GEORGE N. PARKER,
while primarily a lawyer, is one of the prominent men in Robinson, Illinois, in other fields than this, his chosen one. As was quite natural he was drawn from the law into politics, and has been a member of the state Democratic committee. In the business world his activity has increased with the years. He is interested in the real estate business and in the oil business. In both of these he has made use of his training and experience as a lawyer to win his success. He has the reputation of being one of the hardest working men in Robinson, and when he is retained his client feels that if the case is lost it will not be the fault of the lawyer, for when Mr. Parker accepts a case he works indefatigably for victory. He does not know the meaning of the word “discouraged” and this very confidence of his often serves to win eases that in the hands of a less persistent man would be lost. He is always in a hurry, yet usually seems to have time to discuss a business deal or a law case. His faithfulness to his clients has helped to win the confidence of business men, and they have placed him in a number of positions of responsibility.
George Newman Parker was born in Crawford county, Illinois, on the 9th of April, 1843. His father, Samuel Parker, was a native of Ohio, having been born in Miami township, Butler county, Ohio, on the 22nd of May, 1816. He was the son of Jonathan and Mary (Newman) Parker, and he was the grandson of James Parker. When Samuel Parker was a babe of two years his parents moved to Crawford county, Illinois, arriving in their new home on the 11th of October, 1818. Here the lad grew up and as soon as he was old enough took up the vocation to which his father had devoted his life, that is, farming. He spent all of his life in this pursuit, and made a fair success. He was married to Emeline Lanham. Her father was a veteran of the War of 1812, and died as a member of the Volunteer army. Emeline Lanham was born in Louisiana. Of her three children, George N. is the youngest. His oldest sister, Mary J., is Mrs. Barrick, of Robinson, and his older sister, Sabrina Ann, who became Mrs. Dean. is now deceased. In politics Samuel Parker was a Whig-Democrat. He died on the 7th of September, 1904, his wife having died at the age of seventy-two, on the 16th of August, 1888.
George Newman Parker was brought up on the farm, and while given some advantage in the way of education, had the healthful life of the farm as a background. The many hours a day that he spent out-of-doors cleared his brain and assisted him in comprehending cube root and the complexities of English grammar. His elementary education was received in the common schools, and when he outgrew these he was sent to Palestine Academy. He later attended Union Christian College, Merom, Indiana. He lived at home on the farm until he was twenty-two yers of age, but at seventeen had started out in life as a school teacher. He taught school for several years and in November, 1865, was elected county superintendent of schools. He filled this position for four years, at the same time reading law in the office of C. C. Fletcher. He then gave up his school teaching and matriculated at the University of Michigan, in the law department. He left the University in 1870, and was admitted to the bar by the Illinois state supreme court in June, 1870. In 1878 he was admitted to practice in the United States supreme court. As soon as he was entitled to practice he settled in Robinson, Illinois, and opened an office. From that time up to the present he has been in practice in this city. Mr. Parker first practiced alone, but after eleven years he formed a partnership with J. C. Olwin. This association lasted for two years, and then he formed a second partnership with J. B. Crowley. Judge Crowley was appointed special treasury agent in charge of the United States fisheries in Alaska in 1893, and during his absence on this duty Mr. H. S. Bogard became a member of the firm. He subsequently became attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad Company, and is general attorney for other corporations.
In politics Mr. Parker is a Democrat, and for twelve years he has been a member of the Crawford county central committee. His term of service as a member of the state central committee lasted four years. He has done good work in both of these committees, and the Democratic party count him one of their most valuable men. In 1908 he had the honor of being sent as a delegate to the national convention in Denver when William Jennings Bryan received his third nomination for president. Mr. Parker is a member of the Elks, of the Modern Woodmen of America, of the Modern Americans, and of the Tribe of Ben Hur. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian church.
Mr. Parker has been a very successful dealer in real estate and this business has always held a great fascination for him. For some time he published the Real Estate Exchange, a journal devoted to the needs of those who bought and sold property of any kind. He is also much interested in the oil business and a large share of his fortune is invested in oil lands or in the stock of oil companies. He is a member of the E. Lindsay Oil Company, the J. B. Crowley Oil Company, the George N. Parker Oil Company, the McKean Oil Company and several others. He is also president of the Robinson Oil Company, which carried on extensive operations in Indiana. He is interested in other lines of business as well, being secretary of the Robinson Pipe Tong Company, and is president of the Meyers Motor Company. His training as a lawyer has given him the ability to think rapidly and to act quickly, and in his business experience he has found this a large factor in his success.
On the 5th of May, 1870, Mr. Parker was married to Julia Alice Crowley, the daughter of Samuel B. and Elizabeth Crowley. Mr. and Mrs. Parker are enthusiastic lovers of flowers and have one of the largest collections in Crawford county.