parker, co

 

Parker, Colorado

The Town of Parker:

Parker can trace its colorful recent history to the establishment of the Pine Grove Post Office by Alfred Butters around 1863.  He handled mail, provided provisions and a place to leave messages; it was a refuge for travelers and was appropriately named Pine Grove. 

Butters traded his building to a Mr. Goldsmith for a yoke of oxen and Goldsmith in turn sold it to Mr. and Mrs. George Long in 1864.  The Longs made a rough addition and added some other buildings to accommodate animals and wagons.  Being situated about 20 miles from Denver City, the Longs named it 20-Mile House.  It was a way station that provided meals, lodging and provisions. 

Although courthouse records bring the dates into question, historical accounts generally agree that George Long traded the 20-Mile House to Nelson Doud in 1870 for a pair of mules.  The Douds enlarged the place to include 10 rooms and a second story ballroom.  They sold it in 1874 to James Sample Parker, an ex-bullwhacker and station manager who had been living in Kiowa. 

Under Parker’s ownership, the 20-Mile house grew and prospered.  A blacksmith shop to shoe oxen and a general mercantile store were added to the facilities.  The land west of Highway 83 was owned by James Parker, but land holdings on the east side of the highway were under the ownership of James’ brother, George.  George Parker established a saloon and was instrumental in seeing that other businesses located in the growing town.  The railroad provided impetus and by the turn of the century Parker boasted two hotels, the post office, three general mercantile stores, a saloon, a livery stable, two blacksmith shops, a railroad station with section house, water tower and warehouse, a brick works, a stockyards, a creamery and a bank that got robbed twice. 

Parker, Colorado was incorporated in 1981.

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