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DrParkerHistory.wpd - 9251328 Bytes Dr. H. G. Parker
Written by his wife, Olive

Dr. H. G. Parker, the son of Mr. & Mrs. James R. Parker, was born at Alta Vista, Kansas but unable to survive the drought and hardships of Western Kansas, the family moved to a home near Hennessey, where his boyhood days were spent. A younger brother became seriously ill and died. Dr. Parker was convinced in his own mind that proper medical diagnosis and treatment had not been had and with the urging of Dr. Hugh Scott of Waukomis, then a young medical student at St. Joseph, Mo Central Medical College, he felt that he should study the science of medicine, that he could relieve suffering and devote his life to that career. In 1900 he enrolled and through many long hours of study and trying hardships and financial difficulties he received his degree on April 1, 1904. He made trips to several towns in the southern and western part of the state to seek a suitable location but upon investigation he found a then thriving small town first named Onyx, then Douglas, and decided to here cast his lot. This was about the 7th of April, 1904. The town and rural community had been served by Dr. Brown and several others came but could not endure the discouragements of a small town and rural community life.

He remained and through the encouragement of a few friends and the willingness of people to be patient until his finances would cover his accumulating board bills and other necessities, he was able to survive. His finances came from different sources, one was through the selling of a good Stetson hat, much liked, but it could not be eaten, so it went to finance meals.

Dr. Parker was always fond of athletics and played baseball when a young man with boys, some of whom survive, such as John T. Edwards, the Atterbury brothers, Nim Atterbury being the one living of the family, and others. While in college the Christian Brothers (a Catholic College) needed football players and sent a Scout to Central Medical College to look for material for their team. Those days “Eligibility” was not such a great factor - just the ability and the willingness of men to play the game, seemed to be the issue. Dr. Parker and two fellow medical students joined the Christian Brothers athletic group of football players playing 1901 to 1903 with a winning team.

After coming to Douglas the urge to participate in athletics was again visible and he played with the local team, no finances involved, but his willingness and ability was recognized and Bert Garber, of the town of Garber, manager of a baseball team, had a series of competition with some strong teams and feeling that Dr. Parker could help strengthen his team, hired him to play. For this service he was paid $3.00 which he immediately paid for board and room. These were trying days for a young man with ambitions and slow income but the patients were stable citizens, honest and courageous and would pay their accounts when they could.

With no modern equipment, the horse and buggy served his purpose and when the horse had made the trips to exhaustion, the liveryman would be called upon to make the long hard drives which took many hours of time, and many times the liverman would have to wait many hours at the home at the home, as there were no telephones here at the beginning of his practice and no certainty of the time needed. The liveryman would sleep the time away.

Later the automobiles were available but many times unusable. People would come for Dr. in sleds drawn by horses, open buggies and wagons, and many times he would come home with ears, nose and face frozen, sometimes in rain storms with clothing soaked. One occasion, to answer a call to come to a dying man, he started in his auto on a very snowy day, with men and shovels, went as far as he could, then a team of mules hitched to a wagon took him until they were down in the snow unable to travel, he started to walk up the R.R. tack and reached a hand car operated by the section foreman which took him as close as possible to his patient’s home. He then walked to him and gave relief.

Another instance while driving a horse and buggy to his patient who lived east and south of town, a stream of water following torrential rain raised the water to a depth that Dr. did not realize, he drove in knowing the patient must be cared for, his buggy was washed over, his medicine bag with instruments was washed out, he struggled in the water rescuing the bag and finally getting the horse and buggy to shore. He reached his patient in time to give the necessary aid but was delayed many hours before returning home. Many times he walked through fields when the snow blocked the roads but he never failed to answer his calls.

Another bad storm in which Dr. made a desperate effort to reach the patients was in the month of January, 1920, when a bunch of young folks returning home from a Sunday recreation drive, were hit by a terrible snow storm. They finally reached the Corbin home where they were exhausted and almost frozen. They were all Enid young people and their parents were frantic as no Enid Dr. would attempt to reach them. After trying everywhere to get help, Dr. tried to make the trip. Guy Norman started with him and Mr. Ernest Helberg and Mr. Henry Helberg helped to take down fences and in the terrible blizzard, with snow blowing and the wind very, very cold. Dr., by driving through fields and by walking, got to them. They were more frightened than hurt but did need attention perhaps. One family name was Snodgrass and one was the daughter of a Frisco RR man in Enid. He received a small check for this service.

On July 12, 1927, a transient family by the name of Hopkins, from Falls County, Texas, came to make the wheat harvest, making the trip in a covered wagon which was their home. The found work in the neighborhood south of town. Dr. was called by a local resident to come to an old abandoned farm house where he found the wife and mother on a pile of straw in one corner of the room. The room had no doors and broken windows, no furniture of any kind. Under those conditions he worked with patience and delivered triplets, two girls and a boy. Being a premature birth all died within 24 hours. The mother was affected with peleriga but recovered and made the journey back to her home. He had delivered twins a number to times before but never a birth under such trying circumstances. The triplets were buried in our local cemetery, but no further knowledge of the parents was ever received here.

He has stood by the death bed of many patients, relatives and friends but one of the unusual deaths he encountered occurred in a little one room building near the livery stable here in Douglas. It was in the spring of 1915, the Santa Fe R.R. Co. had a large crew of Mexicans working on the tracks. They lived in box cars, tents and any small unoccupied house they could find. Among these Mexicans a triangle developed, the husband of the woman involved in the love affair, shot and seriously injured the other man in the triangle. He was brought to the little shack where he had been living, Dr. was called and all the Mexicans immediately disappeared, especially the men, none could be found to come and interpret the dying man’s requests. Dr., with Mrs. Parker, remained by his bedside alone, death came in the early morning hours. He had tried to tell, as much as could be interpreted, about his wife and children in Mexico. He was buried here in the local cemetery.

There was no hospital near in the early day practice of Dr. Parker and when one was available the lack of transportation, for 14 years only horse and buggy with one train daily, so when emergency arose it became necessary for operations to be performed on the dining room table in the homes no matter how humble the surroundings. Amputations were made, appendectomy, lung operations, fractures reduced, in fact the home was the hospital, the nurses were kind neighbors and friends.

During the half century of service in the community, there has been many incidents which brought pleasure, many acts of kindness have been shown Dr. Parker and his family, many friendships that have lasted the 50 years, the loyalty of many patients, those encouraging early day pioneers who also shared hardships and the memories of all the years, watching the.... (narrative ended here)

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