Goodspeed's Henry County Biographies - P surnames

Edward B. Parker, of Paris, junior member of the firm of Dobbins & Parker, manufacturers of barrel heading, flour, and dealers in cotton and tobacco, became a member in 1878. At that time they dealt in flour, cotton and tobacco, but in 1885 they added the machinery for the manufacture of barrel heading. Mr. Parker was born in Louisville, Ky., in 1843, and is a son of Lester L. and Martha (Jewell) Parker. The father was a native of New York, born in 1814 and of English descent. He was a steamboat engineer in early life, but spent the latter part of his days tilling the soil. At the time of his marriage he was living in Louisville, Ky., and in 1870 he moved to Floyd County, Ind., bought property and located near Greenville, where he remained till his career ended in 1874. The mother of our subject was born in Jefferson County, Ky., in 1821 and died in 1850. They had seven children only two of whom are living: Miss R. A., and E. B. our subject. He was reared at home and received his education in the schools of Louisville, Ky. At the age of eighteen he began clerking in a dry goods store at Clarksville, Tenn., where he remained two years. In 1865 he came to Paris, established a general store, and carried on business for four years. During his career as a merchant he was also engaged in speculating in cotton and tobacco, and after selling his store he continued in the latter business. In 1876 he erected a cotton-gin and tobacco ware-room, and in 1878 he and Mr. Dobbins became partners. They handle on an average from 100 to 500 bales of cotton, 75 to 200 hogsheads of tobacco per year, and 2,000 sets of barrel heading per day. In February, 1870, Mr. Parker married Bell Matthewson, a native of Paris, Tenn., born in 1847, and the daughter of Dr. J. J. Matthewson. They have one child, Edward B., Jr. Mr. Parker is one of the leading business men of Paris, and has been for the past ten years. In politics he is conservative, voting for principle and not for party. He and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

James W. Porter, grocer at Paris, entered the business on his own responsibility, January, 1875, in company with E. P. Bomar, the firm being known as Bomar & Porter, till about 1878, when Mr. Bomar retired and E. M. Russell was taken in as partner. At the end of two years Mr. Russell sold his interest to W. C. Nance, and he in about one year retired, and since that time Mr. Porter has continued the business alone with good success. He carries a stock to the value of about $2,500, being one of the best grocery houses in the city. He is a son of Nathaniel and Eveline Porter, natives of Tennessee. The father was born in Nashville in 1812, and was of English extraction. He came to Paris when quite small and lived with his uncle. In 1836 he married and became the father of twelve children, seven of whom are now living. He settled ten miles east of Paris, where he owned a large farm, and where he passed the remainder of his days. He was a man of considerable prominence, being magistrate for a long time, and chairman of the county court. He was the first man to represent Henry County in the State Legislature after the war. He died in 1866. The mother was born in 1818, and died in 1875. Our subject was born in Henry County, Tenn., in 1851, and received a good common-school education in that county, and subsequently attended Eastman College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He began clerking at the age of nineteen which he continued for some time. In November, 1876, he married Nellie Thornton, a native of Georgia, born in 1858, and the daughter of DeWitt and Clementine Thornton. To our subject and wife were born two children: James T. and Nell. In 1877 he erected a fine brick residence on Wood Street in which he has since resided. He is also the owner of considerable real estate in Nashville. He is a Democrat in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for Horace Greeley. He is a member of the K. of H., and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.