Member Biography

John T. Parker 


Portrait: Governors Photograph Album, 1879, PSA


Sessions Office Position District Party
1879-1880       30 Greenback Labor
1881-1882       30 Greenback Labor

COUNTIES: Schuylkill  


01/17/1822 - 05/06/1892

John T. Parker (Greenback Labor 30) Schuylkill (Part) County 1879-1882

Early Life: 

John T. Parker, born January 17, 1822, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Durham Unitary Authority, County Durham, England; arrived, America, family, Buckville, near Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, 1850; married, Mary Brown d. 1875, three children: Matthew B, Jennie A. Parker Latham and Samuel, remarried, Ann Parker; school director; engaged, notary public, blacksmith; newspaper publishing; elected, Greenback Labor, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1879-1882; declined, Governor cabinet position, 1887; trustee, Miners’ Hospital, Ashland, 1889; died, May 6, 1892 (aged 70) Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, interment Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career:

Editor/owner Anthracite Monitor; purchased, Mahanoy Valley Record, 1871, became, Parker’s Tri-Weekly Record of Mahanoy City, wrote under the pen name “Buckville Blacksmith”

President, Workingmen's Benevolent Association, 1870; Fidelity Building and Loan Association of Mahanoy City, director, 1874; school director, notary public; board of trustees, Pennsylvania State Hospital for injured persons of the Anthracite Coal Regions, Ashland, 1889; president, Schuylkill Press Association, 1890. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Greenback Labor, Pennsylvania State Senate, 30th district, Schuylkill (Part) County, 1879-1882; member, Accounts, Canals and Inland Navigation, Mines and Mining, Pensions and Gratuities, Vice and Immorality Committees. A key piece of legislature passed was 1870 P.L. 399, No.386 changing their name from Workingmen's Benevolent Association to Miners and Laborers’ Benevolent Association, making it a labor union.

Unsuccessful bid, Lieutenant Governor, 1886, Senator William T. Davies 


Declined offer, Cabinet position under Governor James Addams Beaver, instead asked for pardon for what he believed falsely convicted labor leader, granted, 1887.   

Gave eulogy, John Siney, organizer, Workingmen's Benevolent Association, November 1, 1888. 


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members P"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1881). Smull, W.P., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 674, 680-682, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 647.

Evening Herald (Shenandoah, Pennsylvania) March 25, 1988

John Parker (1822-1892) - Find a Grave Memorial