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The Parkes Project - part 6

This post is part of a series. To read earlier posts, go here.

The more I learned about the Parkes family, the more interesting they became and the more interested I was. I found more to be mined in every branch of the family. Jessie Imogene Parkes, was named for her grandmother, J.S. Parkes' mother, Imogene Miriam Saunders. Imogene was a Texas girl, born on August 30, 1875. How she met James Creighton Parkes from New York City is anyone's guess, but I suspect it was while he was serving with the military.

Imogene was the daughter of Xenophon Boone Saunders. Yes, that was his name! Xenophon! How cool is that? Born in Tennessee, he was the son of Dr. Joel Boone Saunders and Miriam Lewis Kennedy. And that middle name of his was no accident. The family had Daniel Boone to claim as a relation. Xenophon decsended from Elizabeth Boone, Daniel's sister. The Kennedy connection on Xen's mother's side (can I call him Xen? I feel like I've earned the right to be on a nickname basis with these people) is interesting. I haven't found a link yet, but both late president John F. Kennedy and Miram Lewis Kennedy in Imogene's line have ancestors who were born in Ireland. Now wouldn't that be something if we found a Kennedy connection!

Xenophon founded the first newspaper in Bell County Texas. He was an attorney and the first mayor of Belton, Texas. He received the rank of major during the civil war and later became a judge.

Photograph accessed on

Xenophon married Annie Eliza Surghnor in 1856.

This picture below is another that is unidentified, but I like to imagine that it could be Xenophon and Annie Eliza.

Xenophon and Annie Eliza had six children. Their daughter Imogene married J.C. Parkes in Texas in 1896. Imogene and J.C. had one son, James Saunders Parkes, otherwise known as J.S. Parkes.

Imogene was quite the society lady and entertained at her home in Red Branch New Jersey where the Parkes' settled. Newspaper articles tell about her tea parties, social events, charity events and even a Halloween party thrown for her granddaughter, Jessie. J.C. and Imogene also liked to travel and one report said that they travelled to Cuba and other locations abroad. They spent time in Texas, Imogene's home state, as well.

Another article told of a close call with a Christmas day fire at the Parkes' residence.

Published in the Daily Standard, Red Bank New Jersey, December 4, 1931.

Accessed online at

The Parkes family lived on Reckless Place in Red Bank and I found their house is still standing and used as office spaces now.

In the pictures I obtained on my second visit, I found a woman who I think looks very much like a younger Imogene.

The eyelids are heavier on the woman on the left, but Imogene is older there. On the back of that picture it says 1929. The nose, cleft above the lip, the shape of the lip and the chin and face structure make me think this could be the same woman - Imogene Miriam Saunders Parkes. If not, they surely must be related!

I looked into the photographer stamp on the picture on the right. I couldn't find anything. It possibly reads 'Augusta Glore'? It was printed on a post card with no writing on the back, so that didn't reveal any clues. But I feel strongly that it is Imogene or a relation of Imogene's.

What do you think?

To read part seven in this series, go here.

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