James Madison Parker is my Great Grandfather.
James is the eldest son of George Washington Parker and Sarah Elizabeth Cloud. James was born in Madison County 23 February 1868 on McKinney Mountain. I presume he was named after Sarah's father, James Madison Cloud.
James can be found in the 1870 & 1880 census living in New Hope, Madison County, Alabama. At the age of 12 in 1880 he is listed as a farm laborer. He is listed as not being able to write, but the box for can not read is not checked - so you would assume he could. James marries Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Ellen Cloud on 8 September 1889 in Madison County, Alabama. Lizzie is the daughter of William Jackson Cloud and Mary B. Bush. In case you were thinking it, yes, James and Lizzie were related. They were 2nd cousins - they shared the same Great Grandfather, William Cloud. The marriage record can be found on the Madison County Records website. Also on this site under the Unofficial Record of County births, two birth dates are found - the children's names are not listed. James's occupation is listed as farmer.
James and Lizzie have 4 children all born in Madison County, Alabama. The death of his father, George, seems to have been the catalyst for change. George dies in 1895 in Madison County and the next record we find for James is the birth of his 5th child, John Owens Parker, in Hickory Ridge, Cross County, Arkansas. By 1900 this Parker family can be found living in Snowflake Town, Navajo County, Arizona. Thier 6th child is born here. In this census his occupation is listed as 'day laborer'. Two of his children are in school. Of the 6 births given by Lizzie 4 children remain living. James is listed as being unemployed for 6 months during the last 12 months. The children in school are listed as only being in school for two months - and that was in June of 1900. So I would assum the Parker family arrived in Snowflake Town around April 1900.
1910 finds the Parker family in Bingham, Blackfoot County, Idaho. They have 7 children living with them. James's occupation is listed as a farmer. The youngest daughter at this time is Mattie Marie Parker, 10 months old. By December of 1910 Mattie passes away. She is buried in the Grove City Cemetery. The picture below is of James Madison Parker with his wife Lizzie Ellen Cloud Parker and thier youngest daughter, Mattie Marie Parker. I got this picture from Jim Lattimer - Jim is married to a descendant of James Parker's daughter, Cora Alice Parker.
By 1920 the Parker family is living in Monroe, Sevier County, Utah. His occupation is day laborer. He is a home owner at this time. They have 8 children living with them. One is my Grandfather, Raymond Leslie Parker who was born in 1915 in Blackfoot, ID. They are still living in Utah in 1930 but in Peterson, Morgan County. James is now renting his home and his occupation is a farm operator.
The next decade was a rough on the Parker family. Thie oldest son, Thomas Watson Parker, commits suicide in 1931 by throwing himself in front of a train in Utah. Two more sons would lost thier lives in 1932. James Madison Parker Jr died in March of 1932. I'm not sure how he died but my mother tells a story that he father told her of finding one of his brother's after he has shot himself out back of the house in a chicken coup. Newell Homer Parker was shot and killed in June of 1932 in Hobbs Island, Alabama. The family most likely moved back there after Thomas and James killed themselves - or may have just been back visiting relatives. Lizzie Ellen Cloud Parker wrote a book about the death of Newell in Alabama. I will post that later. One of thier daughters, Lizzie Ellen Parker (whom was married at the time to Lawrence Wesely Roberts, died in 1934 after a lingerin illness. Not a good decade for them.
At some point James Madison Parker joins the Mormon Church. At the time of his death he was an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. According to his obituary he wrote articles dealing with pensions for the Pensioner publication. He passed away 5 October 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
James and Lizzie had the following children:
1. Carrie Dallas Parker - born 26 Aug 1890 in Madison County, AL, dies 12 May 1891 in Madison County, AL
2. Cora Alice Parker - born 15 Jan 1892 in Madison County, AL, dies 18 Jul 1968 in Blackfoot, ID. She marries Andrew Virgil Baldwin.
3. Thomas Watson Parker - born 25 Oct 1893 in Madison County, AL, dies 25 Mar 1931 in Box Elder, UT. Never married.
4. Annie May Parker - born 4 Sep 1895 in Madison County, AL, dies 30 Sep 1896 in Madison County, AL.
5. John Owens Parker - born 21 Jul 1897 in Hickory Ridge, Cross County, AR, dies 24 Feb 1975 in Draper, UT. Marries Ruby Dean Bowden.
6. James Madison Parker Jr - born 16 Apr 1900 in Snowflake Town, Navajo County, AZ, dies 16 Mar 1932 in an unknown location. Never married.
7. Lizzie Ellen Parker - born 6 May 1903 in Littlefield, AZ, dies 18 Feb 1934 in Salt Lake City, UT. Marries Lawrence Wesley Roberts.
8. Ethel Bell Parker - born 6 Dec 1904 in Denver, CO, dies 22 Dec 1975 in Draper, UT. Marries Nathan Baldwin.
9. Un-named boy Parker - born and dies in 1905 in Colorado.
10. Mattie Marie Parker - born 6 Jul 1909 in Blackfoot, ID, dies 15 Dec 1910 in Blackfoot, ID.
11. Laura Thelma Parker - born 1 Mar 1911 in Blackfoot, ID, dies 15 May 1972 in Clearfield, UT. Marries Herbert Harris Hanney.
12. Newell Homer Parker - born 11 Sep 1912 in Blackfoot, ID, dies 6 Jun 1932 in Madison County, AL. Never married.
13. Raymond Leslie Parker - born 27 Feb 1915 in Blackfoot, ID, dies 25 Jan 1974 in Boise, ID. Marries Virginia Dorthea Conkey.
Below are two obituaries for James and his death certificate. The obituaries are again supplied by Jim Lattimer.