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The first documented settlers in present-day Parrish in early part of 1850 were William B. Hooker and William H. Johnson. Here they found the ideal climate, fertile soil and a nearby river, all suitable for establishing a plantation for their ill-fated joint venture in growing sea island cotton. After the partnership was dissolved Maj. William Iredell Turner acquired Hooker's plantation in 1867 and named it "Oak Hill." Among the other earlier settlers were Crawford and Mary Bratcher (Vanzandt) Parrish. When the post office opened, the name was changed to "Parrish." The railroad provided mail and travel service by 1902.
Parrish became a thriving community depending upon a citrus, cattle and agriculture economy. There's a grove here over 100 years old still bearing. Area had 3 packing houses, 3 or more churches, 2 boarding houses, blacksmith shop and many stores. At turn of century, the Methodist Church served as a school. Crawford P. Parrish gave land for the first schoolhouse. It was removed and replaced with the present building on 1924. Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of State, in his 1865 escape from Richmond, was securely hidden in a swamp behind Major Turner's house for several days before he was transported to Gamble