Marion Parsons was the middle child of three girls born to Willis and Mary Anna Parsons during the 1880s. Born in 1888, in this picture Marion stands next to her mother, Mary Anna. To her left, standing in the middle at the back, is eldest sister, Grace Parsons. The little girl sitting in the front of the family photo is Martha, the youngest of the Parsons sisters.
All three of the Parsons girls had successful professional careers as adults. All three were educators, Grace taught art, Martha taught Home Economics, and of course, Marion founded and directed Cherry Road School.
Father Willis was a successful fruit farmer. (Many of the Parsons' clan--children of Edwin and Julia--farmed the Westvale area. Willis's nephews, Harry and Ned Jerome, were the founding owners of Jerome Dairy). Willis served as the president of the Fruit Growers Association for many years.
Mother Mary Anna died when Marion was about thirteen years old. Her death was very hard on all three of the girls who adored their mother. It was probably at that time that the Parsons girls learned to be self-reliant. Marion took on a leadership role with the sisters, looking after Martha, and filling in as the eldest sister when Grace went off to college at Alfred University, not long after their mother's death.
Mary Anna died shortly after this family portrait was taken in 1900.