11 November 2012

The Parkers

We have no evidence that Susan's great-great-uncle is "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker - but it is not impossible.

Charles Cracraft Parker was born the 28th of March, 1852 in Trenton, Missouri - at least, if he was not born there, he certainly lived there at the time that Susan's grandmother Lois (Lolo) was born.  I suppose, in fact, that any relation between CC Parker and Isaac Parker was distant.  Judge Isaac was born in 1838, apparently in Ohio, although his first work as a lawyer was in St Joseph, Missouri - some 70 miles away, and not on the river.  Interesting to speculate :-)

CC married Hattie Brockett (or Brackett?  The family name Brockett appears in Sue's Parker relations, but such skimpy information as the web yields spells her name Brackett), and, in 1880, their first child, a son, Elbridge Tracy Parker (always known as Tracy and as "Uncle Doc").  Tracy is one of the many essential links in the chain that leads to Susan, for Tracy, perhaps in 1899 or 1900, moved to Philomath, Oregon.

Tracy was an osteopath.

Osteopathy is called, in that Wikipedia article, an 'alternative medical practice,' and is, therefore, and perhaps for good reason, suspect.  It is, nevertheless widely practised today - but seems to have had its origins precisely in the time and in the area where Tracy Parker grew up.  Tracy was born in 1880; the article says the term 'osteopathy' was first used in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, who founded the first osteopathic training institute, A. T. Still University, in Kirksville, Missouri.  That Tracy was trained there is not, then, surprising.

How much training is required to be an osteopath?  Modern osteopaths, at least in the United States, require as much as an ordinary medical doctor - four years of medical school and three years of residency.  They are, in fact, fully-trained doctors, with a specialisation added.  In New Zealand they are more limited.

Tracy, by contrast, must have required considerably less, for, if Susan's memories are correct, he can have been at most twenty when, a fully-qualified osteopathic physician, he moved to Oregon.

CC Parker had seven children: Lucy (1882), Haddie (1883), Lois (1886), Vara (1887), Marcia (1893), and Helen (1900) - and Helen was born (14 July) in Albany, Oregon, whereas all the others were born in Trenton.

Susan's belief is that Tracy - "Uncle Doc" as he was by then - had qualified in osteopathy, in Missouri, and was then sponsored by someone in Oregon to come there to practise his medicine, in Philomath, and that as a result the whole Parker clan moved to Oregon.

Since Tracy was born in March, 1880, and his youngest sister was born in July, 1900, in Albany, I infer that he had qualified very young.

Susan says that the whole family, then, moved immediately to Laurelhurst, in Portland.  I think there must have been some intermediate residency elsewhere first, since the article in that link says that Laurelhurst was a housing development started in 1909 from the purchase of a large farm.  In any case, Laurelhurst was their home thereafter - and Tracy is said to have built the first house in Laurelhurst.

Having got this far - with Susan's grandmother Lolo, now about fourteen years old, living in Oregon, can we tell how her young grandfather Reese Peery got there?

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