Parsons, a city of Labette co., Kansas, at the junction of the Sedalia branch of the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas railroad with the main line extending from Junction City to Denison, Texas, 120 m. S. by E. of Topeka; pop. in 1875, 3,500. It is built on a high rolling prairie between and near the junction of the Big and Little Labette rivers. The chief manufactories are the shops of the railroad company, a large grist mill, a steam furniture factory, a plough factory, three wagon and carriage factories, a brewery, a cotton gin, and a chair factory. There are a national bank with a capital of $300,000, a savings bank with $100,000 capital, masonic and odd fellows' halls, two public school buildings costing $40,-000, graded public schools with 500 pupils, three weekly newspapers, and five churches: Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic. Parsons was laid out and the first lot sold, March 8, 1871.
Theophilns, an American jurist, born in Byfield, Essex co., Mass., Feb. 24,1750,, died in Boston, Oct. 30, 1813. He graduated at Harvard college in 1769, and was admitted to the bar at Falmouth (now Portland), Me., in 1774. The almost total destruction of Falmouth by a British fleet in October, 1775, having interrupted his career in that place, he returned to Byfield, and for several years received the instruction and assistance of Judge Trowbridge, called by Chancellor Kent "the oracle of the common law in New England." In the library of this jurist, one of the best in America, he laid the foundation of a vast accumulation of legal learning. Settling in Newbury port, he entered upon a lucrative practice, which gradually embraced all the New England states. In 1778 he formed one of the so-called " Essex Junto," a body of citizens of Essex county who opposed the adoption of the state constitution recently framed by the Massachusetts legislature; and he was probably the author of the pamphlet known as " The Essex Result," which contributed largely to the rejection of the constitution.
In 1779 he was a delegate to the convention which framed the state constitution finally adopted; and in 1788 of the convention to ratify the federal constitution, which he actively supported, being the author of the "Proposition" offered by John Hancock ratifying the instrument, and recommending certain amendments known as the " conciliatory resolutions." He occasionally served in the legislature after this, but took no prominent part in public affairs, although to the close of his life he remained a consistent federalist. In 1800 he removed to Boston, and in 1806 was appointed chief justice of the supreme judicial court, which post he held at the time of his death. A collection of his judicial opinions was published in New York under the title of " Commentaries on the Law of the United States." His decisions threw much light upon the laws of pleading, marine insurance, and real property, and he rendered a substantial service to the community by discountenancing delays and expediting the trial of causes. He was distinguished as a classical scholar, and as a mathematician of considerable ability.
An elaborate memoir of him has been published by his son (Boston, 1859).
Theophilns, an American jurist, son of the preceding, born in Newburyport, Mass., May 17, 1797. He graduated at Harvard college in 1815, studied law, and after a brief visit to Europe entered upon the practice of his profession, first in Taunton, and afterward in Boston. For several years he was a constant contributor to the " North American Review," writing also for other periodicals, and founded and edited the "United States Literary Gazette." He was an early convert to the doctrines of the New Jerusalem church, and has written much in exposition and defence of them. Three volumes of "Essays" (1845 et seq.), "Deus Homo" (1867), and "The Infinite and the Finite " (1872), are his chief Swedenbor-gian works. In 1847 he was appointed Dane professor of law in the Harvard law school, and he has since resided at Cambridge, occupying his leisure in the preparation of legal treatises. He has published " The Law of Contracts" (2 vols., 1853; 5th ed., 3 vols., 1864); " Elements of Mercantile Law " (1856); " Laws of Business for Business Men" (1857); an elaborate and comprehensive treatise on maritime law, including the law of shipping, the law of marine insurance, and the law and practice of admiralty (2 vols., 1859); " Notes and Bills of Exchange" (2 vols., 1862); "Law of Partnership " (1867); " Marine Insurance and General Average" (2 vols., 1868); "Shipping and Admiralty" (2 vols., 1869); and "The Political, Personal, and Property Rights of a Citizen of the United States " (1875).