Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

. (page 46 of 48)
Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 46 of 48)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


in the northeastern part of North Carolina. That choice section
is somewhat of a peninsula, being bounded on the east by the
Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Albemarle Sound, and on a
portion of the west by the Chowan Kiver, on which site was
Job Parker's original grant.

Coincident with the advent of Job Parker into the Chowan
site in North Carolina was that of Joseph Parker into Chester,
Pennsylvania. These men may have been uncle and nephew, or
elder and younger brother. They were both Quakers, and Job
named his first son Joseph, it being the only one of that personal
name among the early settlers. To establish the relationship
would determine the local origin of Job Parker in England.

Joseph came, bringing his certificate from the Monthly
Meeting in Cumberland to the Chester Monthly Meeting.
This certificate, signed by his father Thomas, is still preserved
in Chester. Upon his arrival he took up his abode with his uncle,
John Sulkeld, a well-known Quaker preacher. The young man's
age was twenty-five, and he bore a fine character, and he soon
rose to a position of prominence in Chester. For a number of
years he was assistant to David Lloyd, Kegistrar and Kecorder
of Chester, and upon the death of the latter succeeded him in
office. In 1724 he was Clerk, and in 1738 Justice of Peace. His wife
Mary Ladd died in 1731, a bride of a year, and left an infant
daughter to bear her name. Joseph Parker survived his wife
thirty-five years, but never remarried, so that his line is con-
tinued in the descendants of his only daughter. Mary Parker
married Charles Norris, son of Isaac Norris, the famous Penn-
sylvania Quaker. Mary Parker Norris was bereaved of both
husband and father in 1756. She died in the Parker homestead,
a double-brick house still standing on Second Street, in Chester,
in 1799. Deborah Norris, granddaughter of Joseph Parker, was
married to Doctor George Logan, grandson of James Logan,
Secretary of the Province of Pennsylvania from 1708 until 1726,
and made their home in the old mansion, so giving it the name
of Logan House. Through their maternal line, many who bear
the name of Norris and Logan are descendants of Joseph Parker,
of Chester.

Job Parker, of Chowan, was founder of that branch of the
family of which William T. Parker is a scion.



(JOG WILLIAM T. PARKER

The surname Parker is a very ancient one, and belongs to
the class of names derived from the occupation of the original
bearer. A follower of William the Conqueror was made keeper
of the Eoyal Park, and bore on dift'erent records the name of
Johannes le Parcliour, le Parkre, le Parkerre. In the Domesday
Book the forms Parcus and de Parco are found. The present
spelling, "Parker," was well established as early as the thir-
teenth century.

A Reginald le Parker accompanied that king to Palestine,
receiving a royal grant of land for his loyalty and bravery. This
Reginald is the ancestor of the Lancashire Parkers, who bore
arms and titles. Branches of this family settled in adjoining
counties. One especially distinguished line had its seat at Nor-
ton Lees, in County Derby, w r hile another made its home in North
Molton, Devon County. Sir Thomas Parker, Earl of Maccles-
field, once Lord Chancellor of England, was a scion of the former
line, while the Earl of Morley belonged to the latter. The coats-
of-arnis of both these houses were elaborate records of distin-
guished services, and the mottoes were in keeping with Parker
characteristics "Dare to be just," and "The reward of the faith-
ful is sure."

The Parker family has an unusual number of titled branches
in England, is well known in the professions, and is of high
standing in the Church.

In the Library of Congress is a rare old volume, printed
in London, in 1711. It is entitled "The Life and Acts of Matthew
Parker, first Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth." By Royal decree he was Chaplain to Anne Boleyn,
shortly after his ordination after the accession of Queen Mary.
He was not in evidence during her reign, but from the beginning
of Elizabeth's reign he was advanced and honored. From one
rank to another he rose until he was made Archbishop of Canter-
bury. The organization of the Anglican Church owes much to
him.

The family of the Archbishop of Canterbury was of Norwich,
of ancient standing and well allied by marriage. It belonged to
the gentry, and was entitled to arms, "In a field Gules three
keys erect," to which was later added (in honor of the Arch-
bishop), "a chevron charged with three resplendent estoilles." In
the last year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 1603, the eldest son
of the Archbishop was knighted.

In the county of Sussex, Geoffrey Parker, of Bexly, is men-
tioned in deeds in 1291. John Parker, Esq., of Ratton, his de-
scendant, in the sixteenth century, was deputy to George Boleyn,
Lord Rochford, Warden of the Cinque Posts. The fourth in
descent was Sir Nicholas Parker, Knt., who was one of the
stockholders in the Virginia Company of London in 1606, which



WILLIAM T. PARKER 601

makes it appear certain that in this family is found the origin
of the American Parkers. Sir Kobert Parker, of Ratton, in
Sussex, was created a baronet in 1674, but the title became
extinct when Sir Walter died in 1750, unmarried. In the lineage
of this branch, the names Thomas, Kobert and William are of
frequent recurrence.

Thomas Parker was named in the Muster of College Lands
in Virginia taken in 1624, and is listed as having arrived in
1618. Thomas Parker, aged twenty-two; Mary Parker, fifteen,
and Robert Parker, twenty-one, came in 1635, while in the same
year several of the name came to Barbadoes and New England.

Undoubtedly all the colonists were of English orgin. In
the interesting old "Register of Marriages in Gray's Inn Chapel,"
the name of Parker occurs fourteen times, from as early as 1695
to 1750. The names of gentry only are recorded in this register,
which is one of the valuable genealogical records of Great
Britain.

The Earl of Macclesfield was descended from Thomas Par-
ker, of reign of Edward III, who possessed the Manor of Lees,
near Norton, County Derby. He was born in Staffordshire,
where the family held estates, and was eminent in law, counsel
to Queen Anne, who created him Baron of Macclesfield and
later Earl,,

A glance over the marriage registers of the Parker family
reveals some interesting maternal lines. Peele, Morris and
Newby are all old colonial Quaker names. The Newby family
was early represented among the emigrants from England to
America, as Henry Newby, twenty-four years of age, came to
Virginia in 1635. Others of the name came later, and are men-
tioned in the Quaker records of Virginia as early a date as 1683.
The Peeles were also prominent Quakers of this period.

In 1702, Nathan Newby gave one hundred pounds of tobacco
toward the erection of a Quaker meeting house on the southern
branch of Nansemond River on Levin Buskin's plantation. His
enthusiasm had no doubt been aroused by his trip in 1698 with
Thomas Story, the Quaker itinerant minister, from Chuckatuck,
Virginia, to the head of Perquiman's Creek in North Carolina.
No doubt Gabriel Newby, who is mentioned as one of the promi-
nent Friends of the Perquiman's section, was 'a relative of
Nathan. The family is English in extraction and was numerous
in Yorkshire, Cumberland and Westmoreland.

The Newbys, of St. Dunstan's Stetney, were of the gentry,
and the marriage of Elizabeth Newby of this family to Robert
Wanmer in 1720 was solemnized in Gray's Inn Chapel.

In the 1790 census of Perquiman's County the Newby family
was well represented in that district.

Mr. Parker's maternal great-grandmother was Pharabe



602 WILLIAM T. PARKER

Saunders, who married Christopher Wilson, settling near Parks-
ville, in Perqniman's County. She was married at the age of
fourteen and raised fourteen children, living to the age of ninety-
three. William Wilson, the oldest, married Mary Parker, son of
Joseph and Elizabeth Morris, and Nancy, the youngest daughter,
married Thomas Newby, grandfather of William T. Parker, so
that his connection with the Wilson family conies in several
strains.

The name Morris, borne by the paternal grandparents of
William Parker, is a distingushed one in American history. It
is twice penned among the signatures of the Declaration of
Independence, once by Lewis Morris, of New York, and again
by Robert Morris, of Philadelphia. It was Robert Morris who in
1780 raised 1,400,000 for the colonies. He organized the Bank
of North America, was one of the framers of the Constitution,
and a member of the first Senate. He was offered the post of
Secretary of the Treasury, but declined. "The Americans," says
a distinguished historian, "owe as much acknowledgment to the
financial operations of Robert Morris as to the negotiations of
Benjamin Franklin, or even the arms of George Washington."

Lewis Morris was the namesake of his grandfather, who
emigrated from Wales to New York, where he obtained a grant
of land, which he named Morrisiania. One of his sons was Chief
Justice of New Jersey and at one time Governor of Pennsyl-
vania. Gouverneur Morris, Statesman, Senator and Minister to
France, was a descendant of this family. Anthony Morris, of
Philadelphia, was a prominent Friend of that settlement, while
Aaron Morris, the great-grandfather of William Parker, was
w r ell-known and esteemed in Quaker circles in North Carolina.
The wife of the latter was a Virginia girl, Miriam Robinson.

Joseph Parker Elliott and William Lancaster Bailey Elliott,
who were well-known figures in Baltimore some thirty years ago,
were first cousins of William T. Parker, by whom they were
highly esteemed. They were successful cotton brokers and thor-
oughbred gentlemen of the old school. Joseph P. Elliott married
a niece of Johns Hopkins and was, up to the time of his death
in 1899, on the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins University
and Hospital. Neither he nor his brother left children.

William T. Parker is also related to Samuel Long, the
deceased millionaire and organizer of the Kalem Film Co., of
New York. Mr. Long's mother is second cousin to Mr. Parker.

The mother of William T. Parker died in 1865, and four
years later his father married Deborah Ann Peele, of Northamp-
ton County, becoming thus allied in closer fashion with a branch
of the family from which his grandfather had chosen a bride one
hundred years before. The son of this marriage, James Peele
Parker, married Elizabeth, daughter of Major William A.



WILLIAM T. PARKER 603

Graham, whose father was Governor of his native State, North
Carolina, and Secretary of the Navy.

It is interesting to note that Lincoln's wife was a descendant
of the Parkers, of Kentucky, through her grandmother, who was
the wife of Eobert Parker.

William T. Parker is as distinctly an integral part of the
life of this community as were those who in a former generation
stamped the family name upon the pages of history.

The farm near Belvidere, Perquiman's County, North Caro-
lina, upon which he was born November 2, 1861, furnished ideal
surroundings for the development of the energies that had
abundant fruition in his maturer life. Belvidere Academy and
the New Garden Boarding School, of Guilford County, now Guil-
ford College, led to more advanced studies at Earlham College.
Richmond, Indiana. This institution was chosen for him by his
parents, because Joseph Moore, the grandson of Joseph Moore
and Penninah Parker, the daughter of Job and Isabel Parker,
great-grandparents of William T. Parker, was its President.

In September, 1907, in High Point, North Carolina, a busi-
ness enterprise was launched, which was a new departure in the
State. The "Parker Paper and Twine Company" was the first
one in North Carolina to undertake the handling of paper and
twine exclusively. Its success was assured from the first, for
Mr. Parker had already established, in the same town in 1902,
the firm of Parker Brothers, a commission house for handling
furniture factory supplies, and these houses were distinct and
valuable additions to the business interests of High Point, having
established its name in the business world.

At twenty-five he was a member of the firm of the Tonilinson
Manufacturing Company, of Archdale, North Carolina, manufac-
turers of leather and shoes. He continued in that association
for thirteen years, and then filled the positions of Secretary,
Treasurer and General Manager of the Carolina Furniture Manu-
facturing Company, of Durham, North Carolina, in which he
was a stockholder for two vears. He sold out his interest Janu-

*s

ary 1, 1902, when he moved to High Point, where he has made
his greatest growth in commercial and financial stature.

Mr. Parker's marriage took place December 11, 1906, and
was the starting point of a domestic life which has been the
source of as keen a sense of gratification in the social circles of
High Point as the progress of Mr. Parker's business enterprises
has been to the community as a whole. Mrs. Parker was Annie
Hayes Dupree, widow of Judge Thomas B. Dupree, of Baton
Rouge, Louisiana. Her father, John Hayes, was prominent
among the northern parishes of Louisiana.

Mr. Parker has been honored by election to the position of
member of the Board of Trustees of Guilford College, North



604 WILLIAM T. PARKER

Carolina, a position lie held for eight years. He was also for
-eral years on the Board of Governors of the Manufacturers'
Club, but declined re-election at the close of his term. He has
been active as a member of the Democratic Party, but has con-
sistently declined nominations for office, although he was elected
a City Councilman over his own protest. He was the first person
in High Point to advocate the nomination of Woodrow Wilson
for President, and contributed more money than any one else in
his town to the successful campaign for his election. He takes
particular pride in the record of the Wilson administration,
and is convinced that the roan of his choice will be hailed by
posterity as one of the greatest Of our Presidents.

As an active member of the Society of Friends his counsel
has been constantly sought by associates in that religious body.
He has also served for three years as Treasurer of the North
Carolina Yearly Meeting, and has long held the position of
Presiding Clerk of the High Point Monthly Meeting.

Mr. Parker is an earnest advocate of a more equitable tax
system in North Carolina, and in other respects has expressed
himself as in favor of certain changes in methods of conducting
the public business. He is strongly convinced that court practice
would be improved by abolition of the kissing of the Bible in
the taking of oaths. In the home life of the community he urges
that reverence and obedience be instilled into every child by the
parents as a means of putting the criminal courts out of business
and revolutionizing the country.

Throughout his life he has been a wide reader, and numbers
among his favorite books the Bible and the works of Dickens,
Scott, Ruskin, Emerson, ancient and modern history, Shakespeare,
Tennyson, Longfellow and Whittier. He is also a constant reader
of the magazines and newspapers.

The only child in the family of Wm. T. Parker is Thomas
Byrd Dupree, son of Mrs. Parker, by her first husband, and sel-
dom if ever has there been greater affection between father and
son than exists between Papa and Torn, as they call each other.



FRANKLIN FLETCHER SMITH

A a point some two miles from the North River in the
northern part of Scheyichbi (New Jersey), in the seven-
teenth century, settled a small Dutch colony. The prin-
cipal object of these people was to till the soil and carry
on trade with the Indians. The point of location was a good
one; many other pioneers joined the party and the settlement
soon grew into a village. A charter was obtained and the place
received the name of Bergen, from a small Holland town. A
volume by M. D. Verstey, treating of these emigrants from the
Netherlands, is of great interest as a portrayal of their admirable
self-sacrifice. Mr. Verstey is "a Hollander by birth, an American
by education, and an antiquarian by instinct."

James Smith was one of the early settlers in New Jersey.
He came from Holland. His son, Major James Smith, rendered
faithful service in the American Army during the Revolution
and had land grants in the Jersey settlement of Davidson County,
North Carolina.

The German family of Stahl-Schinidt bears a coat-of-arms
borne by the Schmidt's in 1546, a baronial family. In America,
Schmidt or Smit is sometimes changed to the English form
"Smith." It is not unlikely, however, that Colonel Franklin
Fletcher Smith, descendant of Major James Smith, comes of one
of the English Smiths who went to Holland from England and
thence emigrated to America.

It is alleged by the Carter-Smiths that Thomas Smith, of
Boston, their progenitor, came to America in company with a
brother, who had been wounded in the Dutch War, and that they
and the Carolina Smiths are related.

"It appears that John Smith, of Charleston, South Carolina,
came to America about 1630, in the ship called 'Mary and John. 7
He had been in the Dutch Wars, and was commonly called
Quartermaster, that being the position he had occupied in the
English Army in Holland. This John Smith got a grant of
land of eighteen hundred acres on the Ashley River, November,
1675. His son, Thomas, was made a Landgrave, with four
baronies of twelve thousand acres each, the whole to descend
to his legal heirs forever. In 1702 Thomas became Governor of
the colony, and he is said to have been the first to introduce rice
into Carolina."

James Smith, according to authorities on New Jersey his-

[607]



608 FKAXKLIX FLETCHER SMITH

tory, landed at Perth Amboy, New Jersey, about 1680, and
Deacon Azariah Crane became his guardian. Crane was the
founder of rrunetown, and being much attached to James, gave
to him in marriage his youngest daughter, Mary Baldwin, whose
mother was the daughter of Governor Robert Treat, of Connecti-
cut. J >eacon Crane gave to his daughter, as her marriage portion,
a farm on the southerly part of his plantation. This, with other
land which Smith had acquired, extended north to the Wheeler
tract, running from the top of the mountain on the south side of
North field Road, thence along the southerly side of the Wheeler
tract to Scotland Street, including the property owned by Caleb
and afterwards by Simeon Harrison.

Smith's house was on the east slope of the mountain, in
what is known as Orange Valley, and he was one of the company
of one hundred men who made the Horse Neck purchase of
the Indians, which included all the laud west of the Orange
Mountains and east of the Passaic River.

His children were numerous, and after the Revolution, the
family, at least some branches of it, scattered. The original
family is still represented by Paul Smith, of Orange, New Jersey,
who is son of Joseph Warren Smith, son of David, son of the
original James, of Perth Amboy.

Colonel Franklin Fletcher Smith, born in 1S59, in Rowan
County, North Carolina, was the son of Henderson Madison
Smith and Nancy Arnold Harris. His father was a well-known

t/

farmer of that district, and Fletcher's early years, until he was
sixteen, were spent in the open. The recollection of these early
days was a source of delight to him, and he took great pride in
speaking of them.

Leaving home when quite a young man, Colonel Smith went
to Salisbury, North Carolina, to embark in a business career.
There he secured a position with a large mercantile establish-
ment, Bernhardt Brothers. His business ability soon attracted
attention, and he accepted a position as traveling salesman for
a large Northern house. As a salesman he made a brilliant
record, and so successful was he, that at the time of his retire-
ment from the road he was well known in his section and enjoyed
the highest possible reputation as a salesman throughout the
South. Preferring to be at home with his family, Colonel Smith,
after leaving the road, rejected many very good offers to return
to it. He had purchased the drug business of Isenhowr & Bean,
which he reorganized, under the name of the Smith Drug Com-
pany, which is now one of the really prosperous houses in the
vicinity.

Later with H. N. Woodson and Walter H. Wooclson, he
bought the Klutz & Co. drug business. This also was reorganized,
and became the Peoples' Drug Store, with Colonel Smith as its



FRANKLIN FLETCHER SMITH 609

President. The Cook Drug Store was next purchased by the
same parties, and is now known as the Main Pharmacy.

The following is quoted from a newspaper article published
at the time of his death, as showing the esteem in which he was
held :

"He was a live wire, a civic booster, and was called the
father of the Salisbury Industrial Club, as he was the organizer
of the same. He was always alert to the welfare of the com-
munity, and had successfully headed several big celebrations in
Salisbury and always made a success of anything he undertook.
He did not know the word 'fail.' He was optimistic, and always
saw the bright side of life.

'"There were a number of enterprises in which he held office.
He was a Director in the Wachovia Bank and Trust Company,
the Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, was Secretary and
Treasurer of the Metal Culvert Company and a Director in the
Mint Cola Company, besides holding other large interests.

"Colonel Smith was a communicant member of St. Luke's
Episcopal Church and was one of its staunchest supporters. He
was a Mason, an Elk and an Eagle.

"Those who knew Colonel Smith intimately and who claimed
his friendship were indeed fortunate. He was a prince of good
fellows, always sociable, gentle and kind, and scattered sunshine
in every path over which he trod. He was genteel, courteous,
hospitable and affable, a real Chesterfield and a friend to human-
ity. His home life was beautiful and it was maintained with a
lavish hand. He occupied one of the most beautiful homes in
North Carolina."

Colonel Smith married Miss Bobbie Kyle, July 20, 1898.
She was born in Gadsden, Alabama, November 22, 1875, and is a
daughter of Colonel B. B. Kyle, one of North Alabama's most
prominent and influential citizens. Colonel Kyle's father, James,
came to this country from the Xorth of Ireland. Through Colonel
Kyle's mother, Elizabeth Lee Jones, Mrs. Smith is a direct de-
scendant of the well-known Jones family of Baltimore, the first
member of which, as early as 1682, came from Wales and, settling
on the nothern harbor of Baltimore, named the famous Jones
Creek. Mrs. Smith's mother was Mary Virginia Nuckolls, of

*> <_j /

Columbus, Georgia.

Colonel Smith died November 16, 1915, and was survived
by his wife and one son, Franklin Fletcher, Jr.; also by one
brother, Mr. J. K. Smith, and one sister, Mrs. M. L. Brown, both
of Concord.

His funeral was from St. Luke's Episcopal Church, the
service was conducted by Bev. W. W. Way and the burial was
in Chestnut Hill Cemetery.

Members of the Masons, Elks and Eagles attended, and the



610 FRANKLIN FLETCHER SMITH

pall bearers were six young men employed in the three drug
stores, of which Colonel Smith was the head. Colonel Smith
was a man distinguished for caution, solid practical intelligence,
sturdy industry and great courage. His one ideal was to do
whatever lie did in the best way possible "To plow his row' 1
straighter than anyone else; to be the best clerk in town, the
best drummer on the road and to have the best drug store in
the State.

Nancy Arnold Harris, mother of Colonel Franklin Fletcher
Smith, conies of a family whose name is perhaps one of the most
frequently met in North Carolina. It occupies four and a half
pages in the index of the North Carolina Colonial and State
Records. Its descent is traced from one Edward Harris, of
Wiltshire, England. w r ho removed to Ayershire, Scotland, in the
latter part of the seventeenth century. Five of his sons came to
America, some settling in Pennsylvania and some in Virginia.
Later, about 1751, Charles came from Virginia to North Caro-
lina, and purchased a large tract of land on the Rocky River.
Many of the descendants of this family have been persons of
worth and distinction, who have worked earnestly for the wel-
fare of State and country.

The Smiths, in some branches, can trace their ancestors as
far back as Henry II. On a brass at Brightwell, Baldwin, Oxon,
dated A. D. 1400, is the following inscription : "John ye Smith ;"



Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 46 of 48)