• Parsons School History
    Judge Parsons
    Parsons Elementary School was officially opened in February 1967, with a dedication pronouncement read in unison by children, teachers, parents, and government officials.  In its first year, 582 students attended Parsons.  It was quickly determined that the building could not house all the students.  In the spring of 1967 a new, 6-room addition was built.  During the 1966-1967 school year three new elementaries opened in Decatur.  They included Parsons, Stevenson, and Adams. 


    Parsons Elementary is named for James Parsons, a native of Decatur. Judge Parsons came to Decatur at the age of six, and attended Oakland School, Roosevelt Junior High School, and graduated third in his class from Decatur High School.


     In 1934 he graduated from James Millikin University, became a teacher, and then served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

    He attended the University of Chicago Law School and in 1961 was named to the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois by PrParsons with childesident John F. Kennedy.
    He was the first African American to receive such an appointment.
    " The new elementary school," said Judge Parsons, "will provide an opportunity for children to learn about America’s greatness and what must be done to keep it great."


    "It will develop the capacity to live in tomorrow’s world of science and technology, and promote a new type of society respecting human dignity without regard to ethnic differences."


    Judge Parsons commented at the dedication ceremony that he was humbled by the situation and deeply honored.  He said he viewed the naming of the school in his honor as a continuation of “an affection, which I experienced here during my childhood.”