Harry J. Parrish—The Man. Harry Jacob Parrish was born February 22, 1922 and has made Manassas his lifelong home. He attended Prince William county schools, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Wofford college, and schools of the US Air Force. Hs military service of almost three decades began is 1943 with the US Army Air Corps and ended with retirement from the US Air Force in 1971 with the took of Colonel and many military commendations. During World War II, he was one of the legendary pilots who "few the hump" on many supply missions between India and China. Later tours took him to Germany and Viet Nam. He also few with the Presidential Squadron, serving President Eisenhower in 1952-53.
In 1944, he married his sweetheart, Mattie H. Cannon, and today, they are proud parents of two adult children, Hal and Judy, and grandparents of three children. Harry is Chairman of the Board of Manassas Ice and Fuel Co. (MIFCO), an Old Town business started by his father in 1922.
Harry J. Parrish—The Legacy. Following in his father's local government footsteps, Harry served on the Manassas Town Council from 1951 to 1963; served as Mayor from 1963 to 1975, in which year, he led the move from town to city status; and continued as Mayor of the City of Manassas until 1981. In that year, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and has been elected every two years since. His seniority and integrity have earned him the coveted chairmanship of the House Finance committee.
Over the decades, Harry has been actively involved in many Manassas-area civic organizations. He is especially proud of the Manassas Volunteer Fire Department and the Prince William Hospital. He joined the fire department in 1948 and today, more than half a century later, he is a contributing senior member of that organization. Harry was a founding member of the Prince William Hospital and served on the board for several decades.
Harry's leadership and contributions have earned his many prestigious honors. Among them, he was chosen "Man of the Century - Living" in 1973 by the City of Manassas; he and Mattie were selected as Grand Marshall of the 50th annual Manassas Christmas Parade in 1995; and in September 2001, local government and civic leaders honored him for 80 consecutive years of elected service to the Greater Manassas community.
Throughout his 50+ years of dedicated community service, Harry has been recognized for his Intelligence, his integrity, his energy, and his unfailing dedication to the principles of good governance. This recognition took on lasting meaning when the Manassas City Council named this building (the former fire hall and former town hall), the "Harry J. Parrish Town Hall" in September 1999. The creation and installation of this plaque followed the construction of a new cupola in the Fall of 2002.