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Burlington Library Association

James Parker

Thanks to Leonard Alderman for this interesting biographical material:

From my Vol. 4 history:
Len, About all I can tell you about Jim Parker was that he came to this country to work for his uncle who was a partner in Tracy, Robinson and Williams hardware store in Hartford.  Since he was the youngest of about seven children, therefore last in line to share in his familyís wealth in England, he thought he would do better working for his uncle, David Williams, who was his first wifeís, Dorothy Williams Parkerís, father. He didnít care about working in a store, so went out west and was a ranch hand and finally a railroad detective.  

He returned to Hartford and lived at his uncleís house on Girard Ave., getting a job as humane agent for the Connecticut Humane Society.  He and Dot were married either in the late thirties or early forties and continued living on Girard Ave.  He was a horseman who loved horses and couldnít tolerate seeing them mistreated, so the Humane Society used to have him patrol in Keney Park in Hartford, where there were many riding trails and stables and his duties were to make sure the horses were not mistreated.  They sent him out west several years to over see endurance races which were notorious for mistreating horses.  Since he was unknown out there, he was able to watch how the horses were treated and be able to arrest those responsible.  It was a dangerous job as much money was at stake on the race outcome.  

The Parkers bought the Burlington property in the early fifties and intended it to be their retirement home, which it was.  They each had a horse, which Jim had rescued and brought back to good health.  They enjoyed riding on trails in Nassahegan Forest as well as Taine Mountain and other parts of Burlington.  They were members of The Connecticut Trail Riders, who honored Jim for his work organizing trail rides and for his work teaching 4-H members to ride and care for horses.  His favorite trail ride was the twenty-five mile Riverton ride that he led for a good many years, starting at Punch Brook Farm and riding to Peoples State Forest, returning to Burlington the next day. 

Dot died in the early seventies and Jim remarried Charlotte Van Kleek several years later.  He had met her in Arizona on one of their trips west after he retired.  Charlotte was not a horse person, but Jim stayed active in the Trail Riders and 4-H just the same.  It broke his heart to finally sell Punch Brook Farm in the mid eighties, but he continued riding in Arizona up until he died in 1987.  He was in his nineties at that time.  That is about all I can remember about him. 
Jim Jewett

James R. Parker of Punch Brook Road was feted on his 90th birthday by the Nepaug Trail Riders 4H Club in a potluck picnic at his home. Mr. Parker said he had known a lot of kids and that there was nothing better for a kid than a horse. Parker was congratulated on his many activities in town.  A well-known horseman, he has been a 4H leader since 1958 and is a member of the Lions Club and the Historical Society. In presenting Mr. Parker with a certificate of appreciation and a 4H license plate, Edward Merritt, Extension agent, said the certificate was presented for exceptional service to the community.  Parker was given gifts by Bill Bradley, president of the Nepaug Trail Riders 4H Club.  (The Farmington Valley Herald.)

According to our records Mr. Parker passed away March 14, 1987.  Mrs. Dorothy E.W. Parker created The Burlington Fund here at the Hartford Foundation with $21,642.90.  Anita Ford Saunders, APR Senior Communications Officer, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

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