Dr John Dempster Parker

Dr John Dempster Parker

Homer, Cortland County, New York, USA
Death 8 Mar 1909 (aged 77)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Memorial ID 116740132 · View Source
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John Dempster Parker was born in Homer, New York, September 8, 1831. His mother, Mary Polly (nee Batcheller - b. 1800) was from Connecticut and his father, Rev. Roswell Davenport Parker(b. 1791) was from Massachusetts.

When he was four years of age his parents moved to North Adams, Hillsboro County, Michigan. There he passed his boyhood days and obtained a common-school education. He prepared for college at Jonesville, Michigan, and at nineteen years of age (1850) he entered the Michigan University at Ann Arbor, where he completed a classical course. After his graduation from Michigan, he served a year as principal of a private academy in Indiana, and then taught four years in the graded schools of Illinois.

On May 5, 1857, he married Nancy A. Hall. They were the parents of three children. Their eldest daughter, Glennie Agnes, was born in Feb. 25, 1858 in Indiana. After moving to Sterling, IL., a second daughter, Myrtle, was born Nov. 14, 1861. She died at age 4. Their son, Charles Lyell, was born on Jan.21, 1864 in Bloomington, IL.

Parker entered the Chicago Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1865. He was installed as the minister of the pastorate of the Congregational Church at Plymouth, Illinois on August 16, 1865, and remained there two years. During this period he studied and took the examinations at Illinois College, Jacksonville, and received his doctorate in philosophy in 1867.

In 1867, he was invited by the newly incorporated Lincoln College at Topeka, Kansas, to take temporary charge of the preparatory department of that institution. At the end of the first term, he was elected Professor of Natural Science and Mathematics. Among other subjects in the sciences, he taught Greek, Physics, Analytical Geometry and Surveying.

One of his early accomplishments was the 1868 publication of an article in the American Journal of Science and Arts about the April, 1867 earthquake in Kansas. He resigned his position in August, 1869, following mismanagement of funds by the college treasurer. This was less than a year after the school became Washburn College. After working for the Commonwealth newspaper in Topeka for a year, he left to serve as pastor of a Congregational church at Burlington, Kansas. In 1871, he was appointed by the Governor to be Superintendent of the Kansas Institution for the Blind in Wyandotte (now Kansas City), Kansas and was there four years.

In 1875 Doctor Parker moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he was a missionary for seven years. During his residence there organized the Kansas City Academy of Science.

In July, 1882 he was commissioned a Captain by President Arthur, serving as a post chaplain in the United States Army. He served with distinction in that capacity for thirteen years at various army posts including Fort Hays and Fort Riley in Kansas, Fort Robinson in Nebraska, Fort McKavitt in Texas, Fort Bowie in Arizona and Fort Stockton in California.

In 1890, while stationed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, Dr Parker made the initial efforts for the organization of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences (est. January 1, 1891, at Lincoln). He was also one of organizers of the California Science Association, where he was elected Custodian in 1896.

His last station was at San Diego, California, where he retired from active service in September 1895.

In 1893 he originated the movement that resulted in the establishment of the Normal School in San Diego in 1897.

In 1902, while living in New Jersey, he published a book entitled "The Sabbath Transferred."

Doctor Parker died at the age of 77 of arterial sclerosis, in the general hospital at The Presidio, San Francisco, March 8, 1909. Funeral services were held in the post chapel. He was buried with full military honors in the National Cemetery at The Presidio.

Los Angeles Herald, Volume 36, Number 160, page 8, 10 March 1909
Old Army Chaplain Dies
SAN FRANCISCO, March 9.—Capt. John D. Parker, one of the oldest army chaplains In the service, died at the Presidio general hospital yesterday. He retired from the active list some time ago, since which time he has resided in Berkeley

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  • Created by: Mike Everhart
  • Added: 8 Sep 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 116740132
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr John Dempster Parker (8 Sep 1831–8 Mar 1909), Find a Grave Memorial no. 116740132, citing San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA ; Maintained by Mike Everhart (contributor 47336481) .