Bio: Parker, Nehemiah (Commemorative Bio - 1895)

Poster: Crystal Wendt

Nehemiah Parker

Nehemiah Parker, one of the honored residents of Merrill, Lincoln County, was born in Canada, April 10, 1821. His father, Nathaniel Parker, who was a native of Brattleboro, Vt., was married in Sudbury, Mass., to Persis Stone, but soon afterward they located in Canada, where all of their children were born, with the exception of the oldest, whose birth occurred in Massachusetts. They are as follows: Sewell, Lucia, Louis (deceased), Nehemiah, Stephen, Fannie, Hester, Louis, George R., Marshall and Percy. While living in Canada the father engaged in agricultural pursuits, and also carried on a hotel until his death in 1868. The mother was called to her final rest at the age of seventy-four. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a Revolutionary soldier, and his wife, though a resident of Canada drew a pension for many years. They were of English descent, their forefathers having come to America from England about 1700.

In 1844, at the age of twenty-three years, Mr. Parker went at wagon making, there remaining until 1846, when he came to Wisconsin, locating at Milwaukee. That fall he proceeded to Hartford, Washington County, where he worked at his trade and was married, after which he engaged in the hotel business, making that place his home for seventeen years. There he enlisted in 1864, becoming a member of Company C, Forty-first Wis. V. I., in which he served for one hundred days, being stationed at Memphis, Tenn. He was made sergeant of the company, and received his discharged on the 3rd of September, 1864, but during his service his wife had died.

After returning home, Mr. Parker removed to Fond du Lac, Wis., becoming filer in a shingle mill, but the following fall he went to Adams County, where he purchased an interest in a gristmill, which he continued to operate for six years, when he sold out and returned to Fond du Lac, there working at his trade. In 1873 we find him in Clark County, Wis., where he followed the same line of work, and also improved a cranberry marsh, but in the latter occupation did not meet with the success which he anticipated. After remaining in that county for eight years, he in 1880 came to Merrill, where he erected the building which is now used as the sash, door and blind factory owned by A. H. Stange & Co. He followed the millwright business until 1888, helping to build many of the largest mills in this valley. He purchased land on his arrival in Merrill, on which he now makes his home, and since discontinuing his trade has carried on a hotel, of which his wife had charge during his absence at work.

Mr. Parker was first married in 1849 to Caroline M. Knapp, by whom he had three sons, all of whom are now deceased, and his wife passed away in June, 1864, shortly after his enlistment for service in thee Civil War. His second marriage took place in January, 1866, when Cornelia A. Willis became his wife. She was born in New York in December, 1840, a daughter of Wilmot O. and Mary A. (Wood) Willis, who were the parents of nine children: William H., Joseph W., Nelson L., Lewis W., James R., Mary E., David B., Cornelia A. and Theodore F. The father was born in the City of New York on the 11th of December, 1798, and his wife in Goshen, the same State, June 12, 1802. In 1822 they were married, and removed to Wisconsin in May, 1846, where the father carried on farming until his death, which occurred June 5, 1857. The mother passed away on the 30th of August, 1879. He was the only child of William and Elizabeth Willis, who were the English descent. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Parker have been born three children, namely: Carrie A., now the wife of A. T. Henry, residing near Lake Geneva; Myra E., at home; and Mary Frances, wife of James H. Hatch, residing in Merrill.

Politically Mr. Parker affiliates with the Republican Party, to which he gives his earnest support; and socially he is an honored member of the Grand Army of the Republican. He has won for himself a high place in the regard and esteem of his fellow-citizens, and is a valued member of the community.

---Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano. publ. 1895 by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago 1110 pages, illustrated; Page 703-704


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