Virginia Parker at Kenneth Parker's Grave Site
Parents of Kenneth Parker - Mary Ella Dyer
Stephenson & James Solomon Parker
My mother, Virginia Parker Keen
lived in Corsicana, TX. Her father, William "Willie" Kenneth Parker died there in October 1932.
The attached article was published in the local paper shortly after his death. I am not sure of the exact date it was
published but I know it was near the end of October. His parents were Mary Ella Stephenson Parker and James Solomon Parker.
James Parker was a blacksmith and also owned a sheet metal shop there or in Rice, TX.
Picture of the tombstone of James Solomon Parker, born 9-7-1871 in Taylor Co., GA and died 3-3-1956 in Navarro County, TX and his wife, Mary Ella Stephenson, born 4-4-1874 in Giles County, TN, and died 3-27-1964 in California at her son's home. They married 11-11-1893 in Navarro County, TX. James was a blacksmith and also owned a sheet metal shop during the 30's and sometime into the 1940's. Mary Ella was known for her generosity, and during the depression her house had been marked as someone that would feed any one in need. The folks traveling on the trains looking for work could stop by and do a little work on the farm and get a good meal in return. My mother remembers her saying she couldn't turn anyone away in case it might be Jesus standing there. Thought you might have a spot for the tombstone pic, they are buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana, TX.
- Kenneth's parents, James Solomon Parker (b. 9-7-1871 and d. 3-3-1956) and Ella (Stephenson) Parker (4-4-1874 and d.
3-26-1964), are buried at Oakwood Cemetery at Corsicana, Navarro Co., TX
- Kenneth's grand parents, John Forsythe Parker (5-5-1847 and d. 5-1-1919) & Sarah Jane (Ruffin) Parker (b. 10-30-1849 and
d. 5-27-1918) are buried at the Oakwood Cemetery at Corsicana, Navarro Co., TX
- Information submitted by Marilyn "Annette"
Rice Resident Dies Saturday
James Solomon Parker, 84, native of Butler, GA, long-time Navarro County
resident, died at his home in Rice Saturday night. He was a retired sheet metal worker and had resided at Rice 15 years.
Parker had resided at Emhouse, Tupero, and Rice since 1887.
Funeral services were held Monday at 2:00 p.m. from the Corley Chapel with
burial in Oakwood Cemetery. The rites were conducted by the Rev. Kenneth Bassand Rev. Tom Griffin.
Surviving are his wife, the former Mary Ella Stephenson to whom he was married Nov. 11, 1893, of Rice; three sons, J. L. Parker, Dallas, L. L.
Parker, Bearie, OH, D. E. Parker, Ft. Worth, a daughter, Mrs. A. M. Neale, Alhambria, CA, five granddaughters, two grandsons, seven great-grandsons,
three brothers, Frank Leonard Parker, Santa Maria, CA, Gary Lee Parker, Minnesota, and Samuel Stephen Parker, Corsicana; two sisters, Mrs. Fannie
Delona Rawson, Corsicana, and Eunice Lavada Waggoner, Truth or Consequences, NM, and a number of nieces and nephews and other relatives Pall bearers were
Roy Gowan, R. T. Gowan, Clarence Mahaley, John R. Bowden, Milton Douglas, Orin Gilbert.
March 28, 1964
Mrs. J. S. Parker
Mrs. J. S. Parker, 89, native of Navarro county, died Thursday in Fontana, Calif.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. from the Corley Chapel with burial in Oakwood cemetery. The rites will be conducted by Rev. B. C. Dugger.
Surviving are three sons, J.L. Parker, Dallas; L.L. Parker, Fontana, Calif., and D.E. Parker, Fort Worth; two daughters, Mrs. A.M. Neal, West Covina, Calif., and Mrs. Virginia Kean*, Pasadena; a number of grandchildren and greatgrandchildren; three sisters, Mrs John Bowden, Rice; Mrs. Ida Banks, Savoy, and Mrs. Vera McGinnis, Amarillo; and other
Pallbearers will be J.R. Bowden, Jack Bowden, Bobby Bowden, R.M. Bowden, Oren Gilbert, Jess Dyer and Bobby Parker.
Mary Ella was born 4-4-1874 and died 3-26-1964.
*Virginia Keen was actually her granddaughter but she raised her since she was about 2 years old. Virginia's last name is spelled Keen.
William Kenneth Parker
May 24, 1908 - Oct 22, 1931
Oakwood Cemetery, Corsicana, Navarro Co., TX
PLANE CRASH VICTIM IS BURIED THIS AFTERNOON;
WESTBROOK TO RECOVER
Funeral services for Kenneth
Parker, 23, whose charred body was pulled from a flaming airplane late Thursday afternoon near his home after the plane had crashed,
were held Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock at Oakwood
interment was made. The services were conducted by Rev. J. U.
McAfee, pastor of the Kerens Methodist church. Pall bearers were
Charles Medley, William Stewart, Frank Lemon, Jack McNutt, and Ed
Richenbacher* and Gus Neale. Singers were Mrs. Harry Williams, Mrs.
Harry Balding, Edgar Metcalfe and Lloyd Kerr.
Parker and T. H. Westbrook, local
insurance man, were in the biplane and had been flying for some time
before the crash occurred, according to eye witnesses who were near
where the crash happened. Westbrook received a broken nose, a broken
ankle, and many abrasions, severe bruises, and lacerations. It was
feared for a time Thursday night that Westbrook was in a critical
condition with internal injuries, but attending physicians stated
Friday afternoon no internal injuries had been sustained. Mr.
Westbrook was still unable Friday to talk to reporters relative to
the details leading up to the fatal crash. It was reported that
Parker was piloting the ship. The ship was a Travel-Air two-place
biplane powered with a 90 horsepower Curtis Ox-5 motor. It is
thought the safety belt of Westbrook broke, allowing him to be
hurled to safety from the plane. Parker is thought to have been
stunned by the impact. The plane was destroyed.
Vivid Account of Accident
A vivid account of the fatal
accident was given Friday by W. H. (Bill) Stewart, manager of the
Corsicana Municipal airport, and Mickey McGuire, former instructor
in the S. A. T. flying school and veteran pilot. Both asserted that
the ship, a Travel-Air two place biplane, was in good condition. It
was equipped with dual controls.
Neither Stewart nor McGuire would
say which of the men, Parker or Westbrook, took the ship off the
field, but both asserted that Parker was handling the controls when
the crash occurred, basing their statements on the maneuvers which
the ship executed before its fall.
According to the joint
description of the accident, the ship was flying along at about 600
feet, after several practice landings had been made, and seemed to
go into a stall and began losing altitude, falling off into a left
spin after a flat turn in the air, with the motor at about idling
The plane was pulled out of the
spin about 100 feet from the ground, but the pilots were so shaken
by the spin that their senses of equilibrium were distorted and the
ship seemed to them to be on an even keel even though the left wing
canted sharply toward the ground, finally sliding off into a power
In Front Cockpit
Parker was riding in the front
cockpit and was forced into the space beneath the gasoline tank by
the force of the impact with the ground, which also snapped the
safety belt which held Westbrook into the rear cockpit and allowed
him to be flung to safety.
Both Stewart and McGuire declared
that Westbrook could not have been handling the controls when the
ship came out of its spin, because he had only about eight hours and
40 minutes flying time, and had not had sufficient training to
handle the ship under such circumstances.
McGuire, veteran instructor,
stated that the distorted sense of balance was the usual result of
an unexpected and unattempted spin.
The offices of the department of
commerce at Dallas were notified of the crash Thursday night and an
inspector was expected in Corsicana Friday to investigate the
W. E. DuBose who resides near the
municipal airport and on a farm adjoining the Parker home, said he
was feeding his hogs when he saw the plane flying north, about 200
feet high. He said the plane banked and popped, turning toward the
ground. He was of the opinion the motor was "cutting out".
Landing on Wing
Mr. DuBose stated to a Sun
representative the ship landed on one wing, skidding about
50 feet, and then diving on its
nose. "As soon as the plane stopped, it burst into
flames," continued Mr. DuBose. Mr. DuBose rushed to the site
and when he arrived, Mr. Westbrook was out of the plane, limping
about and trying to rescue Parker from the blazing mass of wreckage.
Westbrook received a number of burns in his attempts to aid his
companion, Mr. DuBose said he (DuBose) was one of the first persons
to reach the wrecked and burning plane. He was about 500 to 600 feet
away at the time.
The youth's parents, Mr. And Mrs.
J. S. Parker, who also reside near the airport, were reported
watching the plane as their son and Westbrook flew over the family
home. It was stated the youth waved at his parents as he passed
over, and they were watching him when he crashed. Mr. DuBose
reported the parents of Parker arrived a short time later.
Considerable difficulty was
reported to have been experienced by ambulance drivers and others in
getting Parker's body from the blazing inferno.
Judge W. W. Clopton, justice of
the peace, precinct one, place 2, viewed the body and returned a
coroner's verdict as follows:
"Burned to death in airplane
Surviving are a daughter,
Virginia Ann Parker, aged two years, Corsicana; parents, Mr. And
Mrs. J. S. Parker, Corsicana; three brothers, J. L. Parker and Doyle
Parker both of Dallas, and L. L. Parker, Corsicana; and one sister,
Mrs. Gus Neale, Corsicana.
The funeral was directed by the
Sutherland funeral home.
*Ed Richenbacher was spelled
incorrectly in the original article. I corrected it when I re-typed
for the web site. Mr. Richenbacher was a WWI Flying Ace-War hero.
Parker Was Wing Walker
Kenneth Parker, killed in the airplane crash late
yesterday, played the role of Santa Claus several years ago for the
With Charles Pedley at the controls, Parker
dressed to represent the patron saint of the children rode the wings
of the plane throwing candy to the hundreds of youngsters that
crowded the streets and shouted their joy as the plane swooped low
over the business section.
Pedley, now a pilot with the American Airways,
flying from Dallas to Atlanta, was pall bearer at the funeral
of his former wing walker this afternoon
Parker Family Reunion November, 1947 taken in
front of James Solomon (Pa Jim) and Mary Ella's (Granny Parker) front
Left to right: Doyle Parker, James Solomon Parker, Mary
Ella Stephenson Parker, Vera Lee Parker Neal, Lester
Parker, and Lonnie Parker.
Submitted by Annette
Taken same time as the above picture (1947) in Rice,
TX according to the back of the photo. Left to right:
Joyce Parker Hagle and
husband C.M. Hagle, Edwin Keen, Virginia Parker Keen,
Frances Crockett(best friend),
Mary Ella Parker, James Solomon Parker, Vera Lee
Neale, Lester Parker and wife, Marguerite, Helen Parker
husband Doyel Alexander, Berniece and Lonnie Parker,
Eva and Doyel Parker. Bottom Row: David and Donald
Hagle, James Alexander (sitting), Ronald Neale, Donald Alexander
This picture is of my great grandfather and some of his siblings.
James Solomon was a blacksmith and also had a sheet metal shop somewhere
in either Corsicana, or Rice, they also lived at Emhouse so I am not
sure where the businesses were located. He also played fiddle and was a
caller for square dances. That is how he spotted his future wife, Mary
Ella Stephenson dancing with another. What caught his eye was not only
her beauty, but how she tossed her dance partner when he held her too
close! He knew right then that was the woman for him! My mother said he
always told her that story growing up. They had a very loving and long
marriage. They were married 11-11-1893 most likely in Navarro County.
This photo is of siblings as follows:
Left to Right: Fannie Delona Parker Holmes, Samuel Stephen Parker,
Lokey Luvenia Parker Douglas & James Solomon Parker
born. 8-1-1878 b.
10-30-1887 b. April 29, 1876 b.