Henry Dale Parker
Paul Reagor Parker
In the late nineteenth century, innovation in the field of livestock breeding resulted in more productive beef cattle and swine herds. A brief review of Parkers’ Farm identifies this Century Farm as a key contributor to the popularity of Angus cattle in Middle Tennessee. Located in the Raus Community of Bedford County, Parkers’ Farm is one of the oldest in Bedford County. Elijah Parker, a North Carolina native, established the homestead in the early 1800s and acquired the title in 1812. Parker was married twice but his first wife, Mary Harris Parker, bore all of his fourteen children. Active in local politics and community affairs, Elijah also farmed over 400 acres of land, cultivating clover, cattle, horses, and grain.
Elijah and Mary’s son Daniel Parker acquired about 410 acres of the farm in 1850. A prominent Bedford County politician, Daniel Parker served in the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1861. Like those of his neighbors, Parker’s farm yielded small grains and livestock. Daniel also married three times and had four children.
By 1885 Henry T. Parker, Daniel’s son by his third wife Susan W. G. Parker, had acquired 374 acres of Parkers’ Farm. He continued to grow the same crops as his grandfather and father, but Henry was an innovator in livestock production. The first member of the American Angus Association in Tennessee, Parker played a key role in introducing the Angus breed to the region.
Daniel W. Parker, the third of Henry and May Shofner Parker’s five children, inherited 200 acres of the farm in 1936. Like his father, Daniel was eager to improve farm efficiency. In 1936, intrigued by the federal government’s Rural Electric Co-op program, he helped to organize the Duck River Electric Membership Corporation. Daniel served as its secretary/treasurer until the early 1970s.
In 1972, Henry Dale and Paul Reagor Parker, the great great grandsons of Elijah Parker, inherited the family farm of 200 acres.