Parker, Clarence

     Clarence M. Parker, an optometrist of New Haven, was born in Oriskany Falls, Oneida county. New York, March 23, 1857, his parents being Isaac J. and Martha (Davis) Parker. The father was born in Johnsons Farms, Wallingford, Connecticut, while the mother was a native of New York and in that state they were married. In later life the father engaged in the manufacture of shoes, but at the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted for service in the One Hundred and Forty-Sixth New York Volunteer Infantry and participated in a number of the most important battles, until at last he was taken prisoner. He was confined for a time in Libby prison and it was reported that he had died but instead he had been transferred to Andersonville, where he and other soldiers were imprisoned until long after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee. At length he was released and returned home to his people, who could scarcely recognize him so emaciated had he become and broken down by disease. His entire form and features had become changed by his long and tortuous confinement and being unable to take up his former business he settled on a farm in New York, devoting his remaining days to general agricultural pursuits. He passed away November 3, 1893, at Oriskany Falls, his death being the ultimate outcome of disease contracted in the army. His wife had died in Oriskany Falls about April, 1857. In their family were two children, of whom John O. died in New York state in 1883 and was laid to rest by the side of his parents in Oneida county.
     Clarence M. Parker attended the schools in his native state and was employed in farm work until 1874, when he left home and removed to Meriden, Connecticut. He was then a youth of seventeen years and found employment in the factory of the Edward Miller Company, where he remained for six years. He next went upon the road as a traveling salesman, selling silverware and plated ware. While a resident of Norwalk Mr. Parker pursued a special course of study under the direction of a well known oculist, Dr. Julius King of New York city, who enjoyed a national reputation, and after completing his course he was admitted to practice. He continued to reside in Norwalk for two years, actively engaged in his profession, and in 1886 he removed to New Haven, where he has become known as one of the expert optometrists of the state, while his fame has spread abroad through the many excellent articles which he has written for the National Optometrical Review and Journal and which have won the attention and consideration of the highest experts throughout the world. Mr. Parker has very attractive "offices including splendid operating and reception rooms, at Church and Chapel streets, where he has a number of employes and is enjoying an extensive practice. He is now the dean among eye experts of the city in point of years of service and his standing in his chosen field of labor is indicated by the fact that he was for three years retained in the presidency of the Connecticut State Optometrical Society and was vice president of the national board of examiners of optometry.
     Mr. Parker has been married twice. He first wedded Miss Hattie Dickerman of New Haven, a daughter of Enos Dickerman, a representative of one of the oldest New England families, prominent in both social and business circles for many generations. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Parker was celebrated in New Haven. June 15, 1881, and was blessed with four children. Flora N., born in Norwalk in 1885, is a graduate of the New Haven high school and of Vassar College. Olive I., born in New Haven in 1892, is a high school graduate and also attended LaSalle Seminary at Auburndale, Massachusetts. Martha died in Jan-uary, 1885, and Orlo D. passed away in October, l907 in Sugar City, Iowa, at the age of twenty-one. While en route to the Pacific coast he became ill and passed away, as stated, his remains being returned to New York for interment. The wife and mother passed away March 1, 1907, leaving many warm friends as well as her immediate family to mourn her loss. On the 6th of February, 1909, Mr. Parker was married to Miss Margaret L. Coer of Waterbury, a daughter of James Coer of Waterbury and they have two children: Wilton Davis, who was born in New Haven, June 22, 1910, and Ruth, born October 16, 1911.
     Mr. Parker is a member of the Young Men's Republican Club and usually gives his allegiance to the republican party but does not hesitate to cast an independent ballot as his judgment dictates. He belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and is interested in all of those projects and plans for the public good. He also belongs to the Masonic fraternity and to the Olivet Baptist church, in which he holds many offices. He is interested in all those forces which work for individual righteousness and for civic betterment, and his own personal work has gained for him the high respect of those with whom he has been associated, while his developed powers have won for him an enviable position in professional circles.

Modern History of New Haven
Eastern New Haven County


Volume II

New York Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 

pgs 458 - 459

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pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine Kidd O'Leary & 
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002