Grapeland Texas

Parker, Ralph R.

Ralph R. Parker

Grapeland Texas 75844

On March 24, 1802, Ralph R. Parker was born. He married Sarah C. Hodge on July 4, 1834. They came from Lumberton, North Carolina to Texas where he died December 8, 1961. Ralph R. was the son of Rev. Francis Parker, who was one of the early circuit riders of the Methodist Church. Ralph R. Parker, his wife and children, came to Houston County, Texas in the late 1850s, after they received a letter from their father, who had been in Houston County for a while. In Frank’s letter he painted a lovely and highly desirable picture of the part of Texas where he lived. In fact, his letter motivated and enticed his father into selling his tree farm and turpentine business in North Carolina. It was a long journey by way of two covered wagons to Texas. The Parkers encountered many hardships on this journey. Heavy rains caused swollen streams that hampered travel. After several months, the Parkers found themselves in Vicksburg, Mississippi with worn out teams. The teams for the wagons were sold and traded for two slaves. Ralph and Sara, their children and the slaves took passage on a boat to Galveston and then up the Trinity River to White Rock Shoals where Francis met them. They went to Oak Grove Community, then known as “Woodland Hall”. Here in this new and strange land, the Ralph Parker family pitched their tent for weal or for woe. Each son purchased and homesteaded land in Houston County. The Parker Cemetery in Oak Grove Community is five acres of land located just east of the original homestead of R.R. Parker. Ralph and Sarah C. designated this land before he died for a cemetery when his son William W. was killed when a tree fell on him. Ralph was one of the first to be buried in the cemetery. Two sons, Frances H. and John Nelson went to serve in the Confederate Army. This left twins, Ralph Delaney and William W. to help their mother, Sarah C., with all the small children and their sister, Ann Baxley and her children, as her husband had also gone to war. On May 20, 1894, Sarah Parker and her family and close friends celebrated her 77th birthday. Every year since that time, Parker descendants and other people who have relatives buried at Parker Cemetery have continued to celebrate Sarah Parker’s birthday. There has been a change made in the date of the celebration or reunion. It is now held on the third Sunday of May and is known as “Parker Memorial”. Ralph and Sarah Parker had ten boys and four girls. The sons are Rev. Frank (F.H.) Parker, John Nelson Parker, Simeon Theodore Parker, Ralph Delaney Parker, William W. Parker, David M. Parker, D.H. Parker, Simon Willis Parker, Simon Edward and Webb Parker.

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