|       Hillsborough County, Florida History |
1823 - 1884
Streaty Parker, a son of Luke and Sophia Parker, was born in Sampson County, North Carolina, May 17, 1823. In 1831 Streaty moved with his parents from North Carolina to Columbia County, Florida. Luke Parker died in 1838 and in 1843, after passage of the Armed Occupation Act, Streaty's older brothers, John and William, moved to Hillsborough County.
Streaty Parker remained in Columbia County and was married there on February 24, 1848 to Mary Eve Blount, daughter of Readding and Elizabeth (Varn) Blount. She was born in Beaufort District, South Carolina, December 20, 1834 and came to Columbia County in December 1835, when only one year of age. Streaty and Mary Eve (Blount) Parker had the following children:
1. Readding Blount Parker, born February 28, 1849; died February 18, 1891; married Ellen Willingham, August 6, 1868.
2. Elizabeth Parker, born April 22, 1851; married 1st, Thomas W. Smith, August 13, 1868; married 2nd, George W. Morgan, 1880; married Louis Millam, May 12, 1883; married 4th, John D. Gatlin, April 30, 1890.
3. Louis Henry Parker, born April 7, 1854; died May 7, 1921; married 1st, Lutitia Sharpe; married 2nd, Susan Claudia Whitehead, August 7, 1888.
4. Texas B. Parker, born June 19, 1856; married 1st, Robert L. Summerlin, May 31, 1876; married 2nd, H. B. "Arch" Blount, April 29, 1888.
5. William Owen Parker, born January 13, 1859; died July 20, 1860.
6. Thomas Jefferson Parker, born November 20, 1864; died April 5, 1938; married Julian Hankins, March 27, 1888.
7. Robert Lee Parker, born November 16, 1867; died December 25, 1890.
8. Julia C. Parker, born January 3, 1870; married 1st, Thomas L. Marquis, February 2, 1887; married 2nd, Edward Whitehead, September 3, 1905.
9. John M. Parker, born October 21, 1874; died January 7, 1879.
10. Daisy Dietrich Parker, born October 17, 1876; died October 5, 1962; married Strother Booth, October 17, 1894.
In October 1851, Streaty Parker, his wife and two children, along with his in-laws, the Blounts, forming a party of twenty-one white persons and a dozen Negro slaves, left Alligator in Columbia County and arrived at the site of present day Bartow, in Hillsborough (now Polk) County. Streaty established his homestead directly east of where the Seaboard Coast Line tracks now run. Mary Parker joined the Peas Creek Baptist Church on January 8, 1855. In later life she became a Methodist.
During the Third Seminole War, Streatly Parker served as First Lieutenant in the volunteer militia company commanded by Captain Leroy G. Lesley. He enlisted at Fort Blount, January 3, 1856 and was discharged at Fort Meade, August 20, 1856. After Seminoles attacked the home of Willoughby Tillis near Fort Meade, June 14, 1856, they sought refuge in the jungle of Peas Creek Swamp. The Indians chose a horseshoe in the river where they could be safe from attack on three sides. Lt. Streaty Parker, in command of the militia, came upon them from the east side, where they were unprotected. The militia attacked and killed a number of the Indians. In his official report, Captain Durrance wrote: "My men spoke in high terms of Lt. Parker, as a brave and good soldier."
On August 20, 1856, Streatly Parker reenlisted for another six month term as First Lieutenant in Captain Lesley's company. During this period he commanded the guard at Fort Meade and subsequently mustered out at Fort Brooke, February 19, 1857. In her application for a widow's pension in 1902, Mary Parker described Streaty as being 33 years old at time of enlistment, 5 feet 8 inches in height, with brown eyes, black hair and a fair complexion.
In March 1861, one month before the Civil War began, a company of "mounted minute men", known as the "Hickory Boys", was organized at Fort Meade with Streaty Parker elected as captain. During the Civil War, Streaty served in the company commanded by Captain F. A. Hendry which was established in 1863 as part of Munnerlyn's Cattle Guard Battalion.
In 1860 Hillsborough County census shows Streaty Parker as owning $1500 worth of real property and $5180 of personal property. Streaty sold a herd of cattle, "known as the Hollingsworth stock", to Nathaniel M. Daniels for the sum of $300 on March 1, 1860. Throughout the 1860's, 1870's and until his death in 1884, Streaty Parker was largely engaged in the cattle business. 1862-3 tax lists for Brevard County show him as agent for T. L. Lockhart with 1800 head of cattle. In the 1872 Brevard tax lists Streaty is listed as owning 3,000 head. Polk County records reveal that he purchased 300 head from Elizabeth McGuire on September 17, 1870 for $1000. he bought a herd of 2,000 head from his brother, John Parker, July 26, 1872, for $14,000. These 2,000 cattle were located in Brevard County, according to the bill of sale. Polk County tax lists for 1875 show Streaty Parker paying taxes on 3,012 head of cattle. On August 12, 1882, Streaty Parker registered the brand NR and the mark "underbit in one ear strait split in the other" in Brevard County.
The Parker family's last home was built in Bartow in 1876. Constructed of hand-hewn timbers fastened together with wooden pegs, the two-story house was located on 2nd Avenue, between Main and E. Summerlin Streets, directly east of the railroad tracks. Streaty's plantation, which stretched eastward to the Peace River, was planted with bananas and oranges.
Tuscan Lodge No. 6, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was organized at Bartow in 1883 with Streaty Parker chosen as Worshipful Master for the lodge's first year.
Streaty Parker died at Bartow, October 2, 1884. Tuscan lodge issued a memorial resolution on October 6 which stated "that the quiet and gentle demeanor of Brother Parker, combined with his uniform uprightness and integrity of character in all his transactions with mankind were traits to be recommended, and proper fruits which good Masonry should ever produce."
Mr. Parker died intestate so his son Louis H. Parker was appointed Administrator. The inventory of the estate took place November 29, 1884, with the total value appraised at $64,504. There were 157 acres of land near Auburndale, valued at $3000; 240 acres at Bartow, valued at $25,000; 5,000 head of cattle in Polk and Brevard counties valued at $35,000. Household furniture included, among other things, one piano, six bedsteads, eight mattresses and two feather beds. Also of interest were 100 bushels of corn, one sugar mill and two boilers.
Mary (Blount) Parker continued to live in Bartow after her husband's death and is shown in the 1900 census residing in Polk County with her daughter Julia and son-in-law, Thos. L. Marquis. On July 26, 1902, she applied for a widow's pension for Streaty's service in the Third Seminole War. The pension application was approved and she received payments of $12 a month until her death.
By 1907 Mary Parker had moved to Hillsborough County and lived at Tampa. On November 20, 1907 she applied for a Confederate widow's pension from the State and received $120 per year on that pension until her death. Mary (Blount) Parker died December 18, 1916. At the time of her death she was residing at Durant in Hillsborough County. Her body was returned to Bartow for burial beside her husband.
SOURCES: Family Bible of Streaty Parker; Polk County marriage, probate, tax & deed records; Oak Hill Cemetery; Pension application of Mary (Blount) Parker for Streaty Parker's Indian and Civil War service; Pioneer Florida by D. B. McKay, Volumes II, III; Brevard County tax lists; 1850 census, Columbia County, Florida; 1860 census, Hillsborough County, Florida; 1880, 1885, 1900 census, Polk County, Fl. Compiled by Kyle S. VanLandingham.
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