Captain Parker A. Elson, Civil War Veteran

Captain Parker A. Elson, Co. E. {Photo from the book titled, Dan McCook’s Regiment, 52nd OVI, 1862 – 1865, by Nixon B. Stewart.}

Elson - Obit

Steubenville Daily Herald, Oct. 16, 1886 –Falling Leaves – Captain Parker A. Elson, departed this life yesterday afternoon shortly after 4 o’clock. Deceased was an old and well-known citizen of Steubenville and with the exception of a few years residence in California had always lived here. While in the army he contracted an illness from which he never fully recovered and which hastened his death. Captain Elson was born in this city in 1826, and consequently at his death was 60 years of age. He was a son of Edward Elson, a carpenter, and one of the early settlers in this community. When a young man learned the trade of a brick mason with the late William McConnell…In 1849 when the flood-tide of immigration moved towards California, Mr. Elson was among the number seeking their fortunes in the land of gold…He returned through Central America and obtained vast knowledge of the countries he had seen.

Mr. Elson was joined in marriage to Miss Sarah E. daughter of William Cairns, who formerly resided in Brooke county, W.Va. and she together with two children, Lafayette V. and Florence N. survive him. He also leaves a Township, this county. When the war of the brother, Edward Elson of Island Creek rebellion broke out Mr. Elson organized Company E. of the fifty-second Ohio Volunteer and was commissioned Captain of that company. Ex-Sheriff Alex. Smith was First Lieutenant, H.C. Mansfield Second, and David A. Scott Sergeant. Company E left Steubenville on Aug. 19, 1862 for Camp Dennison and were mustered into the service two days later. Captain Elson and his company participated in the battle of Perrysville and some time after that event he was attacked with serious illness at Bowling Green, Ky., where he was kindly looked after by Lieutenant Smith and other members of the company. Growing gradually worse on March 15, 1863 Captain Elson resigned his commission and came home. Since the war he has never been good. The members of the Stanton Post, G.A.R. will have charge of the funeral.


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Edward Elson - 1833 Land Grant from Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio.

Born in Brooke County, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1797, Richard Elson immigrated right across the Ohio River to Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio in 1820, where he made a living building flatboats and floating them down to New Orleans by way of the Ohio River.

Upon arrival in New Orleans, he would sell Ohio goods, such as pork and flour before selling off the boat and walking back to Ohio. After seven such trips, each totaling 1,500 miles, Richard Elson had saved enough money to purchase land in the Sandy Valley.

In 1834, Richard Elson and John W. Smith platted out the Village of Magnolia which is located in the southeast corner of Stark County, Ohio. Elson established a grist mill and a saw mill (and later his homestead) near the site of the existing flouring mills.

Five generations of the Elson family owned and operated the mill. Augustus Richard Elson, whose name adorns the front of the mill today, took over operation of the mill from his father in 1857.

Pictured in the brochure published by the Parks Dept, that I have in my possession is (rear center) A.R. Elson, with his sons Richard (right) and Frank (left); three mill workers sit in the front row.


Ø  Richard Elson – 1834
Ø  Augustus R. Elson – 1857
Ø  Richard Elson – 1904
Ø  Mack Elson – 1949
Ø  Augustus Elson – 1995
Ø  Stark Parks – 2005

Elson Flouring Mills
261 North Main St.
Magnolia, OH 44643
Business Hours Mon Tues Thurs Fri
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday 8a.m. to Noon
Corn meal –Shelled Corn- Animal Feed
Bird Seed – Buckwheat – Whole Wheat
Locally Made Goods

The Mill is now owned and operated by the Stark Park County Park District and is now known/named the Magnolia Flouring Mills. Contact the park at www.StarkParks.com or 330.477.3552 or refer to the business number above to learn more about the history and tours of the mill.

Powering the Family Business
The Elson/Magnolia Mill experienced many changes in its long history. As technology advanced, the various members of the Elson family made certain that the mill advanced as well. Water powered the mill building for much of its lifetime. Richard Elson originally built a dam on the big Sandy Creek to supply water to the mill site, although later the Sandy and Beaver Canal would supply water for the mill. Over time a wooden overshot wheel would replace the original waterwheel and then followed by the use of a single, steel overshot water wheel. The double, steel overshot water wheels present at the mill were installed in 1900.

Pictured in the brochure is a water power turned simple wheels and gears, like these shown with Mack Elson, operating a complex system of milling equipment.

Other power sources, such as steam engines and gasoline engines, were experimented with as well. In 1948, the mill converted to electrical power and is still run by electricity today.

Innovation Continued
From the time A.R. Elson took over the operation of the mill in 1857, he constantly upgraded the mill as technology improved. Steel rollers replaced the original French buhr stones, new machinery replaced the old, and changing modes of transportation impacted the mill’s role in the community.

Pictured in the brochure : Steel rollers replaced the original French buhr stones in the mill.


The Elson Flour Mill was acquired by Stark Parks in 2005. This five-story historic landmark was built in 1834 along the Sandy & Beaver Canal. Mill products and various agricultural products are sold at the location. Mill products are natural and produced from local farmers.

The 12,79-acre property in downtown Magnolia includes a segment of the Sandy & Beaver Canal behind the mill, the water rights for the canal, and Dam #6. The red wood structure is at the corner of Canal and Main Streets (Rt. 183) and will serve as a trailhead for the future Sandy & Beaver Canal Trail and the Pleasant Valley Trail, both of which were identified on Stark Parks’ Countywide Trail & Greenway Plan.

Stark Parks
Stark County Park District
Motto Is:
Acquire, preserve, and develop natural areas for passive recreation, conservation, education, and nature appreciation.

Tombstone in the family plot at the Steubenville Union Cemetery
Taken 2012 by Edward (Buddy) Merrin


Submitted by Edward (Buddy) Merrin. His contact info bmerrin1@frontier.com or 330.495.5310, 404 Township Road 259, Richmond, OH 43944
Date submitted; Jan 2015