Mary was born 12 November 1883 on McKinney Mountain, Madison County, Alabama. She was the youngest daughter of George Washington Parker and Sarah Elizabeth Cloud. This Parker family all grew up in what appears to be in the same place from birth until the death of the father, George, in 1895. The area was originally called Clouds Town or Clouds Cove, then renamed to Vienna at some point and finally called New Hope sometime around the Civil War. So by the time Mary is born it is called New Hope. There was an area still referred to as Clouds Cove. Because this community was so small it appears it only contained one school house. Pictured below is the school for Clouds Cove - this is most likely where all of these Parker children went to school.
The first census we find Mary Ellen in is the 1900 Census living in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama. She is working at the cotton mill along with her brothers. The mill is most likely the Dallas Mill - see previous post for Garrett Preston Parker for a picture of the mill. It looks like none of the children are going to school in 1900 though - Mary is only 16 years old but is working to help support the family, as well is her younger brother Thomas Gordon Parker who is only 13 years old.
We find Mary next in Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho in 1910. She is again living with her mother and brothers. She is not working at this time. It is listed that she can read and write. At some point within the next year she meets and marries her husband Porter Dallas Bowers. Porter's parents were Isaac Bowers and Adaline Holwick. They are married 18 February 1911 in Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho. What is unknown is how they would have met. In 1910 Porter is living in Cornwall, Latah County, Idaho and that is back where him and Mary are living when he fills out his World War I draft card in 1917. So it appears he came down to Blackfoot for the purpose of marrying Mary - and then went back home with her to Cornwall. These two Idaho towns are 600 miles apart and it is not a direct route from one to the other, even today. I do wonder the circumstances of this marriage.
As stated Mary is in Cornwall, Latah County, Idaho in 1917 living with her husband. We do know her brother, Garrett Preston Parker, was living with them as well, as stated on his draft card as well. This is still where we find Mary in the next census of 1920. In 1920 they have 4 children living with, Missiline, Fred A., Jessie, and William. The father is farming. By 1921 the family has moved to Caldwell, Canyon County, Idaho - this is where we find the grave of William Francis Bowers who passes away in July of that year.
As far as I can tell Mary and Porter had the following children:
1. Missiline Bowers - born 1912 in Latah County, Idaho
2. Fred A Bowers - born 11 Jan 1913 in Latah County, Idaho, died 17 Oct 1971 in Canyon County, Idaho
3. Jessie B Bowers - born 1915 in Latah County, Idaho
4. William F Bowers - born 19 Jul 1916 in Latah County, Idaho, dies 21 Jul 1921 in Canyon County, Idaho
5. Flossie B Bowers - born 25 Mar 1921 in Idaho, married a Mr. Dobson
6. John Raymond Bowers - born 1 Jul 1922 in Idaho, died Dec 1970 in Canyon County, Idaho
I have been unable to find much information on the Bowers family. It's a bit frustrating considering it appears like they lived in Caldwell, Id - not too far from where I grew up.
Mary passed away 24 August 1965 in Caldwell, Canyon County, Idaho. Her obituary references that all but one of the children listed above are still living. Mary and Porter are buried in the Kohlerlawn Cemetery in Nampa, Idaho. They have a joint headstone pictured below.