Glendale, California Biographies

Philip Walter Parker

        Philip Walter Parker, now living retired at 624 North Brand Boulevard, was born July 25, 1844, in London, England. He is one of the eight children of Charles and Susan Thompson Parker. At the age of fourteen he went to live with his uncle Frederick Parker, at Burton-on Trent, England, and was apprenticed to the cooper’s trade. Two years later he came to America with his uncle who located in Chicago, Illinois. He finished his apprenticeship to his uncle at eighteen years of age, but continued at his trade until the big fire of 1871. After the excitement of the fire had subsided he went into the real estate business, later in a grocery business for ten years, leaving this to come to California in July 1885. After one month in Los Angeles, he bought fifty acres of land at Eagle Rock, where he became a prominent fruit and vegetable grower. He was the first American to build a modern residence north of Colorado Boulevard, between Glendale and Pasadena. He was also the first man to make large shipments of tomatoes from Southern California to Chicago.

        Mr. Parker took an active interest in all matters for the upbuilding of the community; was leader in organizing the first school district in Eagle Rock; and was its trustee for many years. H was the first trustee from Eagle rock for the Glendale Union High School, of which school board he was the first president, serving several years. The year 1887 he was associated in the real estate business with Ed. M. Goode, a well-known pioneer of Eagle Rock and Glendale. For a time during the early boom days they maintained an office in Los Angeles. In 1906, Mr. Parker went to Los Angeles to live and remained there until 1914, when he came to Glendale where he has since resided. He has lived practically retired since leaving Eagle Rock, his only activity being an occasional deal in real estate.

        At Chicago, Illinois, in 1867, Mr. Parker was married to Ruth M. Orchard, who was born December 9, 1848, in Rochester, New York, shortly after her parents came to this country from England. Mrs. Parker died at her home “Rosemont” in Eagle Rock, October 20, 1901. From this marriage there were six children: Alice E., wife of Wm. B. Frankelton, of Los Angeles; Arthur O., of Los Angeles, whose wife was Mrs. Belle M. Lackey of Washington, D. C.; Alla May, Mrs. Edward T. Ellis, of Los Angeles; Susan Ruth, Mrs. Louis Luc, of Glendale; Edith C., Mrs. Hugh Cornwell, of Glendale; and Vera M., Mrs. Clarence F. Coberly, of Los Angeles. Mrs. Coberly is a native daughter, born in Eagle Rock. There are twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren. In November 1902, Mr. Parker married Mrs. M. L. Duncan (Nettie L. Venable, of Frankfort, Kentucky), widow of J. L. Duncan, a pioneer rancher of West Glendale. Mrs. Parker has three daughters, Katherine L. Duncan, Mrs. Sidney W. Brown of Eagle Rock; Letie L. Duncan, Mrs. Wm. F. Nash, Jr., of Glendale; and Rose M. Duncan, Mrs. John D. Bolin, of Glendale. Mrs. Bolin is a native daughter, born at West Glendale. Both Mr. and Mrs. Parker are loyal Glendalians.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 370.