Margaret Perry

Margaret Perry was an older sister of my great-great-grandfather and the third child of Moses and Sarah (Russell) Perry. She was born about 1798 in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, coming to Scrubgrass township, in Venango county, PA, "in 1799 at the age of one year" with her parents.1 Her middle name may have been Mary.

Margaret married John W. Parker 8 Jan 1822 in Venango county. After marriage, the couple moved to Parker township in neighboring Butler county. This place was founded by, and named for, John's father. Some of their descendants moved to adjacent areas in western Pennsylvania such as Armstrong and Clarion counties, while some returned to Venango county. Cousin Mary Pierotti found an article about Margaret and John's grandson, William Perry Parker in an Armstrong county history2 which not only includes a biographical sketch of this descendant, but also provides a lot of information on John and Margaret and their children:

WILLIAM P. PARKER, merchant of Parker Landing, and present sheriff of Armstrong county, is a descendant of an old and honored Pennsylvania family, prominently identified for more than a century with the history of this section of the State. He was born at Callensburg, Clarion Co., Pa., Jan. 27, 1861, the youngest son of James and Emma (Leonard) Parker...

[The biographies of John's father and grandfather appeared here in the original.]

(III) John W. Parker, second son of Judge John and Jane (Woods) Parker, was born on the old Parker homestead in Parker township, Butler Co., Pa., Nov. 20, 1800. His life was passed in his native township. His father left him a portion of the homestead and there he engaged throughout his life in agricultural pursuits, dying July 24, 1861, in the house in which he began his married life. His wife, Margaret Perry, was a second cousin of Commodore Perry,3 of worldwide fame, and the following children were born to them:

  1. William and
  2. James, both deceased;
  3. Sarah J., deceased, who was the wife of Samuel Craig;
  4. Elizabeth, deceased, wife of Dr. William Beatty;
  5. John, deceased;
  6. Susan, who married Rev. George Ball;
  7. Phoebe, deceased, wife of Jason Berry; and
  8. George W., who survives.

(IV) James Parker, son of John W. and Margaret (Perry) Parker, and father of William P. Parker, was born at Lawrenceburg (now Parker City), May 4, 1825, and there grew to manhood. For several years he owned a half interest in the ferry at Parkers Landing, and from 1861 until 1866 was the proprietor of the "Eagle Hotel," at Callensburg, Clarion county. When he returned to Parker City the oil excitement was at its height, and he became interested in the oil business, in which he continued until his death. For five years he engaged in the hotel business at Parker City and also was in the mercantile business, selling his interest in the latter line in the seventies. He then purchased the old homestead, where he followed farming, but later reentered the mercantile business at Parker and continued in this line until the close of a very long and busy career. His death occurred on Sept. 8, 1893.

James Parker married Aug. 17, 1847, Emma Leonard, daughter of Reuben and Ann L. (Edwards) Leonard, natives of England. The father of Mrs. Parker was an iron worker by trade, and with a brother established the first iron works in the present great iron city of Pittsburgh, Pa., in the early part of the nineteenth century, which they operated as the Kensington Rolling Mills. In 1833 Mr. Leonard brought his family to Perry township, this county, locating on Bear creek, purchasing the old Bear creek furnace, which he operated several years. After his retirement he lived with his daughter, Mrs. James Parker, and died at the old Parker homestead, Nov. 18, 18--.

James Parker and his wife had nine children, namely:

  1. John, deceased;
  2. Mary J., wife of John Garver;
  3. Clara, deceased, wife of James Sample;
  4. Samuel;
  5. Reuben;
  6. Elizabeth, wife of Charles Magnus;
  7. William P.;
  8. Keziah, wife of Curtis Miller; and
  9. Phoebe, wife of A. Russell Wightman.

James Parker was a member of the Presbyterian Church and contributed largely toward the erection of the first Presbyterian edifice built in Lawrenceburg. Politically he was a Republican, and he served one term as justice of the peace.

(V) William Perry Parker grew to manhood at Parker City and was educated in the public schools. In 1881 he began his individual business career as a merchant there and since 1884 has been proprietor of his present store. He carries a very large stock, mainly groceries and hardware, and not only is one of the progressive business men but also one of the most enterprising and public-spirited citizens of the place. Since 1880 he has also been extensively interested in the oil industry, and has other interests, being a stockholder and a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Parker. Although not united with any church body, he is a contributor to all denominations and gave liberally toward the erection of the present handsome church edifice of the Presbyterians at Parker. Politically he is a Republican and at present a member of the city council. On Nov. 14, 1913, he was elected sheriff of Armstrong county for four years, as the Republican candidate, receiving a large majority over a Democrat and Washington party candidates.

Mr. Parker was married May 6, 1908, to Delta R. Davis, daughter of George P. and Berdita Davis, of Parker City, and two children have been born to them:

  1. William P. and
  2. Phoebe M., twins, the former of whom is deceased.

Mr. Parker is a member of Parker City Lodge, No. 521, F & A. M.

The 1850 census finds Margaret and John living in Parker township with six of their children. Their entries are immediately after those of Reuben and Anne Leonard. In 1860, Sarah, Phoebe and George were with them, in addition to their grandson (Elizabeth's son), who is listed as William Beatty Parker, however Sarah is listed as 20 years of age instead of 32!

Margaret (Perry) Parker died 18 Oct 1865 and is buried in Parker Presbyterian Cemetery, Parker, Armstrong county, PA. Mary Pierotti visited the grave at sunset about five years ago (2003).

At the time of the 1920 census, William P. Parker and his wife and daughter were living at 482 E. High Street, Kittaning, PA. Mrs. Parker's first name appears to be Della.

A Venango county history4 provides additional information about John and Margaret and their other descendants:

John W. Parker was born Oct. 20, 1800, was married Jan. 8, 1822, to Margaret Perry, daughter of Moses and Sallie (Russell) Perry, and died July 24, 1861. His children were:

  1. William, born May 16, 1823, died July 4, 1899; he married Isabelle Pollock, and all their children died young except Robert Pollock.
  2. James, born May 4, 1825, died Sept. 8, 1894; he married Emma Leonard, and their children were
    1. John D.,
    2. Mary Jane,
    3. Clara,
    4. Samuel,
    5. Reuben,
    6. Elizabeth,
    7. William,
    8. Keziah,
    9. and Phoebe.
  3. Sarah, born July 8, 1827, married Samuel Craig, and died in October, 1903; her children were
    1. Elizabeth
    2. and Miranda.
  4. Elizabeth, born in 1829, died June 11, 1851, the wife of Dr. John T. Beatty, by whom she had three children, William and two others who died young.
  5. Margaret, born April 18, 1831, married Dr. Joseph W. Eggert and died Dec. 11, 1896; she had four children,
    1. John,
    2. George L.,
    3. Elizabeth
    4. and Manda.
  6. John, born Oct. 9, 1833, died Sept. 15, 1901; he married Martha Jane Fitterer, and they had children,
    1. Alonzo S.,
    2. Margaret Ann,
    3. Charles A.,
    4. Katharine D.,
    5. John W.
    6. and Ethel.
  7. Susan, born Aug. 29, 1835, died in 1915, married W. D. Riddle and (second) George W. Ball.
  8. Phoebe, born July 16, 1835,5 died in December, 1908; she was the wife of Jason Berry, and mother of
    1. Isabelle,
    2. Richard Jason
    3. and Charles Parker.
  9. George Washington was the father of William M. and Harold T. Parker.

GEORGE WASHINGTON PARKER, born Feb. 22, 1841, died March 18, 1913. He received a good practical education, attending the home schools and later studying at a business college in Pittsburgh, and first came to Oil City in 1861, although he did not make a permanent settlement then. During the Civil War he served a three months' term of enlistment with the 154th Pennsylvania volunteers. In 1865, after the close of the war, he came back to Oil City and engaged in business ad an oil shipper, first as a member of the firm of Parker, Castle & Co., and later as one of the firm of Parker, Thompson & Co., who had a wharf and enjoyed an extensive patronage. Mr. Parker was in this line until 1872, when he became connected with the Oil City National Bank as teller, and it was thereafter his principal interest, for he was promoted in time to cashier and eventually became president, retaining that office until his death. He was one of the directors of the bank for over fifteen years, and much of the prosperity of the bank should be attributed to his well known conservatism and sound judgment. Though careful and prudent in all his affairs, he was ever thoroughly progressive, and in nothing more so than in his ideas on community life and the responsibilities of citizenship. His attitude in such matters, and his public spirit in giving expression to them, was of so practical a turn, that he was often called upon to fill public positions, in which he acquitted himself with the greatest credit, showing the courage of his convictions and giving substantial evidence of his sincerity. When Oil City was incorporated as a city he was chosen a member of the first council, and served ten years in that body; for four years he was a member of the select council, and for fifteen years a member of the school board. Among his notable services as councilman may be mentioned his work as a member of the committee that secured the fine water supply which Oil City is now enjoying. That and many other improvements in the city were brought about with his cooperation.

On Nov. 4, 1869, Mr. Parker was married to Rebecca McCready, who was born June 19, 1850, daughter of William McCready, a paper manufacturer, of New Jersey, and died Jan 8, 1909. They were the parents of three children,

  1. William M.,
  2. Edith (born July 13, 1874),
  3. and Harold Thompson, the two sons surviving.

WILLIAM M. PARKER was born Dec. 19, 1870, in Oil City, and here obtained his preparatory education, graduating from the Oil City high school. He took his collegiate course at Princeton, graduating A. B. in 1891, after which he returned to Oil City and took up the study of law with F. W. Hays and John L. Mattox, meanwhile teaching mathematics in the high school for two years. In 1895 he was admitted to the bar, and in May of that year formed his present association with Judson D. Trax, Trax and Parker occupying a leading place among the legal firms of this part of the state. Mr. Parker was soon granted permission to practice in other courts of the State and the United States, and has done notable work in his profession, he and his partner being intrusted with the conduct of many of the most difficult and particular cases brought into the local courts. Most of his energies have been devoted to his practice, which has become very extensive, and though a good Republican he has not given much time to politics or other public affairs except in his capacity of private citizen. He takes pride in his ownership of 180 acres of the original Parker tract in Butler county taken up by his great-grandfather, and which has been in the family name since 1794. Socially he holds membership in the Wanango Club and the Oil City Boat Club, being president of the latter, and his religious connection is with the Second Presbyterian Church.

On April 21, 1898, Mr. Parker married Helen Innis, and their children are:

  1. Helen Elizabeth, born July 18, 1899;
  2. Marian, born March 14, 1901;
  3. Warren Innis, born Sept. 9, 1902;
  4. Rebecca McCready, born Sept. 2, 1905;
  5. and William M., born Nov. 14, 1907.

HAROLD THOMPSON PARKER was born at Oil City Oct. 23, 1884, and grew up there, acquiring his early literary education in the public schools. He graduated from high school in 1902 and followed with a course at Princeton University, from which institution he was graduated in 1907 with the degree of A. B., upon his return to Oil City entering the law offices of Trax and Parker to prepare for the legal profession. After thorough grounding in legal principles and the routine of practice he passed the bar examination in 1911 and was admitted to practice in Venango county, where he has become well established, maintaining offices in the Trax and Parker building in Oil City. He has also been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Mr. Parker has commanded a lucrative clientele from the beginning of his independent career, and he has succeeded in winning the public confidence to such an extent that he holds the position of county solicitor, having been honored with the appointment in 1916. He holds membership in the Lawyers' Club of Oil City, and socially is associated with the Ivy and Boat Clubs, serving as treasurer of the latter.

Mr. Parker married Mary Maxwell, daughter of Samuel L. and Harriet (Finley) Maxwell, of Oil City, where Mrs. Maxwell still resides. The late Samuel L. Maxwell was well known here, having been a prominent member of the Oil Exchange.

In 1920, like their Armstrong county cousins, William and Harold Parker and their families were also living within less than a mile of the Allegheny River, about a mile apart in Oil City.

1 Mary Pierotti located this information in History of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Volume III, by Joseph Riesenman, jr., published by Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., in 1943. The book gives Margaret's name as Mary, and also includes biographies of Harold Parker and George Washington Parker.
2 Armstrong County, Pennsylvania: Her People Past and Present, Embracing a History of the County and a Genealogical and Biographical Record of Representative Families, published by J. H. Beers & Co in 1914, pages 506 and 507, available from Google Books.
3 It wasn't uncommon for people to claim to be relatives of well-known figures who happened to have the same last name. To the best of our knowledge, our Perry family isn't related to that of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry.
4 Venango County Pennsylvania, Her Pioneers and People, Charles A. Babcock, Chicago, J.H. Beers & Co., 1919, Vol. I, pages 462-464, also available from Google Books. This history offers more complete information about John and Margaret's family than the Armstrong county history, including the name of one child -- Margaret -- which the first history omitted.
5 Phebe's birth year appears to be incorrect. It obviously conflicts with Susan's. I would guess she was born in 1838, although her census entries don't agree with one another.
This page was last updated 29 Nov 2008.