In the country around Dongola, no figure is so welcome as is that of Dr.
Charles A. C. Parker. Beginning his life as a young man in the service
of the public as a school teacher, he saved his small monthly stipend in
order that he might continue to give his services to his fellow men, as
their physician. Dr. Parker has been a practicing physician for nineteen
years, and in spite of having spent only four of these in Dongola, he is
loved as loyally as though he had spent all of his life among the people
of this section.
Charles A. C. Parker was born on the 7th of September, 1863, in Pocahontas, Tennessee. He was the son of Rev. I. A. J. Parker and Jane J. (Clary) Parker. The father is one of the oldest ministers of the Christian church in the state of Illinois, his years of service being over two score. When Dr. Parker was a baby of two years the family left Tennessee, emigrating to Massac county, Illinois and settling in the little town of Metropolis. Soon afterward they again moved this time to Johnson county, near Buncombe. The parents now reside in Vienna, where they are revered for the beauty of character which is shown so clearly in their daily lives. They are the parents of eight children, Dr. C. A. C.; Lucas, who is a printer and undertaker at Vienna; Gus, living in Larned, Kansas; Lillie, staying on the old home place; Willis, or better, Rev. W. E. Parker, at present a student at Harvard University; Rev. Beverly P. the well loved Christian minister at Roselle, Kansas; Ethel, now Mrs. Marbury of Leverett, Illinois: Myrtle, the wife of the Rev. Sears of Maroa, Illinois.
Dr. Parker was educated in the common schools of Johnson county, and when he was no more than a school boy himself, at the age of seventeen, he began teaching. He taught eight terms in all; five terms in Union county, three in Johnson and four in Moscow. His success as a school teacher was marked. He had the gift of sympathy and understanding, and children gravitated to him naturally, though in his schools everyone knew they dare not misbehave, for his rule though tender was firm. He now studied medicine under Dr. Dick of Union county for one year and then in 1890 his great desire was fulfilled and he entered the doors of the Marion Sims Medical College as a student. On the 25th of April, 1892 he was graduated and immediately began the practice of his profession. The first year he spent at Mt. Pleasant and then located near Cypress where he remained from 1893 to 1906. During this year he moved to Campbell Hill in Jackson county, Illinois, where he remained for the next two years. In the spring of 1908 he came to Dongola, and with these years of experience behind him he has been able to make himself indispensable to the people of this section. His practice is very large, and much scattered, so that sometimes this faithful practitioner is forced to drive sixteen miles or so to cure a cold. It is worth while, for no where is there a class of men who do a greater amount of good than the country doctor, and no where can one win a more true and loyal set of friends than in just such work. In accordance with his doctrine of brotherly love, he is a firm believer in the good of fraternalism. He is a member of the Masonic order of Dongola, is a Modern Woodman of America, belongs to the Modern Brotherhood of America and to the Royal Neighbors.
His affiliation in religious matters is with the Baptist church, where he is a regular attendant. In 1881 he was married to Mary A. Henard. the daughter of Francis M. and Lucretia A. (Bridges) Henard. They have five children, three of whom are married and have families of their own. Marie C. is Mrs. Hinkle and the mother of two children. Loren and Leland. Charles M. is a railroad conductor and lives at Salem, Illinois, with his two sons James and Jack, and his wife, who was Ina Bridges. Eva E., who married W. 0. Holshouser lives at Cypress, with her family of four children, Wanda, Hazel, Paul and Joseph. The two youngest, Mary Edith and Zillah are still at home.
Dr. C. A. C. Parker is interested in things outside of his profession, which is rather rare for scientific men. He is vice-president and stockholder of the new First National Bank of Dongola, which opened for business on the 30th of September, 1911. He is also the owner of a brick business block and a fine residence in Dongola.
Dr. Parker must have received his tendency to battle with disease from his long line of fighting ancestors. His father was a soldier all through the Civil war, fighting under Colonel Moss on the Union side. The grandfather of the doctor, Aaron Parker also fought during the Civil war and died of chronic dysentery during this period, so the doctor comes naturally by his fighting propensities.
Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 2, page 781.
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