|William Kepler Parker was born March 3, 1851,
in Mt. Vernon Township, near the site of the present Elks Country Club.
His parents were Dr. James Thomas Parker and Miccah Ann Hutchison. While
he was still a boy the family moved to Clay County, but lived there only
a few years. The father died in Decemher, 1864, and the mother and six
children returned to Jefferson County in 1865.
William farmed in early life. When about twenty-one years of age, he began reading medicine with Dr. W. Duff Green of Mt. Vernon, and also worked for about four years in the blacksmith section of the railroad shops. In 1883 he was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Keokuk, Iowa, and immediately began the practice of medicine at his home in Field Township.
On September 15, 1886, Dr. Parker was married in Mt. Vernon to Laura Ella Dennison, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and reared in Franklin County, Indiana. Her parents were both natives of England. Except for a few years residence in Kell, Dr. and Mrs. Parker spent most of their married life in Field Township, at their home just west of Divide. About 1931 they moved to Dix, where Dr. Parker continued his medical practice until he was eighty-five. He received a Fifty Year Award from the Illinois State Medical Society.
Dr. Parker died in June 1940 at his home in Dix. Mrs. Parker died in June 1942 in Mt. Vernon, at the home of her son Fordyce Parker. Both are buried in Union Chapel Cemetery. They were the parents of five children: William Garfield Parker. M.D., a Mt. Vernon physician for over fifty years; Talmage DeWitt Parker, cashier of the former Bank of Divide, and for many years with the Wabash railroad; James Fordyce Parker. at one time a teacher, and a long-time employee of the Mt. Vernon Post Office, now retired; Sidney Lawrence Parker, a teacher, a county superintendent of Jefferson County schools. and a member of the Illinois State Legislature for several terms; and Ruth Mary Parker, now retired, who formerly taught school, and was also an employee of the Illinois State Library for a number of years. In 1936, Dr. and Mrs. Parker celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary, with all their children and grandchildren present.
SUBMITTED BY: Misty Flannigan
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