Biography of N. H. Parker
McKean County, PA Biographies





N. H. PARKER, lumberman, P. O. Gardeau, is a son of George and Polly Parker. George Parker was born in the city of Albany, N. Y., in 1784, but when eight years of age was taken by his father to the Cownaisque valley, where the family settled. In this same valley Polly Parker was born in 1792, and at the age of fifteen years was married to George Parker. Here also, N. H. Parker was born in 1812. In 1828 the family moved into the Genesee Valley, and bought the farm formerly owned by Shongo, the head chief of the Seneca Indians, Six Nations, and who then lived on the farm and continued to do so for over a year, George Parker afterward giving him the privilege of spending the remainder of his days there if he chose. But a majority of the other Indians had gone to the Buffalo, Cattaraugus and other tribes, and after about a year and a half he said he must go to console and advise those who looked to him for counsel. He was a man of much intelligence, was a great warrior in the Revolutionary war, and had participated in the massacre in the valley of the Wyoming. He was also very skillful in the medical profession, and practiced much among the whites in the early history of the county with marked success. Among the Indians at that time was one named Johny Hacks, who was a great hunter. George Parker asked him where there were some good "licks." He answered by saying, "Way off yonder great much lick, much deer, much elk, much salt and much medicine water." He could not tell where, or how far, but could point directly toward the present site of Norwich, Penn. In his annual hunting trips Mr. Parker, with his son, commenced going in this direction, and in June, 1838, reached what is now McKean county, to hunt elk, and found the place spoken of by Johny Hacks. At that time no place ever seen on the American continent would reward the hunter's pursuit as well as this. There was plenty of elk, immense quantities of deer, black bears and wolves very plenty, also panthers and all kinds of small game. George and N. H. Parker continued to hunt here each year, and in the winter of 1844 the father and son bought a tract at this point for the purpose of hunting, and N. H. Parker owns it still, although the game, like the red man, has all gone toward the setting sun. About the year 1800 one Capt. Thomas, said to have been a sea pirate, abandoned his ship on the coast of Florida to avoid being captured by a Spanish man of war, and followed the coast all the way to the Susquehanna river, thence up to this place, and eventually put a well down here on the site of the great Elk lick of the world, and made salt here until the Parkers bought of him in 1844. In 1865 N. H. Parker put down a well here near the old one, 640 feet deep, from which flows incessantly the strongest mineral water in the world, which has no equal in curing all chronic cases of disease. For all time to come thousands will receive benefit from its wonderful healing properties. This well is now famous, and is known as "Parker's Mineral Spring." George Parker commenced hunting when very young, and soon became very skillful in the capture of game. Having hunted the Alleghany mountain range all over, in 1850, George and N. H. went to Lake Superior, caught 125 beaver, killed several bears and wolves, and before returning hunted around the Lake of the Woods and a great part of the northwest territory. In March, 1851, George Parker surveyed a road from the mouth of the Ontonagan River, at Lake Superior, through an entire wilderness to Wisconsin river, where no human foot had ever trod before. In 1852 the two went to California, across the plains, for the sole purpose of hunting, killing large numbers of deer, elk, antelope and buffalo. In California they killed several grizzly bears, on one occasion bringing down a very large one at the first shot, with a repeating rifle made for Mr. Parker by William Billinghurst, of Rochester, N. Y. at a cost of $150. Returning from California by steamer the same year, George Parker also hunted in the Adirondacks, in northern New York, killing many moose. He continued to hunt up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1868, having killed in his lifetime over 3,000 deer, about 200 black bears, and nearly twenty elks, besides a large number of wolves and all other kinds of wild animals on this continent. N. H. Par ker was married, January 6, 1846, to Hannah, daughter of Jesse Bullock, at that time sheriff of Allegany county, N. Y., and to this union have been born two children, George B. and Polly.

From:
History of the Counties of
McKean, Elk and Forest,
Pennsylvania
With Biographical Selections.
J. H. Beers & Co., Publishers
Chicago, 1890.

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