William H. Parker (politician)

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William H. Parker, South Dakota Congressman

William Henry Parker (May 5, 1847 – June 26, 1908) was a South Dakota lawyer and politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from South Dakota.


Parker was born in Keene, New Hampshire on May 5, 1847. He was educated locally and joined the Union Army for the American Civil War. He served as a Private in the 2nd New Hampshire Infantry, 14th New Hampshire Infantry, and 6th Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. He later received a Second Lieutenant's commission in the 6th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, and he ended the war as a Brevet First Lieutenant.

After the war Parker began law school at Columbian College (now George Washington University), from which he graduated in 1868. Parker practiced law, and in 1874 he was appointed the federal collector of internal revenue for Colorado Territory. In 1876 he was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for Colorado. He moved to Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota), in July 1877, where he continued to practice law.

Parker was a delegate to the territorial constitutional convention which led to South Dakota's statehood in 1885. A Republican, he served in the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1889. From 1903 to 1907 he was prosecuting attorney of Lawrence County.

In 1906 Parker was elected to Seat B, one of South Dakota's two at-large seats in the United States House of Representatives. He served in the 60th United States Congress from March 4, 1907 until his death in Deadwood on June 26, 1908. Parker was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 3, Grave 2115.

He was the grandfather of William H. Parker, who served as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.

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United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Eben Martin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Eben Martin