History Notes: Frank Parker, Flood Survivor

By Joel Emrick

My memories of Frank Parker are of an old man sitting on his porch at 16 Upland Road with his dog, Bakki, who we were told was a German war dog. Bakki would always chase passersby although now I’m told by Red Green if you put your hand up the dog would stop. No one told me that at the time and I didn’t dilly dally when I went by their house.

What makes Mr. Parker interesting is that he was just 7 years and old living with his family in the village center when the flood of 1874 came and destroyed most of the center of Leeds. As the Mill River first started rising Frank’s father told them to stay in the house assuming it wasn’t that bad, but shortly after he realized his mistake and had the whole family move to the knoll and escape the flood. The irony of this was their house was one of the few that survived. Mr. Parker lived to be 94 and his memory of that day was very vivid.

Frank Parker, came to Leeds at the age of 5 from Connecticut, worked 40 years at the Corticelli Mills and died in 1961. If you want to know more about Mr Parker, you can go to Forbes Library and look up in the Gazette microfilm the dates Aug 26, 1953 and Dec 4, 1957 (the later has a picture of Mr. Parker and Bakki which I think my grandfather took).

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