Toronto neighbourhood: Community of Fairbank, former city of York.
William Abbot Parsons (1844 - 1923) PDF Print E-mail

William Abbot Parsons (b. November 26, 1844 - d. March 23, 1923) was the son of Matthew Parsons, a carpenter and millwright, and Elizabeth Sophia McKay. William Abbot Parsons was married to Annie Jane Bridgland on June 3, 1868 and they had six children. After Annie Jane died on March 9, 1883 William Abbot Parsons married a second time to Sarah Jane Geddes on September 5, 1885 and they had no children. Although the assessment notices identify Parsons as a farmer, he was appointed in December 1892 as a Justice of the Peace. The Parsons farm property was known as Fairbank and various local histories identify this as the source of the name for the local post office and neighbourhood. Caroline Mathilda (William Abbot Parsons' aunt) married Joseph Watson who served as Deputy Reeve of the Township of York from 1872-1877. Matthew Parsons donated property at the south-east corner of his farm for the construction of Fairbank Methodist Church in 1889. Bridgland Avenue in North York was named also for Annie Jane Bridgland's family. William Abbot Parson's son Clark Bentom married Maggie "Maud" Ada Snider on April 27, 1910 and had four children. The first born child was Catherine Edith Parsons, the donor of these records. Maggie Snider's father, Henry Snider was a well known Pennsylvania-German settler who emigrated to York County and whose 1875 log home was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village in 1966.

In the City of Toronto Archives:

Fonds consists of 7 journals written by farmer and justice of the peace, William Abbot Parsons. These document his daily work and home activities on the family farm, Fairbank, located near Eglinton Avenue and Dufferin Street in the Township of York. These journals reveal the yearly flow of farm activities through each season and the effect of weather conditions on such operations as hunting, fence building, trips to the mill, planting, and harvesting. The journals contain handwritten daily entries that detail grain, livestock and supply purchases, as well as grain, livestock and dairy product sales to and from local businesses. The records also provide details of the business and family dealings with government, schools, church, and neighbours.

Each volume was originally interleafed with diverse documents, correspondence, and pieces of ephemera retained by Parsons. These include property assessment notices, a report card, school inspection report, Justice of the Peace Oath of Office, published government financial statements and reports, bills of sale and receipts for grain, livestock and supplies, as well as newspaper clippings of poetry and anecdotes, and articles on politics, the temperance movement and farming. The small quantity of correspondence generally relates to financial transactions.

Fonds also includes 1 account book that details the probate of the estate of Matthew Parsons, who died in 1901. Payments made to beneficiaries from the estate continued during the period of 1901-1910. This volume also includes account details for mortgages held by W.A. Parsons for properties on lot 18 Eastside of Yonge Street, 1537 Dufferin Street, lots 9 and 10 Dufferin Street and a property on Craighurst. Also of note is a list of donations collected from homes in the area of Yonge and Eglinton for the Fred Victor Mission Society, dated 1913 and found on page 176 of this volume.

Fonds also contains a privately published history of the Parsons family from 1774 to 1985.