James Parker, one of the prominent farmers of Brandywine Township, was born in Hendricks
Township, this county, February 19, 1841. He was the second of seven children, four sons and three
daughters, born to Squire G. and Merrib (Updegraff) Parker, the former a native of Kentucky, of Irish descent, and the latter a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent. His paternal grandfather was James Parker. The parents of his mother were Martin and Rebecca Updegraff. His three brothers were: William, Washington and Martin D., of whom Washington is deceased, having been killed in the army. His three sisters were: Sarah J., Elizabeth, and Frances A., of whom Sarah J. is deceased. He was reared upon his father's farm in his native township, and
on the 31st day of December, 1863, he was married to Maria Clark, who was born in Dearborn
County, this State, October 27, 1842, and was the daughter of James M. and Mary (Mason)
Clark, the former a native of Newport, R.I., born August 2, 1809, and the latter a native of England
born about 1814, both of English descent. Her paternal grandparents were George W. and
Desire Clark. Her mother's parents were Robert and Elizabeth Mason, with whom she came
to America when she was three years old. Mrs. Parker had six brothers and three sisters, whose
names in the order of their ages, are as follows: John M., George W., Ann Elizabeth, Robert M., William, Charles H., Clara L., Edward J., and Mary J., all of whom are living except
Mary J., who died at the age of fifteen. For two years after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Parker resided upon a farm in Hendricks Township. They then removed to Brandywine Township, and two
years later they became residents of Addison Township. They returned to Brandywine Township in
September, 1883, and located upon the farm they now occupy. The life occupation of Mr. Parker
has been that of a farmer and as such he has been very successful. He and wife are the parents of
five children. They are: Mary J., born July 4, 1865; Cora L., born
January 4, 1868; Charles F., born June 11, 1870; Roy J., born July 2, 1877, and Merrib, born November 13, 1882.
These children are all living, and strange to say, none of them has ever needed the service of a physician. The oldest daughter, Mary J., was married March 16, 1887, to Henry Bass, a native
of Brandywine Township, born November 16, 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Parker are members of the
Christian Church. In politics the former is a Republican. He owns a handsome farm where he lives,
of 180 acres, nearly all of which is in a high state of cultivation. His farm is fitted up with a good residence, which, with other substantial improvements, makes a very desirable location. Besides this he
owns a good farm of eighty acres in Addison Township. He is an enterprising, industrious and successful farmer and a first-class citizen.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, "Brandywine [Township] Sketches," Brant and Fuller, 1887, page 622-23.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming.