The following, regarding Samuel Parks and his family, was extracted from the book, History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Boyd Crumrine, editor):
One of the earliest settlers within the territory that is now Cecil township was Samuel Parks, who, in the autumn of 1777, came over the Allegheny Mountains in search of land on which to make a home. He purchased of Matthew Rodgers for four hundred and fifty pounds a parcel of land in two drafts on Chartiers' waters, containing five hundred and sixty-five acres. The bill of sale, marked No. 8, is dated Dec. 7, 1777. After the purchase he returned to his home at Lancaster and prepared to remove his family. He was to have possession of the land March 2, 1778. John and James, his sons, were sent on in advance to build a cabin, clear the land, and put in a crop. Their sister, Isabella, went with them as housekeeper. After a home was prepared the rest of the family removed to the farm. The land was afterwards warranted and surveyed. A portion of it was named "Deer Park," and contained four hundred and six and a half acres. On the 28th of June, 1782, by virtue of a land-office warrant (No. 1773) and in consideration of eighty pounds there was granted to Samuel Parks a tract of land which was surveyed to him Feb. 2, 1786, as containing one hundred and eighty-six acres and seventy-five perches, adjoining Thomas Bracken; also a pre-emption warrant. On the 4th of September, 1786, the last tract was granted to John Parks, son of Samuel, and surveyed as "The Experiment," containing one hundred and seventy-five and seven-eighths acres, and deeded by Samuel and Margaret, his wife, Jan. 1, 1787; but in September following the patent was made out to Samuel Parks. He lived on the "Deer Park" tract till his death in 1794, aged sixty-five years. His wife survived him till 1808. Their children were John, James, Mary, Isabella, and Hugh.
John Parks, son of Samuel, was born Dec. 18, 1758, in Donegal, Lancaster Co., Pa. In 1787 he married Sarah, daughter of John McDowell, of Strabane township, and settled on part of the Park farm. On the 20th of April, 1809, John Park purchased the homestead in Cecil township, and removed to the farm. Of his children, Rebecca became the wife of James Rankin, and for some years lived in Pittsburgh, and later removed to Washington, where she died. James Rankin now resides in Denver, Col. William, a son of John and Sarah Parks, was born July 15, 1797. In 1831 he purchased three hundred acres of land in Peters township, and on the 29th of October, 1833, married Jane Law and settled on his farm. He was interested in sheep-raising and wool-growing. Soon after his marriage he purchased three hundred acres of land in Cecil township, including the tract "Experiment." He was thirty years a trustee of Jefferson College, and for some years director of the Chartiers Valley Railroad Company. He died Nov. 6, 1870, aged seventy-three years, and left seven children. John, the eldest son, resides on the "Experiment" tract in Cecil; Robert and James reside in Peters township, and a daughter, Sarah, became the wife of J. L. Thompson, and resides in Westmoreland County.
McDowell Parks, a son of John Parks, bought a part of the homestead farm in 1835, and lived there till his death, on the 24th April, 1877, aged sixty-seven years. He purchased other lands, and became a large land-owner, and wealthy. He never married, and the large estate was divided among the heirs. The home place was sold to A. J. Hopper in March, 1880. James Hickman, a son-in-law, now resides there.
The greater part of the home farm, "Deer Park," was intended for Hugh, the youngest child. He was born in 1767, and died when a young man, and before the death of his father. After the death of the mother in 1808 the farm was deeded to James Park by John Park and Col. John Marshall, executors, and was conveyed by James to John Park. It was purchased by William Boon, and is now owned by A. and J. Boon. William Boon was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was at Baltimore with the troops gathered for the defense of that city against the British under Gen. Ross in 1814.
James Parks, the second son of Samuel, was born in 1760, and came to Cecil township in 1778 to the new home. He was one of the volunteers who went out with Col Crawford in 1782. He married Isabella, daughter of George Craighead [see Wiliam Craighead] of Strabane township. He came into possession of the Park lands, and died Dec. 8, 1811, aged fifty-two years. His widow survived him twenty-two years, and died April 5, 1833, aged seventy years. Samuel, a son of James, inherited the farm, and married Sarah, half-sister of David Philips, Esq., of Peters township. In the fall of 1832 he sold out and removed to Wellsville, Ohio. Mary Park, born in 1761, the only daughter of Samuel, became the wife of Col James Marshall, of Cross Creek, in 1782.
Crumrine, Boyd (ed.), History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Company, 1882).