The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Parker, Alfred A.

Alfred A. Parker Daybooks

4 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 235

In the years following the Civil War, Alfred A. Parker operated a stove and tinware shop in Orange, Mass., trading with individuals and business in the nearby towns of New Salem and Erving. A native of New Hampshire and resident of Missouri in the years prior to the war, Parker had four children with his wife Frances (Whipple), two of whom survived him at his death in 1907.

Alfred Parker’s daybooks document his business transactions with local residents and firms, including the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., the Orange Manufacturing Co., and the Rodney Hunt Machine Co. The entries note charges for labor (especially soldering), the cost of stoves, pipe, kettles of various sorts, roofing material, and information about shipping costs.

Background on Alfred A Parker

Alfred A. Parker was born in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, on Mar. 29, 1819, the son of a millwright and businessman. After completing his education in Fitzwilliam, his family migrated to Missouri where Parker took up work as a clerk and operated several small businesses. He established a dry-goods business in St. Louis during the 1850s that resulted in a steady living, however with the outbreak of the Civil War, he sent his family back to Massachusetts and joined the Missouri state militia, serving under the command of General Frank Blair.

With the end of the war, Parker rejoined his family and settled in Orange, Mass., where entered into a mercantile business with his brother-in-law, George Whipple. By 1871, he sold his interest in the business to set himself up in a stove and tinware shop in the center of town. A staunch Republican and Congregationalist, Parker had four children — two sons who died in the 1880s while each was still in his twenties, and two daughters who survived him. Parker’s wife, the former Frances Whipple of Athol, died in 1891, while Parker followed on Mar. 24, 1907.


Contents of Collection

The four daybooks document the stove and tinware business in Orange and surrounding towns — New Salem, Erving — in the 1870s and 1880s. Aside from local residents, Parker’s customers included several well-known Orange businesses, such as the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., the Orange Manufacturing Co., and the Rodney Hunt Machine Co. Parker also charged for labor, especially soldering, but it is not clear if he employed any workers in his business or did the work himself. The daybooks also contain miscellaneous information on the cost of stoves, pipe, kettles of various sorts, and roofing material, as well as information about shipping costs.


Administrative information


The collection is open for research.



Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, 1989.


Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Alfred A. Parker Daybooks (MS 235). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries


Freight and freightage--Rates--Massachusetts--19th centuryGold Medal Sewing Machine CompanyKettles--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th centuryNew Salem (Mass.)--HistoryOrange (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryOrange Manufacturing Company (Orange, Mass.)Pipe--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th centuryRodney Hunt Machine CompanyRoofing--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th centurySolder and soldering--Costs--19th centuryStove industry and trade--Massachusetts--Orange--19th centuryStoves--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th centuryTinsmithing--Massachusetts--Orange--19th centuryTinsmiths--Massachusetts--Orange--Economic conditions--19th century


Parker, Alfred A.

Types of material

Account booksDaybooks