HENRY F. PARKER

& the DOW FAMILY

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  756      

HENRY F. PARKER  is one of the leading citizens of South Coventry, Tolland county, where he is well and favorably known as a responsible and thoroughly trustworthy business man.

Asa Parker, the grandfather of Henry F., married Hannah Sprague, a daughter of Elisha Sprague, in 1806, and died Jan. 3, 1851, at the age of sixty-nine years.  His wife died Dec. 1, 1877, aged ninety-four years.  They had children as follows:  Sherman J., born in 1807, who died March 15, 1877;  Philo F., born March 26, 1809;  Miranda, born in 1811, who died in 1837;  Lucia, born June 6, 1813, became the mother of E.D. White, and is living in Andover;  Elisha D., born in 1815, who died Feb. 27, 1859;  Martha, born June 11, 1817;  Mary, born Feb. 9, 1819;  Nancy, born Feb. 14, 1824, who married A.J. Hutchinson in 1844;  Edwin B., born in 1822, who died in 1868;  Sarah E., born in 1825, who died in 1828.

Mr. Parker lived in Coventry, where he owned a farm and was a cooper by trade, making a very considerable success of his business, and holding a good position in the community.  Both himself and his wife belonged to the Baptist Church.

Asa Parker was a son of Phineas and Martha Parker, who were married in 1741, and had children:  Dennis, Phoebe, Phineas, Rachel, Samuel, Timothy, Martha, Asa, Esther and Mary.

James Parker and Tabitha Strong were married in 1728.  They had one son, Elijah, who was born March 13, 1730, and Mrs. Parker died seven days after his birth.  Mr. Parker was married to Elizabeth Skinner in 1732, by whom he had the following children:  James, born in 1734, who died in 1740;  Candee, born in 1736;  Elizabeth, born in 1739;  Tabitha, born in 1741, who died in childhood;  Mary, born in 1743;  Tabitha (2), born in 1747;  Ann, born in 1749.

The father of Henry F. Parker, who was born in the town of Coventry, grew up in his native community, and at the age of eighteen years went to Manchester, Tolland county, where he learned the blacksmith trade under Capt. William Wilson.  After he had completed his apprenticeship he went to Canada, where he worked at his trade for a few years, and then returned to Connecticut, to work for the Glass Factory Company at Willington.  Presently he started a shop in Coventry, and in 1845 removed to the village, buying a shop in which he continued his trade as long as he lived.  When his son, Henry F., had grown up, he took him in as a partner.  The father was strongly opposed to the Civil war, but he had a son who enlisted and died in Andersonville.  The mother was a member of the Congregational Church.  Her name was Fanny Dow, and she was born Oct. 19, 1806, married Mr. Parker Aug. 23, 1832, and died Dec. 25, 1876.

To this Dow family belonged Lorenzo Dow, very widely known as an eccentric Methodist preacher.  He was born in Coventry in 1777, son of Humphrey Dow, attained a great name on the frontier, and died in 1834.  Peletiah Dow, the brother of Humphrey, and grandfather of Mrs. Parker, died in 1829, at the age of eighty-six.  His wife, Catherine Rose, died in 1827, at the age of eighty-nine.  They had eight children, Mabel, Sanford, John, Elizabeth, Jane, Hannah, Margery, and Clarinda.  John was the father of Mrs. Parker.  John Dow was born in 1776, and died in 1851.  His wife, Clarissa Guild, was born in 1778, and died in 1842.  To John and Clarissa Dow were born five children:  (1) Diantha, born in 1800, was first married to Mr. Woodworth, and second to Solomon P. Loomis.  (2) Almira, born in 1802, died in 1877; she married Samuel Wilson, whose son, John D. Wilson, resides in South Coventry; they have two other children, Jane C., and Lorenzo D.  (3) John N., born in 1805, died in 1880; he married Mary Porter, and had two children: Lorenzo F., born May 26, 1841; and Arthur P., born Feb. 19, 1845.  (4) Fanny, the mother of Henry F. Parker, was born Oct. 19, 1806.  (5) Silas N., was born in 1810.  To the marriage of Mr. Parker and Fanny Dow were born:  Lucia M., born July 13, 1834, who died Jan. 11, 1886, unmarried;  Henry F., whose name appears above, born Jan. 20, 1836;  Mandana, born Oct. 7, 1839, who died Dec. 28, 1851;  Sanford Dow and Sarah Dewey, twins, born Feb. 12, 1842, of whom the brother died July 30, 1864, at Andersonville prison, having been taken prisoner at St. Augustine, Fla., and the sister is the wife of Mr. Tibbals, of Hartford;  Mary Augusta, born March 21, 1845, who married Horatio H. Brainerd, of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Henry Franklin Parker was born in Willington, Conn., and at the age of six months was taken by his family to Coventry, where he was reared to manhood.  Until he reached the age of sixteen years he attended school, and at that time entered his father's shop, being admitted to a partnership in 1856, a connection that was sustained unbroken until the death of the father.  Mr. Parker has continued the business alone since that time.  Quite a business is thrown upon him in the way of caring for the property of other people, and for twenty-four years he has managed the estate of Mr. Reynolds.  He does an extensive real estate business, and handles a number of tenements for different parties.

Mr. Parker is a Republican, though his first presidential vote was cast for a Democratic candidate; he has served as constable, collector and grand juror; for several years past having been moderator of the town meetings.

Mr. Parker was married to Lizzie A. Bradbury, a daughter of David and Hannah Bradbury, July 19, 1858.  Her father was a Methodist clergyman, and was stationed at Coventry at the time; her mother, who was born in England, died in 1884 at the age of fifty-eight years.  (1) Frank Sanford, their eldest child, born July 25, 1863, is now an engineer on the Northeastern Railroad, and runs from Boston to Providence, R.I.; since he was eighteen years of age he has been in the employ of this road; in 1882 he married Mattie Shaw, and has one child, Fannie E., born Jan. 20, 1884.  (2) Ralph Henry is unmarried.

Mr. Parker was married Sept. 2, 1885, to Caroline H. Howard, who died May 6, 1895; she was born in New York, March 17, 1843, and had been for fourteen years before her marriage a teacher in the Hartford schools.

Mr. Parker married for his third wife, Nov. 20, 1895, Elizabeth Risley.  She was born May 23, 1864, was a daughter of Francis and Lois (Thayer) Risley, and is the mother of one child, Lois Marian Elizabeth, born Jan. 31, 1900.

Mr. Parker has been a Mason since 1859, and belongs to Trinity Chapter, No. 9, at Willimantic.  A charter member of Wangumbaug Grange, he was secretary of the Grange for several years, serving two years as Master of the local lodge.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel 

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