Benton County
Benton County Various Records
Dr. M. T. Chastain of Marshall, a former Benton Countian, wrote the following letter to Mr. Fristoe in 1917, concerning the Parks family and others in the area: I knew Judge Samuel Parks and every member of his family. We were frequent visitors to their hospitable home, as they were to ours. We may not be aware that when my father and mother and their two children--Mrs. Sandidge and myself--came to this state, we spent some time in the neighborhood of the Perrys, Garretts, Walls, Fewells, Coopers and Drapers (and a splendid community it was, too) before we visited my father’s uncle, Jacob Chastain on Clear Creek in Benton County. Judge Parks and the Chastains were neighbors and warm personal friends. How well can I remember how Mrs. Parks would feed us little folks on goodies between meals. And her “dinners?surpassed in menu and elegance those of Delmonico in New York and on one occasion, while taking dinner at this noted hostelry, a friend said to me: “Did you ever partake of such a sumptuous repast?? My reply was: “Yes--even better at the home of Judge Parks in Missouri.? My father purchased the Dr. Purnell farm some four or five miles east of Judge Mark Fristoe’s, your grandfather, and my mother held her membership in the Clear Creek Baptist Church, then located between Judge Parks?and the Chastain’s, some three miles west of your father’s, Mr. Henson Fristoes, making it some seven or eight miles to church. My mother would always go horseback and take me behind her to the business meetings on Saturday, as well as those on Sunday. On one occasion I met Judge Parks there, and we were both outdoors (Saturday) and he had me to sit down by him. He said, “Tandy, are you going to school now?? “No,?I said, “There is no school near us,?nor had I ever attended school a day until after I was ten years old. “You can’t read, can you?? “Oh yes, I can read in McGuffey’s third reader, and spell every word in Webster’s old elementary spelling book by heart.? ”Do you study arithmetic?? “Yes, I am in addition, multiplication.? He then got a walnut, hickory, and oak leaf--it being in the timber--and requested me to name each, which I did. He asked me to explain the difference, securing two or three different kinds of grass, requested me to name them. Then gathering several wild flowers requested me to name them. I had often been in crowds of men but this was the first man of any prominence, aside from homefolks, who had taken me in on such familiar and confidential terms. I told my mother about it, and it pleased her very much. Said she, “Judge Parks is a very highly cultured gentleman, always treat him with due courtesy and respect, pattern after him and you can learn much, and be greatly benefited by his advice and example.? His oldest daughter who married Mr. Spencer, like your mother (Miss Davidson) before her marriage, would frequently spend the weekend at our home. It was a most remarkable coincidence to me that Mr. Spencer and Mr. Fristoe would visit us on Saturday evening after the ladies came, remaining over night, accompanying them home on Sunday evening, but when I became of more mature years, I thought I could solve the mystery.
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