If you want to see my first blog click here!
If you want to read my blog about me click here!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Garrett Preston Parker

Garrett Preston Parker is the brother of my Great Grandfather, James Madison Parker.

Garrett was born 25 May 1882 on McKinney Mountain, Madison County, Alabama to George Washington Parker and Sarah Elizabeth Cloud.  He was only 12 years old when his father passes away in January of 1895.  The first record we have for Garrett is the 1900 Census.  Here we find him living with his mother and siblings.  His occupation is a spinner in a cotton mill in Huntsville, Alabama.  I should note his whole family is working in the cotton mill with the exception of his mother, Sarah, and his oldest sister, Lizzie.  Lizzie was 21 years old and not married - I wonder why she was not working also?  His younger sister Mary Ellen was working in the cotton mill - so it couldn't a gender thing.  Of course this was the last record we saw for Lizzie - maybe her health wasn't good. 

I'm not sure which cotton mill the family was working in - or how many there even were.  But most likely they worked at the Dallas Mill. This is based on some assumptions.  First - in the 1900 Census all the families around them are also working at a cotton mill.  The Dallas Mill provided everything for employees who worked there, housing, medical, groceries - they acted as their own small community. Second, on the previous page of the 1900 Census (so it could on the same street or still very close) the occupation of a resident was listed as Police in the town of Dallas.  So I think they very easily could have been employed at the Dallas Mill in 1900.  I have attached a picture below of the mill.  I borrowed this picture from the website titled Alabama Mosaic - that houses many photographs of Alabama history.  I will have to spend more time looking at the Dallas Mill photographs to see if I can lucky with a family photo!!

By 1910 the family is living in Idaho.  His occupation is now farming - along with the rest of his siblings.  What brought the family to Idaho is unknown.  Maybe they did not enjoy the life working at the cotton mill in Alabama.  The eldest son in the family, James Madison Parker, had already moved west.  It's possible the family followed James.

We know that Garrett is still in Idaho in 1918 when he filled out the draft card for World War I.  On his draft card he is living in Moscow, Latah County, Idaho.  He is listed as medium height, medium build, and having blue eyes and brown hair.  He has one physical impairment - he has one lost finger.  Hmmm, I wonder if that happened at the cotton mill!  His occupation is listed as farm laborer and he lists that he works for Porter Bowers - Porter is the husband of his younger sister Mary Ellen Parker.  I have attached the draft card below.

In 1920 we find Garrett in Cornwall, Latah County, Idaho.  He is living with his sister, Mary Ellen, and her family.  His occupation is farmer - working for Mary's husband, Porter.

By 1921 Garrett is in Nampa, Canyon County, Idaho.  He is living at a residence with at least two of his brothers, Gordon and Archie.  We know this because all three brothers were arrested in 1921 for making moonshine at their home.  Seized during the arrest was two barrels of corn mash, a large copper boiler and a large quantity of moonshine.  It should be noted that George Archie Parker escaped during the arrest.  The news article is below.

In 1930 we find Garrett and his brother George Archie living with their younger brother, Thomas Gordon Parker, and his family in Garland, Box Elder County, Utah.  I wonder if these three Parker brothers are still making moonshine!

Garrett Preston Parker dies 15 July 1940 in Provo, Utah.  He had been living at the Utah State Hospital for 3 months when he passes away.  The reason for death is listed as Cerebral Thrombosis - most likely a stroke.  It listed his normal residence as Leota, Uintah County, Utah - which would have been close to his brother, Gordon.  He was single and it is not known if he ever fathered any children.

Here is his death certificate.

Garrett is buried in the Provo City Cemetery.  I have requested a picture of his headstone from Find A Grave.  I will add to this post when that request is fulfilled. Update the area of the Provo City Cemetery that Garrett is buried in does not have any headstones.  This are was reserved for the 'paupers' or poor people.  Sad.


  1. I just found a newspaper article on my grandfather who was busted by the feds for making moonshine. I sent it to my dad who thought it was hilarious and he forwarded it to his sibs. Prohibition made for some interesting 'criminals'.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  2. I also had just recently found this one. I tried to find any follow up to this one but couldn't find anything. I wondered if they just had to pay a fine or something?