones Parry was united in marriage to Miss Marion White Shearer, daughter of William and Jean (Rodgers) Shearer. She was born in Thornfield, Scotland, on July 26, 1870. William Shearer was born in Sterling, Scotland, and is now living in Tribes Hill, aged eighty-six years. Jean (Rodgers) Shearer was born in Thornhill, Scotland, and died in 1916 at Tribes Hill. She was the daughter of William and Charlotte (Drummond) Rodgers. William Rodgers was born in Scotland and died at Thornhill, Scotland, in November, 1881. His wife, Charlotte (Drummond) Rodgers, was also born in Scotland, and died in that country. Mrs. Parry is a member of the Presbyterian church of Tribes Hill and of its auxiliary society. In politics she is a republican.

Mr. and Mrs. Parry are the parents of five children: Jean was born on September 12, 1893, in Amsterdam, and received her education in the Tribes Hill public schools and at Fonda high school. On March 25, 1914, she was married to Roy P. Runkle of Tribes Hill, and they have one child, Marian Anna Runkle, born on January 3, 1919; Edward Richard Parry was born in Tribes Hill on March 2, 1898, was educated in the public schools at Tribes Hill and at Fonda high school, and was married on June 12, 1923, to Angeline Zacarias, and they have one child, Richard Edward Zacarias, born in March, 1924; Gilbert William Parry was born in Tribes Hill on September 16, 1900, was educated in the Tribes Hill schools and at the high school in Fonda, graduating in the class of 1900, and is now associated with Thomas McGibbon, contractor and builder at Amsterdam; Mildred Judith Parry was born in Tribes Hill, on September 20, 1904, and her early education was acquired in the Tribes Hill public school ahd afterward she attended the Reynolds Business College of Amsterdam. She is now doing clerical work for the Sidney Motor Sales Company of Amsterdam; John Gordon Parry was born on January 17, 1908, and after a course of study in the public schools of Tribes Hill is now a student in the high school at Amsterdam. Mr. Richard Jones Parry has one sister, Mrs. Jennie Parry Owens of Los Angeles, California, whose husband, Elias Owens, is a carpenter and builder. They have six children: Elias, Jennie, Mabel, Richard, Gladys and Edith Owens.

Richard Jones Parry was a trustee of District No. 1 of Mohawk for three years and has been a trustee of the Tribes Hill Fire Company since its organization. He is a member of Fort Hunter Lodge, No. 637, I. O. O. F., and of Schoharie Lodge, No. 125, Improved Order of Red Men, of Fort Hunter. His church associations are with the Presbyterian church at Tribes Hill. He is a republican and enjoys automobiling as a diversion. That the work of Mr. Parry as painter and decorator has met with general appreciation is evidenced by the many attractive residences not only in his home town of Tribes Hill but elsewhere.

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