Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Jahial Parmly

This biography is taken from Biographical History of Northeastern Ohio, Embracing the counties of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake; Lewis Publishing Company, 1893.

Transcribed and submitted by Becky Falin, 1996.

Jahial Parmly, a wealthy farmer of Perry township, Lake county, Ohio, was born in Augusta, Georgia, in April, 1830.

The Parmly family are descended from a noble Belgium house named Parmelie. Manrice de Parmelie was a prominent reformer of the sixteenth century, who, about 1567, fled to Holland to escape the persecutions of the Duke of Alva, his estate being confiscated. There he founded the house of Von Parmelee. His third son, Johanes, became Baron of Batavia. In the list of passengers for America, on the ship Elizabeth and Anne, is the name of John Parmelee, aged twenty. This was the first ship to enter the harbor at New Haven, Connecticut, 1635. John Parmelee is supposed to be the progenitor of all the Parmly families in America, and the subject of our sketch belongs to the sixth generation in this country. Many of the Parmlys have occupied honorable and useful positions in life, and several have been ministers of the gospel. The spelling of the name was changed in 1810.

Eleazar Parmly, the grandfather of Jahial, was born in Vermont. He was a farmer by occupation. In 1816 he removed to New York State, and in March, 1817, came to Lake county, Ohio, making the journey with horses and wagon on the ice along the lake shore. Near Ashtabula the ice broke through with him and he came near drowning. His first settlement in the county was made on the river road in Perry township, and a year later he moved to the bank of the lake. Here he built a cabin in the woods, and in true pioneer style began life on the frontier. He had cleared some land and was making an impress on his surroundings, when his untimely death occurred, the result of a kick from a horse, July 4, 1825. His son, Jahial, the father of our subject, was born in Vermont, July 14, 1799, and was eighteen years when he came with his parents to Ohio. He was large and strong and full of ambition, and the western life had for him many attractions. The Indians were numerous here then, and the forest abounded in bears and wolves. Young Parmly was noted in all the country round as an expert wood-chopper. The stump of a black-walnut tree he cut down when he first came here was still to be seen a few years ago. He helped to build the first sawmill on the creek here, the iron for which the settlers carried on their backs from Grandon, on the Grand river, near Painesville.

In 1821 the father of our subject went to Boston to learn dentistry. After completing his studies he went South and began the practice of his profession in Georgia. His professional career there was one of marked success, and from time to time he came North and made investments in real estate in Ohio, until he owned 6,000 acres of land in different parts of the State. He finally settled in Painesville, where he spent the residue of his life, retired from active business, and died May 26, 1873. His wife, whose maiden name was Eliza A. Pleasants, was born in Richmond, Virginia, August 2, 1799, and died March 2, 1891, being nearly ninety-two years of age. They had nine children, six of whom - all sons - reached adult years, viz.: Jahial, James, Henry, Samuel, David and Leo. David is deceased. Henry and Samuel are wealthy real-estate dealers in Chicago. James lives in Painesville, and Leo in Florida.

Jahial Parmly spent part of his youthful days in the South. He attended school in Madison and Painesville, this county, and at the age of twenty-one entered the Baltimore Dental College. He practiced dentistry for four years. Leaving college, he located in Van Wert county, Ohio, where he was engaged in the lumber business until 1861. During that time he built the fourth steam sawmill in the county. From Van Wert county, Mr. Parmly came to his present location, where he has 500 acres of land and is engaged in general farming. He has fifty acres of muck onion land, on which he raises immense quantities of onions. He also owns a gristmill on Harper creek. Mr. Parmly was married July 5, 1855, to Martha J. Priddy, a native of Fayette county, Ohio. They had four children, as follows: Eliza A., now Mrs. Cramblett; Augusta G., now Mrs. Whitney; and Eugene P. and Cecil F, twins, the former having died at the age of fifteen years, and the latter at twenty-seven. Mrs. Parmly died February 16, 1892. Her grandfather, a resident of Fayette county, this State, lived to be 106 years old. Mr. Parmly's political views are in harmony with the principles advocated by the Republican party.

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