Martha Rosetta Borschell Parsons

Honored by:Don Larew
Brick location:B:20  map

Martha was the fourth child of Adam and Hannah Jacobs Borschel. She was born on January 20, 1873, at home near Morse, Graham Township, Johnson County, Iowa. She married George Henry Parsons on December 28, 1898, in her parent's home near Morse. George was also a native of Graham Township. Martha and George were the parents of six children: Florence, Nellie, Eugene, Mabel, Mildred, and Elnora.

Martha and George moved their family into Martha's parents homestead following Adam's death and continued to operate the farm. Martha managed to secure enough funds through her egg production and butter-making operations to see that her three youngest daughters received a high school education in nearby Iowa City. They boarded the train at a local stop on Mondays, carrying suitcases laden down with canned goods their mother had prepared to get them through the week. They lived together in a small house in Iowa City, returning to the family farm on weekends. Without their mother's determination that they should have an education, the girls would have followed their older siblings by working instead of pursuing a high school diploma.

Martha learned fine sewing skills at home and became a wonderful quilter. In her lifetime, she created quilts for each of her six children and twenty-five grandchildren. Her reputation grew and she did extensive mail order quilting for people throughout the United States. Martha also was well known for her gardening skills, especially for her roses.

Martha died January 17, 1948, in Iowa City, Iowa. She and George are buried in the Morse Cemetery, Johnson County, Iowa.

Submitted on 6/22/94