Andrew Parsons was born in Hoosick, New York, in 1817. In 1836, he settled in Shiawassee County and at the age of nineteen was elected the first county clerk. After holding a number of county and state elected offices, Parsons in 1852 became a regent of the University of Michigan
. The same year he was elected lieutenant-governor, and became acting governor in March, 1853, upon the resignation of Governor Robert McClelland. The formation of the Republican party in 1854 badly split the Democratic forces and perhaps accounted for Parsons' failure to receive the gubernatorial nomination. Instead Parsons was elected to the state legislature from Shiawassee County. He fell ill during the legislative session of 1855 and returned to Corunna, where he died on June 6, 1855.