Born in New York City, Parsons attended private schools in New York City, Saint Paul"s School, Concord, New Hampshire, Yale University, the University of Berlin, Harvard Law School, and was graduated from Yale University in 1890.
Admitted to bar, 1895. Senior member Parsons, Closson & McIlvaine. Alderman of New York, 1900-1903.
Candidate for Congress, 1900, 12th New York District.
Member 59th to 61st Congresses (1905-1911), 13th New York District Chairman Republican Company Committee, 1905-1910. Member Republican National Committee and of Executive Committee, 1916-1920.
Delegate-at-large New York State Constitutional Convention, 1915. Veterinary 7th Regiment, Company K, and formerly major and judge advocate on staff of 1st Brigade Ngakkan Nyaagu.
Commissioned major, Aviation Section Signal O.R.C., July 1917, and detailed to Military Intelligence.
Lieutenant colonel on General Staff American Expeditionary Force, September 1918. Served during last half 1918 as assistant chief of staff, G2, 5th Division. Assistant to military attache, Berne, Switzerland, January, February 1919.
President Greenwich House Settlement, Memorial Hospital for Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases.
President trustees Canton Christian College.
Member Parsons, Closson & McIlvaine. Member 59th to 61st Congresses (1905-1911), 13th New York District Member Republican
Married Elsie Worthington Clews, September 1, 1900.