Gavion D. A. Parks, was born in Bristol, New York, September 17, 1817. He was educated at Lockport, New York, and admitted to the bar in 1841. He came west in 1842, and settled in Lockport in this county, where he remained until 1849, when he was elected County Judge, and removed to Joliet, and this was his home until his death, December 28, 1895. Judge Parks was thoroughly a lawyer, who not only understood the law, and its construction, but he was equally happy in its application to the case in point, and in that respect he probably had no superior in the Will county bar. He was always the warm friend of the law student, and of the young attorney, and would often put off or delay other business to explain to the young attorney what was the law in a certain case, and how it should be applied.
But the Judge found his match one day in the person of a young and very self-conceited lawyer, as to what was really the law in a certain case, as the following will well illustrate:
The young lawyer went to the Judge and wanted his opinion as to what was the law on a certain point which he explained. The Judge was well posted, for he had tried a case not long before, in which the very point was involved, and as the case had gone through the Supreme Court, and he there sustained in his constructions of it, he felt pretty confident, and told the young man so; that the law as he had laid it down, was really the law. But what was his astonishment when he had concluded, to hear the young attorney exclaim: “O, Judge! you are away off on that. It ain’t the law at all,” and then proceeded to lay down his construction of the law to the Judge, quoting some authorities, which, of course, had no application whatever to the case in point. Of course the Judge was disgusted at the fellow, and was very careful in the future of talking law with him.
Judge Parks held many offices of trust and responsibility. Besides being County Judge, he was Master in Chancery, was a delegate and Vice-President of the first Republican convention, at Bloomington, in 1854, was a representative in the legislature, and in 1856, became state senator. He also held several very important positions by appointment, all of which he filled with eminent success and ability. In private life, Judge Parks was a most worthy and honored citizen, and one of the city schools is named in his honor.