William Claiborne Parker, known to his friends as "Uncle Billy", was the namesake of Parker Road and the community of Parker, Texas. Born June 6, 1836, in Mississippi, he was the oldest son of John W. Parker who journeyed to Collin County before 1850. Probably after hearing the tales of magnificent opportunity in Texas, William's father and stepmother, Mary, settled in old Decatur to operate a general store, William moved to Collin County.
After William's first wife, L.A. Parker died, he married Sarah Grayum. They settled on Maxwell Creek just north of present day Parker Road. William was a member and ruling Elder of Corinth Presbyterian Church, where he served as the Clerk of Session from 1894-1898, and was a delegate representing the Corinth Congregation at meetings of the local Presbytery.
During the civil war, William enlisted as a blacksmith in Buford's regiment. Two of his brothers, John Thomas Parker and James David Parker, died in service of the confederacy. Only William and his brother, Samuel survived the war. William became the Administrator of the Parker Estate upon the death of his father.
Following the war, he purchased a gristmill, which was owned by J.E. Cox and located on Maxwell Creek. The mill was operated by oxen and later by a windmill. He also operated a cotton gin located just south of Parker Road; it operated first by mule power and later by steam engine fueled by wood and coal.
William Claiborne Parker passed away on May 12, 1898, and was buried in the Decatur, Maxwell, Murphy Cemetery. His wives, a number of his infant children, and daughter, Amanda Jane, who was accidentally burned to death when her clothes ignited, are also buried in the cemetery. - Property of Collin County Historical Commission
Settlement in Collin County grew substantially from 1840-1860, and although citizens were mostly farmers, the majority of farms were small and cotton harvest was of little significance. There was little incentive for farmers to plant cotton since there was a lack of transportation to take the crop to market. This changed with the coming of the railroad in the late 1880's.
Cotton gins were the major industry tied to the farming community in the county, and it was no different in Parker, Texas. William C. Parker, namesake of the community, was farmer and successful businessman who owned a gristmill and cotton gin. The cotton gin was first operated by mule power and later by steam engine fueled by wood and coal.
Wagons transported cotton to the gin where the wagon was weighed and cotton extracted from the wagon through a tube and then brought to a burr machine. Next, it was sent to separators that removed the seeds from the fiber. The seeds were either used for pressing oil or for planting. Cotton fibers were sent to be pressed into 500 pound bales. Empty wagons were again weighed to calculate the exact amount of ginned cotton. The gin owner charged the farmer for every 100 pound weight of cotton for his service. Cotton bales were moved to the train depot and transported to markets.
After World War II farmer began to move to cities to work and cotton production declined. The gin in Parker fell silent. Today all that remains of the Parker Gin is part of the original foundation. - Property of Collin County Historical Commission 2016
Percy Bozeman - Parker's First Mayor 1969-1972
Parker Community Building - February 1980
Betty McMenamy - City Administrator 1973-2006
Betty McMenamy, Parker City Administrator
As City Administrator of Parker from 1973 to 2006, Betty McMenamy dedicated 33 years in service to the residents of Parker. Betty's bright smile and sincere welcome created warmth for everyone as they joined the Parker community.
With keen judgment and a sharp eye for detail, Betty oversaw the City's development as it changed from rolling fields of cotton to neighborhoods of estate-style homes.
Betty's generous devotion to our growing community earned respect from all with whom she came in contact. Her high standards leave an indelible impact upon the City of Parker and will forever be part of the City's history.
February 28, 2006
Plaque Dedicated To The Contributors Listed For The TX DOT Landscape Cost Sharing Program Sponsored by the Parker Women's Club and The City Of Parker. Their Generosity Made Parker Road Beautification Possible - Initiated 1999 - Completed 2007