The Parkers

The Parkers were long time friends of the family. Edith’s best friend (at least as far as I can tell from all the photos of them together) was Lucy, sometimes called “Lu”. My grandmother (Audrey) referred to her as “Aunt Lucy”.

Here’s a photo of Edith, Clarence (labeled “Mama” and “Daddy”) and Annie (labeled “grannie”) together with the Parkers. This was taken at the Parker house in Salem, probably in the 1910s or 1920s. Please note that once again, Annie has turned her left cheek to the camera. I wonder what’s on the right one!

IMG_1956 - the Parkers


Now, what do we know about the Parkers?

Well, Fred (Frederick K Parker) was born in 1860 to Benjamin and Lucy. Benjamin was a mason by trade and was born in Andover. Lucy, on the other hand might have shared something in common with Annie’s family, as she was born in Nova Scotia. They had 4 other children besides Fred, who was born and raised in Medford.

In 1884 he married Martha Griffiths, or “Mattie”, a Welsh immigrant who had arrived four years earlier.

Their early family life was difficult. Their daughter Lucy, named after Fred’s mother, was born in 1886. Two years later, Mattie gave birth to a stillborn son. His death was registered, however they must have discovered soon afterwards that he was actually paralyzed instead. 11 years later, another death record shows Walter’s cause of death as “paralysis, cerebral disease”. In the meantime, in 1890, Mattie gave birth to another girl, Catherine, who shortly thereafter died of cholera.

In what may have been a desire to move on and start fresh, the family moved to Salem around the turn of the century. They had a home at 6 Chandler Street which is often frequented by Edith and her family, as recorded in Annie’s diaries and the family photos.

Lucy, when she got older, worked as a stenographer and then a bookkeeper for the telephone company.  She married an Englishman named Arthur Hindle, and they continued living in the Parker family home on Chandler Street. I don’t believe they ever had any children.

As for Fred and Mattie, I will refrain from giving too much information, as quite a lot may unfold in the diaries. I’ll add links here after those entries have been published.


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