Biography of John H. Parker
Saunders County, NE Biographies





John Henry Parker, now living retired in Valparaiso. derives his income from investments in property there and from other holdings that represent a life of activity and well directed thrift. He was born upon a farm in Green county, Kentucky, January 24, 1847, a son of william M and Margaret Ann (Thomas) Parker. The father's birth occurred in Green county, Kentucky, in 1821, and when on a trading trip to the south in 1850 he died of cholera near New Orleans. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Margaret Ann Thomas, was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, November 13, 1822, and passed away in Martin county, Minnesota, February 1, 1914. They were married in 1842 and had a family of four children.

John Henry Parker is a self made man who deserves commendation for what he has accomplished. He had the opportunity to attend school for only three months, for the father at his death left the family in straitened financial circumstances and he was early thrown upon his own resources, working out for the meager sum of four or six dollars per month. In 1861, when a youth of fourteen years, he went to Illinois and there remained until 1868, when he made his way to Martin county, Minnesota. He was ambitious to engage in business on his own account and. in that locality rented land and carried on farming for five years. During the succeeding three years he purchased cattle for Illinois parties and then went to Jasper county, Iowa, where he spent the winter season working by the month. In the spring he rented a farm, which he operated for two and one half years and in the fall of 1878 he removed from Iowa to Saunders county, where he carried on general farming for eighteen months. He then drove across the country to Martin county, Minnesota, where he engaged in the cultivation of rented land for seven and one half years but in 1888 he again came to Saunders county, where he once more rented a farm for about three years. During this period he carefully saved his earnings and in 1890 felt justified in making a purchase of eighty acres on section 35, Newman township, where the town of Touhy now stands.

The tract was then raw prairie, entirely destitute of improvements, and his cash capital amounted only to thirty five dollars, but undeterred by these conditions, he began to break the sod and as soon as possible put in his crop. He also erected a dwelling and induced the Union Pacific Railroad to make a spur to his land. He also persuaded a Wahoo firm to erect an elevator and sold to that firm four acres of land for forty dollars per acre. Continuing the work and recognizing the possibilities, he was instrumental in securing the platting of the town plot. In 1893 he sold the remainder of his eighty acre tract and purchased an eighty acre farm on section 17, Oak Creek township, northwest of Valparaiso. With characteristic energy he improved that property, erecting thereon an eight room residence with good barns, sheds and outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock. He also planted an orchard and a grove of two acres and thus enhanced the pleasing appearance of his place, which he sold in 1895. His next purchase made him owner of eighty acres on section 5 of the same township and again in similar manner he carried on the work of general improvement and development, including the planting of an orchard and grove. After two years he disposed of that property, selling in 1897, after which he purchased the southwest quarter of section 18, Oak Creek township, on which was a shack. He erected a good residence and other buildings, set out a grove and orchard and lived there for three years, when in 1900 he again sold. At that date he purchased the old home place on section 17, Oak Creek township, and a forty acre tract adjoining, thus making his farm one of one hundred and twenty acres. This he cultivated for more than a decade or until 1912, when he disposed of that property and retired. Each change has indicated a profitable transaction and year by year he has won added success, becoming in time one of the prosperous and substantial residents of the community. He now has a good block of residences in Valparaiso, together with his own home, which is an attractive place.

On the 16th of September, 1877, Mr. Parker was united in marriage to Miss Minda Gesford, of Galesburg, Jasper county, Iowa. They are the parents of three children, namely: Fred, an agriculturist residing in Valparaiso; Alminda, who is the wife of F. C. Johnson, of Oak Creek township; and Harry, at home.

Fraternally Mr. Parker is identified with the Masons, belonging to Square Lodge, No. 151, A. F. & A. M., being the oldest member in jurisdiction and a past worshipful master. He is also connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in which he was the first candidate initiated and is a past master workman. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and while in Minnesota he served as a township trustee. At the present time he is a member of the ton council and is serving on several important committees. He belongs to the Christian church and his life has been guided by its teachings. All who know him speak of him in terms of warm regard. They admire him for his enterprise and determination, respect him for his integrity and reliability and know him as a citizen of value and worth.

From:
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
Vol. II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION
Saunders County, NE
Biographies

Online
Biographies

Iowa
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012