James Franklin Parks was sturdy and ambitious youth of  nineteen years when he made the journey across the plains from Missiouri to California and virtualy six months represented the period of the long overland trip made with wagon and ox team.  Mr. Parks arrived in California in the year 1854, and he as one of a comparatively few of the pioneers who continued active alliance with  mining operations from the early days to the later period of present-day prosperity and progress.  In 1887 Mr. Parks became connected with the famous Kennedy mines, near Jackson, Amador County, California, and there he remained as manager and superintendent, until the time of his death, which occurred October 8, 1903.  His widow resides in San Francisco, and to her the publishers of this work are indebted for the data on which is based this brief tribute to the memory of her husband, one of the honored pioneers of Califonria.

Mr. Parks was born at Warsaw, Cooper County, Missouri, on the 9th of September, 1835, and thus he was sixty-nine years of age at the time of his death.  He was the second child in a family of nine children, and concerning the others only the briefest of record can here be given: Martha is deceased; Mrs. Mary Atkisson, a widow, still resides in Missouri;Almira is the widow of Richard Meltona nd resides in Lincoln County , Missouri; Emma and Julia are deceased, as is Alexander; Susan still lives in the old home town of Warsaw, Missouri; and Thomas is deceased.  Samuel and Christing parks, parents of the subject ot his memoir, were sterling  folk of prominence in their community in Missouri, the father having there owned and operated a large landed estate, having served as judge in his community and having been three times elected to teh Missouri Legislature.  Samuel Parks died in the year 1876, and his widow, surviiving him more than thrity yearss, was of venerable age at the time of her death in 1908.

James F. Parks received his youthful education in the schools of his native place and, as already noted in this context, he was nineteen years of age at the time of his arrival in California. For a brief period he was employed in the mining camps on Kings River, and thereafter he was connected in turn with the Pinetree Mine, in Bear Valley, Mariposa County, and the Gold Hill Mine in Nevada, of which latter he was foreman. In 1870 Mr. Parks joined in the gold stampede to White Pine, Nevada, and later he became foreman of Indian Valley Mine in Plumas County, California. In 1873 he became foreman of the Keystone mines in Amador County, where he continued his effective service in this capacity for a period of fourteen years. He then, in 1887, became associated with the Kennedy mines at Jackson, that county, where he held the office of superintendent at the time of his death. Mr. Parks took deep interest in all that concerned the progress and prosperity of the state to which he came as a pioneer, and his genial and noble personality gained to him a host of friends.

On the 8th of October, 1872, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Parks and Miss Mary Pheby, who survives him and who maintains her home in San Francisco. Mrs. Parks was a native of England, coming to Mariposa County, California, in early days with her parents, James and Elizabeth Pheby, the former being a mining man and continuing in that business all his life. Of the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Parks the eldest is Lillian, at home; Miss Ruth, at home; John Parks Davis, a junior in the University of California; and Janet, at school. Samuel Thomas, who married Josephine Orthman, of Stockton, is a prosperous farmer near Stockton. Mary Elizabeth is the wife of F. W. Bradley, president of the Alaska-Treadwell Gold Mining Company. Mr. and Mrs. Bradley have four sons: Worthen, attending the University of California; James Parks, at School; Sewall, at school; and John Davis, at school. James Franklin died in 1920, when about forty years of age. He was born in Amador City, Amador County, where he was known and loved by all. He was a prosperous and popular mining operator, associated with the Plymouth Gold Mining Company in Amador County. His life was so lived that his name will be recalled with appreciation and affection by his friends and associates, and his memory will long linger in their hearts.

transcribed by Tom Hilk- from:
History of the San Francisco Bay region
Chicago: American Historical Society, 1924,