Biography of David L. Parker
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Parker, David Lewis, postmaster of New Bedford, is the youngest son of Ward Mayhew Parker and Marcia F. Lewis, and a grandson of Sylvanus Parker of Falmouth, Mass. Ward M. Parker was one of the typical early men of New England. At eighteen he was captain of a craft hauling live oak timber from South Carolina winters and making trading voyages to Nova Scotia summers. At twenty five he was merchant and postmaster at Wood's Holl, and later served in the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1847, removing to New Bedford, he took a leading part in the moneyed management of the interests of southeastern Massachusetts. Joseph Grinnell and himself were chums in congenial enterprises, the one president and the other vice president of the old Marine Bank. Mr. Parker served as president during Mr. Grinnell's absence in Europe, and being tendered the salary for the term, refused it with the remark that the honor of the position was full payment. The financial heroism of these two men more than once saved the Wamsutta Mills Corporation from wreckage in times of financial tornadoes; these two names backed paper that carried the corporation safely through. No credit to me," said Mr. Parker, "Joseph always put his name first." When Ward M. Parker was in his ninetieth year, Samuel P. Burt, late in the evening, on the brink of financial disaster, sought the old man's counsel and found safe pilotage. The prime habit of his life was moderation in eating, drinking and living, and a charitable liberality towards all proper use of everything. He detested a mortgage and never took or gave one in his life. Of rare judgment, intense fidelity and a genial nature, hIs life left a gentle incense of ovation to his dear memory, from all who knew him. He died in 1881, aged ninety seven years. His wife survives him. David L. Parker was born in New Bedford, August 30, 1851, was graduated from the Friends' Academy in 1870, attended Schofield's Commercial College in Providence, and afterward spent three years in the banking house of S. P. Burt & Co., of New Bedford. Later he was a clerk for David W. Lewis & Co., produce commission merchants of. New York, for three years, and returning to New Bedford was engaged in the coal business about eight years in company with Edward P. Haskell, under the firm name of Parker & Haskell. Mr. Parker has always been a staunch Republican. He was a member of the first Board of Public Works of New Bedford, serving one and a half years, when he resigned. December 4, 1894, he was elected mayor of the city by 485 majority, and in December, 1895, he was re elected by a majority of 817. October 1, 1897, he was appointed postmaster of New Bedford by President McKinley. Mr. Parker was for three years a member of the City Guards; served as president of the Dartmouth Club in 1896 and 1897; and is a member of the Veteran Firemen's Association, the Knights of Pythias, and the Dartmouth and Wamsutta Clubs. September 18, 1883, he married Calista S., daughter of Roland Holcomb of New Bedford, and they have two children: Marion and Ward M. Mr. Parker's family is one of the oldest in southeastern Massachusetts and is traced back indirectly to the Mayflower.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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