"James Monroe Parker"

Using the U.S. Census data, we can create a chronological history of persons, based on birth years, birthplaces, and other data.  Birth years are recorded but not birth dates.  The original census data was collected at different times during the year.  Based on the census collection day of several census collections, there can be some speculation as to what months someone was born in, however, there are inconsistencies of birth years recorded for the same person.*  The history should always be considered speculative at best.  For example, a birthplace of a child does not necessarily indicate that the parents lived in the same town at the time, but in most cases, that would be the case.

Per the 1860 U.S. Census, James Monroe Parker was born on the east coast somewhere in Pennsylvania in 1823.  At age 32 he arrived in Florence to manage the newly built Bank of Florence.  His wife, Julia Z. Parker* was only 19 years of age at the time, being born in 1836.  The census data lists her birthplace as being in Illinois, although another reference lists her birthplace as Albany, NY.

It is not known exactly when the couple was married but we do know that by 1860, the couple had a son, William F. Parker,* aged 5, born in Illinois in 1854.  Presumably, the couple lived in Illinois before moving to Nebraska.  We do know that the founders of the Bank of Florence moved here from Davenport, Iowa, which is now part of the Quad Cities, with two cities (Moline and Rock Island) on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, and two (Davenport and Bettendorf) on the Iowa side; therefore, the couple could have lived just across the river, and likely associated with the bank founders during this time. It is also conceiveable that the couple lived on the Iowa side of the river, but the child was born on the Illinois side for some reason, such as a suitable hospital, doctor, other facility, or even other family members that were on the Illinois side.

We also know from the 1860 census data that the couple had a son named James Monroe Parker, aged 7 months and born in Nebraska.  It is interesting to note that the "transcribed" data shows the age as 7.12, however, the original handwritten census data shows 7/12 (presumably the error being that the period and slash are next to each other on the keyboard).

The 1860 census data also lists others living in the same household:

NameAgeOccupationBirth yearBorn
Carrie Connell16Domestic1843N.Y.
Julia M. Town19Seamstress1840VT
Alfred McGeath21Clerk1838Virginia
1860 U.S. Census data

The 1870 census data lists Jas M. Parker on the transcribed data but the original sheet shows James M. Parker, now living back in Illinois.  Our Florence history has documented that the bankers moved back to the Davenport area following the closing of the bank (1858-1860).  From the census data on wealth, Mr. Parker didn't do too bad while being a banker.  The 1870 census data also lists Mr. Parker's occupation as Ret. Banker.  Notice that the place of birth is now listed as N.Y. (1860 census shows he was born in Pennsylvania)

NameAgeOccupationValue of Real Estate ownedValue of Personal WealthBorn
James M. Parker40Ret. Banker30,000*6,000*N.Y.
Fred Parker 10   Iowa
Leo Farmer22   Iowa
Mary21Keeping house  N.J.
1870 U.S. Census data


The 1880 census data shows the son born in 1860 to be 20 years old and his occupation listed as farmer, and living in Saratoga.* ()  From previous data, we know that his father, the banker was born in Pennsylvania or New York, however, the census data of 1880 for the son lists his father's birthplace as VT (Vermont) and his mother's birthplace as NY (New York).  That means that Mr. Parker Sr. was born in Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont.  Perhaps this is part of the reason that there is historical speculation that the son James Monroe Parker was born of one of the maids of Mr. Parker Sr.

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