The subject of this sketch, William Parker, is a progressive, industrious and exemplary young man, the "Good Samaritan" of his father's family, for through his efforts the old homestead has been redeemed - saved from the mortgage auctioneer's hammer. He now owns the farm, having bought the interest of the other heirs, and is in a fair way to become one of the leading farmers of the community.
About one year prior to this writing (November, 1901) he sold his cattle down to one cow and three heifers. He now owns a herd of thirty-three well graded Shorthorns. Mr. Parker came to Cloud county when twelve years of age, but for several years, dating from the time he was fourteen years old he traveled about doing various things; milled in Colorado, worked in the smelters of Leadville, drove cattle in Arizona and labored in the lead mines of Joplin, Missouri. He returned home in 1901, after his mother's death and came into possession of the farm. In the meantime he had contributed the greater part of his earnings to prevent the mortgage from sweeping in the home.
Mr. Parker is a son of Benjamin and Mary Ann (Sutton) Parker, who were married in Ohio in 1853. Benjamin Parker is a native of Stark county, Illinois, born In 1835. He remained a resident of Stark county until 1857, when he moved to Vermilion county, Illinois, and in 1865, located in Kankakee. In 1873 he emigrated to Kansas. He has been unfortunate in his business relations, misfortune seemingly following him all through life. He has met with many adversities - saw his fields divested of every blade during the grasshopper raids, lost several horses during the hard years and lived in a dugout from 1873 until 1880, and in 1885 built a comfortable residence, which burned to the ground, compelling them to resort to the dugout until he could build again.
Mr. Parker served in an Illinois regiment in the United States service, being one of the two hundred and fourteen volunteers who went from his township in Stark county. William Parker is a grandson of James Parker, who was of English origin, but a native of Pennsylvania. He died in 1838. His paternal grandmother was Sena Murphy, born in Ohio, of Scotch parentage. Her father was William Murphy, a Captain in the Revolutionary war. She was three times married, once prior to her marriage with James Parker. Her first husband was a Mr. Miller, by whom she had two children, Nathaniel and Lydia. Her second marriage was with James Parker, and Benjamin Parker is the only living child of eight children by this marriage. He lives with his son, William Parker, the subject of this sketch. James Parker died in 1838. Mrs. Parker's third husband was William VanTassel. No children were born to this marriage.
William Parker is one of five children, viz: Theodore, a carpenter and joiner, with residence in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Elisha, contractor for paper mills of Oregon City, Oregon. He was in old settler and homesteader of Center township, this county, where he lived until 1888, and married Sarah, a daughter of William Dugan, in old resident of Cloud county. Nora, the only daughter, presides over her brother's household. Though thoroughly domestic, she is an accomplished young lady, a graduate of the Glasco schools. She raises poultry and make's upwards of thirty pounds of buffer per week during several months of the year. She is a member of the Bethel Methodist Episcopal church.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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