White County INGenWeb


CHARLES K. PARMELEE is a native of Chicago, Ill., and is one of the four children born to Frank and Adeline (Whitney) Parmelee - Adeline, John, Frank and Charles. The father of Charles was born in New York in August, 1816. In 1853, he began operating the first omnibus line in Chicago, and about 1856-57 he established the first street-car line in that city. He began the omnibus line with a half-dozen omnibuses and as many wagons; he was accommodating and energetic, afterward employing seventy-five omnibuses and the same number of wagons, 250 men and 300 horses. This was one of the most extensive omnibus lines in the world. Charles, in his youth, attended school in Chicago, Racine, Wis., and New Haven, Conn. He was engaged with his father for several years. In 1879, be purchased the Meadow Lake Farm, on Grand Prairie, three and a half miles south of Wolcott, and containing 1,700 acres as fine a stretch of land as can be found. Here, he has erected model buildings, with blacksmith, carpenter and harness shops, hennery, milk-barn, implement house, and a dwelling for the employees; he has also erected a model cattle-barn. with which farmers in Indiana and adjoining States are familiar, many having Come long distances to view and take pattern from it in building their own. It was designed by Mr. Parmelee and erected by his chief carpenter, Mr. Thomas W. Pugh. [A full description of this barn may be found in the chapter on West Point Township.] Mr. Parmelee employs from ten to twelve bands in winter and from sixteen to twenty in summer, Patrick Condon being foreman and overseer of the farm. Mr. Parmelee makes a specialty of breeding Hereford cattle, possessing several head valued at $1,000 per bead, and is Vice President of the American Hereford Breeders' Association; he has constantly from 400 to 500 of these cattle, of the finest that can be procured here or abroad. Mr. Parmelee purposes to build a grand residence in due time, the elegance and commodiousness of which we can conjecture, if not describe.

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