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William H. Parker
(1873->1920)

W.H. Parker of Salt Lake City, Utah was a mineral collector and perhaps also a part-time mineral dealer on the side; his letterhead states at the bottom: "Rare and showy mineral specimens purchased." It also indicates that he was by profession a "Geologist and mineralogist," and "ore shipper's representative." He arranged for "smelter settlements and comparisons" and was an agent for "ore sold on the open market." Parker sold the best of his personal mineral collection, about 400 choice cabinet pieces, to the Seaman Mineral Museum in Houghton, Michigan for $750 in 1920, appraising the suite at twice that value. These specimens were later distributed throughout the Museum's Dana collection, although they are still identifiable by their "Parker number." Parker's original catalog and the associated correspondence with A.E. Seaman have also been preserved there. Apparently sometime earlier, the museum had also purchased from Parker an exceptional, comprehensive suite of rare copper and associated minerals from Utah's Tintic district.

According to a letter from Parker to Seaman dated March 26, 1920, Parker had been collecting minerals for 30 years, i.e. since 1890, and his collection at its peak contained about 2,800 specimens. He had decided to sell most of his collection to Seaman, retaining a small group of specimens as a core around which to begin building a new collection. He had also decided to sell his home in Salt Lake City and accept a position with the Cunningham Mines Company of Sandon, British Columbia. Cunningham Mines, owned by Clarence Cunningham of Sandon, had acquired the Van Roi mines in 1917 and mined them until 1927. They also owned the Idaho mine (1916), and other British Columbia properties, and after incorporating in 1926 the company operated at least until 1947 when Mr. Cunningham died.

Of the 166 Parkers listed in the 1920 census for Salt Lake City, only one has the correct initials: William H. Parker, age 46, born 1873/4 in Utah. His wife's name was Louise (age 35, born 1884/5 in Utah) and his seven-year-old daughter was also named Louise. One of Parker's 1920 letters to Seaman mentions his seven-year-old daughter. The family lived at 1466 Westminister Avenue. On Parker's letters dated 1920 he gives only the address "31 P.O. Place." A copy of an earlier invoice written by the New York dealer Albert H. Petereit in October 1912 for specimens he was sending to Parker on approval gives Parker's address as "325 E. 3rd South." The 1900 Census for Salt Lake City lists William H. Parker, born January 1873 in Wisconsin (he may have fibbed about this in 1920, for political reasons); he lists his occupation as "collector." He and his wife Missah (apparently his first wife, married in 1896) had two daughters, both born in Utah, and lived at 530 Sixth South.

Reference:
MINFILE Database
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - William H. Parker 46 x 61 mm
The Mineralogical Record - William H. Parker 46 x 62 mm
The Mineralogical Record - William H. Parker 46 x 61 mm
The Mineralogical Record - William H. Parker 47 x 62 mm
The Mineralogical Record - William H. Parker 47 x 60 mm
The Mineralogical Record - William H. Parker 47 x 62 mm
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