MARRIAGE#3: Mary Hardenbrook, no children
From To the Descendants of Rufus L & Ruth Parker, compiled by Rufus W. Parker:
"Frederick W. Parker, the son of Reverend Charles A. and Isabella Dell Parker, was born in Norwood, Ontario on April 28, 1860. Early in 1861 Charles Parker went to Michigan and picked out 80 acres, built a twelve by 16 foot log cabin, and in the spring of 1862 brought his wife and six small children to this humble home. Frederick was the youngest of these children and it was here in Michigan that he grew to manhood, probably working in his father's logging camp and sawmill, and on the family farm in Coral.
In 1880 his father sold out all his holdings in Michigan, and took most of the family to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Being the son of a Congregational minister, Fred apparently followed his footsteps and took up the ministry.
On May 10, 1882, Fred married Lilly Marcia Judson in Salem, and they raised three children, Rufus, Ralph and Margaret. Fred and Lilly were my grandparents, thus their son Rufus was my father.
It is assumed that Fred worked on the family farm and preached the Gospel in and near Salem and Woodburn. He had served the Presbyterian and Adventist churches in Woodburn, and in August of 1892 he preached a sermon, "The Peculiar Characteristics of Congregationalism", in Hubbard, Oregon. This led to the forming of the first Congregational Church of Hubbard, where he preached for about three years. At the same time he was serving the Elliot Prairie Church. His initial salary at the Hubbard Church was $100.00 a year. Revered Parker, with the help of the church members, constructed the Hubbard Church and the completed building was dedicated on October 7, 1894 with 20 members attending. This little church is still serving the community, and celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1992. It was in Hubbard on August 1, 1899, the Frederick's dear wife Lilly Marcia passed away.
I assume that the Revered Parker preached in many churches in the Willamette Valley during the following years. Then in the early 1900s he must have gone to eastern Oregon serving several churches, as my father recalled spending much of his youth in Heppner, Pendleton, Huntington, and Stanfield, Oregon. Then they possibly moved to eastern Washington, serving churches in the small towns in the wheat growing areas.
About 1903 Frederick left the ministry and went into banking. In 1904 I find him serving as Cashier at the Inland Bank of Cunningham, Washington, with a capital stock of $3000.00. At the same time my father, Rufus L. Parker, was serving as Cashier at the Paha Exchange Bank in Paha, Washington. I have no way of knowing how long Frederick stayed in Cunningham or in the banking business. However, he traveled back to western Oregon and took up residence in Gladstone.
I remember that ever Christmas Granddad and Grandma Mary, his second wife, would visit us in Tacoma for the holidays. It was quite an occasion to have them with us. Then during several summers when my father went to Oregon I spent some time at Granddad's home in Gladstone, getting to know him quite well.
When I was a freshman at Washington State College in 1934 one of the most enjoyable parts of the day was after study hours. At 11 P.M. we would gather in someone's room and sit down to a "Bull Session." We would discuss every subject imaginable - girls, athletics, grades, girls, studies, girls, and among other things, religion. I went to college very naive, having attended a rather fundamentalist Baptist church in Tacoma for many years. It was at these "Bull Sessions" that I was exposed to the religions and theology of many of my fellow students. They came from all walks of life and many different religious backgrounds. We all expressed our religious beliefs, and to my amazement one of the seniors claimed to be an Atheist, and that all the religious learning was nothing but bunk. He was a very convincing speaker, and well thought of by everyone.
I asked myself, "How could a smart senior with top grades, and so popular, not believe in God?" So I wanted to be well informed for a future session, and I wrote to Granddad in January of 1934, telling him of our discussions, and asked him many questions about his being a preacher at one time, and that I had heard he had left the church and studied Atheism. He died in February, 1934, but not before he answered my letter. It was the last letter he ever wrote.
You will find a copy of his letter to me [on this web site]. You may find it very interesting and thought-provoking. I found later that Granddad had spent years, reading, and writing on his favorite subject, Religion. I wish that his writings had not all been lost. Here is one of his poems:
WHEN I PASS OUT
When I pass out, let no one say,
"We've suffered loss". Burn up this clay,
Just as you would a worn out shawl.
Death is a resting time for all.
And welcomed at the end of the day.
Let me arrive just when I may
The price I have arranged to pay
I will be ready for the call
When I pass out
If plans were laid for time, I pray
Is not the night a part? Yea, yea!
Then come, kind death, with your warm pall,
Enwrap my flesh that it may fall
Asleep: thus would I end Earth's play
When I pass out.
Granddad, Frederick W. Parker, died February 25, 1934.