History of Saline
Peter Cook and his wife Rachel were such devout Presbyterians, they were willing to take their church from New York to the frontiers of Michigan. The couple joined forces with several other families, with last names including Kanouse and Hathaway, and established a church on May 22, 1831. Then they all boarded a boat on the Erie Canal with their children and a few belongings, then took another boat to Detroit, like a floating church headed for Saline.
Cornelius was born in 1833 and grew up on a farm a couple miles south of the Village of Saline. His father and uncle were operating a saw mill and flour mill, so the Parsons family was well-off. In his early 20s, he went into town and worked as a clerk in William Davenport’s store. It was easy to get that job, since his sister Zylpha was married to Davenport. Parsons worked for some other retailers in Saline, then he took the big leap into self employment, probably in 1866.