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Jonathan Lowell Parker
 Jonathan Lowell Parker, 1826-

From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891.


JONATHAN LOWELL PARKER, an enterprising farmer of Dorchester, was born on Salem Street, Boston, November 19, 1826, son of Jonathan and Susan Elenor (Smith) Parker. His father, born in Dedham, Mass., in 1796, was a son of Jonathan Parker, the latter being the fifth of that name in direct line of descent. Some resided in Needham, Mass., while others lived in Dedham. The great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch served with the minute-men, and was killed in the Concord fight.

Jonathan Parker, father of Jonathan Lowell, accompanied his widowed mother from Dedham to Boston when he was twelve years old. Entering mercantile business as a clerk in the hardware store of George Olden on Dock Square, he remained in that capacity for sixteen years, at the expiration of which time he purchased the business and continued it for a period of forty-two years. The last few years of his life were spent in retirement, and his death occurred in May, 1870. In his religious belief a Baptist, he took a deep interest in the church and Sunday-school, contributing liberally toward the support of both. He was a member of the Masonic order. His wife, Susan, who was born in the North End of Boston, is a sister of the late S.F. Smith, D.D., of Newton, author of the patriotic hymn "America." She died in May, 1900, aged ninety-four years. Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Parker were residents of the North End when that locality was inhabited by the leading merchants, bankers, and professional men of Boston. They were the parents of three children -- Jonathan L., Sarah Elizabeth, and George Francis. Sarah Elizabeth died at the age of sixteen years. George Francis Parker is a resident of Winchester, Mass.

Jonathan Lowell Parker began his education in the Eliot School, and completed his studies at the English High School, being the recipient of a Franklin medal. From early boyhood it had been his chief ambition to become a farmer, and a period of fifteen years as clerk in his father's store failed to overcome his desire in that direction. He accordingly relinquished his position and future mercantile prospects in order to engage in agricultural pursuits in Dorchester; and tilling the soil has not only been to him a pleasant occupation, but has, through his untiring energy and progressive tendencies, proved remunerative as well. In his younger days Mr. Parker was a Whig in politics, but ever since the dissolution of that party he has voted with the Republicans. He is a member of the Second Church, Dorchester.

On March 31, 1856, Mr. Parker was united in marriage with Miss Rebecca Gleason Bass, a native of Dorchester and daughter of Seth Billings and Sarah (Gleason) Bass. Through her father, who was a native of Vermont, Mrs. Parker is related to the famous Adams family of Quincy, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. Parker have one son, George Lowell Parker, who was born in the house in which he now resides, on March 20, 1857, was educated preliminarily in Dorchester, and graduated from the Massachusetts State Agricultural College with the class of 1876. For many years he has devoted his time and attention to horticulture; and his present greenhouse, which comprises ten thousand feet of glass enclosure, was constructed in 1874. On October 26, 1881, he married Miss Ida T. Spargo, daughter of William and Elizabeth Spargo. They have two children: Ida R., born October 4, 1882; and George Stephen Parker, born August 7, 1885.

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Created: November 13, 2004   Modified: November 13, 2004