Lillian Belle Parkins


Lillian Belle Wright Phillips Parkins



Mrs. Parkins was associated with the following hotels.

Nebraska Inn, Francitas, Jackson County, Texas  Hotel Palacios, Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas
Hotel Blessing, Blessing, Matagorda County, Texas
 Iuka House, Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas

Lillian Belle Parkins

Mrs. Parkins was a well-known hotelkeeper in Jackson and Matagorda County, Texas. She was born May 30, 1858 in Keokuk, Iowa, the daughter of A. M. and Louisa Wright.

Family history records her first marriage to Charles R. Phillips as 1869 in Kansas. Her son, Raymond T. Phillips, was born September 19, 1880 in Iowa. In 1890, Lillian married Cyrus Christian Parkins (April 30, 1850 - March 17, 1933).

When the 1900 census was enumerated, Cyrus, Lillian and Raymond were living in Swan, Smith County, Kansas, where Cyrus was farming.

By December 1910, Mrs. Parkins was the manager of the Nebraska Inn in the newly-founded Jackson County, Texas town of Francitas just 7.5 miles west of Blessing.

Colony Enjoys Wild Turkey Dinner, Home Grown Vegetables and June Weather

The climax of the day was the Christmas dinner served at the Nebraska Inn. Mrs. L. B. Parkins, the popular and very efficient manager of this most delightful hostelery, had with her assistants tastefully decorated the dining room and the office with loads of mistletoe and holly gathered from the farms of Francitas lands. The meal served could not have been excelled by any served in the best homes in Nebraska , where wealth grows on trees and trees are scarce. The main item on a most bountiful bill of fare was wild turkey, which fell to the prowess of Hon. Will Clark, the mighty hunter of Francitas, who presented the colony with the birds which others had so long hunted unsuccessfully. And with the turkey there are served all the trimming, too delicate and delicious to mention by just an ordinary newspaper reporter. Among the surprises to the people of the north who were guests at the feast, were young onions gathered in the garden which is the delight of the country side around; radishes and lettuce taken from the same garden; turnips that grew along side the onions and the lettuce and the radishes. Then of course there was oyster soup full of oysters taken from Matagorda bay , which adjoins Francitas lands; then there were cranberries and plum pudding and mince pies and giblet gravy and many another dishes that pleased and was most satisfying.—Francitas Bee, December 29, 1910

Mrs. Parkins left the Nebraska Inn at the beginning of 1911 and took over management of Hotel Palacios.

Moore Takes Hotel
Man From Angleton Takes Over Nebraska Inn. Mrs. Parkins Goes to Palacios

Mrs. L. B. Parkins who has been in charge of the Nebraska Inn since its establishment turned over the management of the hotel to George Moore of Angleton the first of the month and has gone to Palacios where she will have charge of the large hotel there.

Mr. and Mrs. Moore arrived from Angleton Tuesday where they have been in charge of the business of the Valley Fruit Farm and Garden Company and assumed active management of the hotel the next day. These people are from Nebraska and are well known to the citizens of Francitas who extend to them a warm welcome. Success has marked every undertaking of Mr. Moore and that he will conduct the Nebraska Inn satisfactorily goes without question.

Mrs. Parkins assumed the management of the Nebraska Inn in the frontier days here and she can recall the time when wild turkey was not an unusual dish for the table. Mrs. Parkins has won the hearts of the people of Francitas and especially those whose good fortune it has been to board at the Inn. Her reputation as a "good feeder" extended all along the gulf coast and many parties from other towns spent their Sundays here to sit at her table. When it was announced that she was to leave the Nebraska Inn many other towns made her offers, but at this time she has decided to go to Palacios.—Francitas Bee, February 2, 1911


The history of the Hotel Palacios indicates an unknown individual leased the hotel on January 1, 1911 for two years at $50 per months. At the end of the two years, the company was dissatisfied with the operation and C. M. Rebou took charge as manager on January 6, 1913. It appears Mrs. Parkins was the unknown individual.

This unusual item appeared in the Houston Post on April 10, 1911. It's possible Mrs. Parkins may have managed, but not ownership. The Hotel Blessing in Blessing, Matagorda County, Texas opened December 1, 1907. Mrs. Parkins was the fourth manager of the hotel.

Mrs. L. B. Parkins has purchased from the Blessing Townsite company the Hotel Blessing, taking possession of same April 1.--Houston Post, April 10, 1911

No information was located between 1911 and 1922, but in 1922 Mrs. Parkins moved to Palacios.

Mrs. Parkins, of Blessing, moved to Palacios Thursday, and is living at the Iuka.—Palacios Beacon, June 9, 1922

By March 1928, Miss Martha Wright, sister of Mrs. Parkins, had charge of the Iuka House and Mrs. Parkins joined her in May.

Mrs. Parkins, of Blessing, was here the first of the week visiting her sister, Miss Martha Wright, at the Iuka House. Mrs. Parkins informed us that she had given up her house in Blessing and was moving to Palacios to make her future home. She will be with her sister at the Iuka House.--Palacios Beacon, May 31, 1928

Blessing people are very sorry indeed to lose Mrs. L. B. Parkins. Mother Parkins has been a mother indeed to the teachers for so long. We feel that Blessing's loss is Palacios' gain.--Palacios Beacon, June 14, 1928

The sister of Mrs. Parkins, Martha M. Wright, died on April 1932.

Martha M. Wright

The subject of this sketch—Miss Martha M. Wright, was born in Keokuk, Iowa, on January 24, 1851, and died April 18th, 1932.

She removed to Palacios in 1922, and is survived by one sister, Mrs. L. B. Parkins of Palacios, and a brother, John D. Wright of Keokuk, Iowa. There are many surviving nieces and nephews, but only two were with her at the end, Mrs. Margaret Mayhugh, of Kansas City, Mo., and R. T. Phillips of Winfield, Kansas.

Her childhood was spent on a farm where she learned much of nature, and her quick mind grasped things often passed unnoticed by others. She attended the country schools in childhood and in early womanhood took on the duties of mature life.

She was a sincere Christian, having joined the Presbyterian Church at an early age. Her travels led her into activities and responsible positions of trust, where she gained the respect and confidence of her employers, as is attested by many letters from them still preserved.

One of her cherished memories, was the teaching in the Indian Schools of Oklahoma, where she exerted an elevating and endearing influence on the youthful Indians. For many years after they left the institution she received letters from them, asking advice and counsel of her whom they regarded as a trusted friend.

She read the best authors and filled her mind with useful information, and when with intimate friends, quoted many rare and refreshing passages. But her nature was so retiring and unassuming, that one did not suspect the depth of her knowledge nor the height of her altruism.

She has bequeathed us a fragrant memory of kindly deeds and cheerful words, and when the last summons came she realized that:--

Death is only an old door,
Set in a garden wall,
On gentle hinges it gives, at dusk
When the thrushes call.

Along the lintels are green leaves,
Beyond, the light lies still,
Very willing and weary feet,
Go over tha sill.

There is nothing to trouble any heart,
Nothing to hurt at all,
Death is only a quiet door,
In an old garden wall.

Palacios Beacon, April 21, 1932

In January 1934, The Palacios Beacon reported Mrs. Parkins had suffered a stroke and death soon followed.

Mrs. L. B. Parkins, of the Iuka House, suffered a stroke of Paralysis Saturday night and has been in a critical condition since, with little or no hopes of recovery.—Palacios Beacon, January 25, 1934

Mrs. Lillian Belle Parkins

Mrs. L. B. Parkins, whose illness was mentioned in our last issue, died at the family residence Sunday evening, Jan. 28, 1934, aged 75 years, 7 months and 28 days.

Funeral services were held in the Presbyterian church in this city, Tuesday at 2:00 p. m., conducted by Rev. Geo. F. Gillespie and Rev. E. F. Kluck.

Interment was made in the Palacios cemetery under the direction of the Palacios Funeral Home, with W. C. Gray, Grover Lawson, A. J. Lauderback, R. E. Terry, G. H. Faubion and G. A. Salsbury as pallbearers.

The following was contributed by a friend as a tribute to her memory.

Lillian Belle Wright, daughter of A. M. and Louisa Wright was born May 30th, 1858, near Keokuk, Iowa. She was one of a family of eight children, all whom have preceded her in death.

She was married to C. R. Phillips in the year of 1876. To this union were born two children, Maude, who died at the age of three years, and Raymond, who with his wife was with her to the last.

Her second marriage was to Cyrus C. Parkins who preceded her in death. When quite a young woman, Mrs. Parkins was united with the Presbyterian church, to which she was faithful to the end and active in church work as long as her health would permit. Her life was one of sacrifice and of doing good. She was a philanthropist in the truest and strongest sense of the word. She was always ready to help the poor in sharing anything she had, and to lend her strength and knowledge in relieving the sick and suffering. Truly her life was lived for others.

As a friend she was kind, sympathetic and reliable. Those who knew her found her dependable and trustworthy to the last degree.

She was broadminded and mentally alert, and her systematic manner and business ability proved her a person of rare qualities. Her high ideals and firm stand for principle always found her on the side for right and justice.

She was motherly to all and won for herself the involuntary name of “Mother Parkins” in the small town she lived for many years before moving to Palacios. The young and the old reverenced and respected her. Every one valued highly her opinions and advice. Many sought her counsel in matters of worth.

Truly it can be said of her, “To know her was to love her.” And the more one knew her, the more he was made to recognize and appreciate her many sterling qualities, for surely she was an extraordinary friend and mother.

She leaves to mourn her loss one son, Raymond T. Philips and wife, one granddaughter, Lillian Schoonover and husband Charles Schoonover Jr. and one great-grand-child, to whom she was devoted. Also many nieces and nephews.

If rest is sweet at close of day
For tired hands and tired feet,
How sweet at last to rest for aye
If rest is sweet.

Palacios Beacon, February 1, 1934

The obituary of Mrs. Parkins chronicles her life of service.

She was buried in the Palacios Cemetery beside her sister, Martha M. Wright.

Raymond T. Phillips

Funeral services for Raymond T. Phillips were held Saturday afternoon at 5  o'clock at the Methodist Church, conducted by Rev. Wesley N. Schulze.

He was born September 19, 1880, and died Friday, July 7 at the Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City.

The body was taken to Kansas and burial services were held Tuesday afternoon.

He is survived by his wife, Nell Phillips, daughter, Mrs. Lillian Schoonover, of Garden City, Kansa, and two grandchildren, Yvonne and Charles Schoonover.--Palacios Beacon, July 13, 1950

[burial was at Valley View Cemetery, Garden City, Finney County, Kansas]

I AM OFFERING the Iuka House and cottage furnished at a sacrifice price. If interested see me. 502 Morton. Mrs. R. T. Phillips--Palacios Beacon, September 7, 1950

Mrs. R. T. Phillips Announces Sale Of Iuka House

Mrs. R. T. Phillips has announced the sale of the property known as the Iuka House, where Mrs. Phillips and her late husband made their home for 20 years.

Miss Blake Terry, until recently a nurse at the Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City and well known throughout the county, is the new owner.--Palacios Beacon, October 19, 1950

Carl Wickham was elected treasurer to fill the vacancy of the late R. T. Phillips.--Palacios Beacon, October 19, 1950

Returned from a 10-day vacation in Texas are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schoonover, 706 N. Main. There were guests of her mother, Mrs. R. T. Phillips at Palacios and spent some time on the Gulf Coast.--Garden City Telegram, April 2, 1957

Houseguest of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schoonover Jr., 706 N. Main, is Mrs. Schoonover's mother, Mrs. R. T. Phillips of Palacios, Tex. The guest is enroute home from a summer in Canada and Seattle, Wash.--Garden City Telegram, September 25, 1957

Returning home this weekend will be Mrs. R. T. Phillips of Palacios, Tex., who has been a guest of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Schoonover and Mr. Schoonover, 706 N. Main.--Garden City Telegram, April 19, 1958

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schoonover Jr., who have been visiting the past week with his parents, the Charles Schoonovers, 706 N. Main, have returned to Great Bend. Also visiting the senior Schoonovers is her mother, Mrs. R. T. Phillips of Palacios, Tex.--Garden City Telegram, September 8, 1958

Houseguests of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schoonover, 706 N. Main. are her mother, Mrs. R. T. Philips of Palacios, Tex.; and their son Charles, who was just discharged from the army at Camp Chaffee, Ft. Smith, Ark., and Mrs. Schoonover. Other guests have been Mrs. Vera Powell and daughter, Paula, who have returned to their home in Salina.--Garden City Telegram, August 8, 1959

Mrs. R. T. Phillips, Palacios, Tex., was a houseguest of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Schoonover.--Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kansas), July 15, 1960



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Nov. 18, 2017
Nov. 18, 2017