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Around 1892, Joseph William Parker traded his house and land in Joseph for 74 acres of undeveloped land outside town. He built a one-room sawed log house where the large family was reared until this Victorian Eclectic style home was finished in 1911. The home was designed by architect/builder A.G. Young of Richfield and was constructed of local oolite limestone. This farm included an outstanding Jersey dairy herd and became a “show place of agricultural activity.” Mr. Parker helped organize the Joseph Cooperative and served as bishop of the Joseph Ward of the LDS Church.

Located at 1705 Sevier Highway, just outside of Joseph, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#77001318) on March 25, 1977.

The Joseph William Parker Home is an excellent example of one of Utah’s more prosperous agricultural undertakings. Moving on to the undeveloped land in 1892 and despite a two and one half year absence while serving a mission for the Mormon Church, Mr. Parker was able to develop his property into one of the best known agricultural enterprises in South-Central Utah. The small one-room log house juxtaposed with the stately eclectic Victorian style house is a vivid statement of one man’s ability to successfully meet the challenge of Pioneer Utah.

The later Parker Home, built 1907-1911, is also significant as an example of outstanding local craftsmanship and design. Essentially a Victorianized house pattern book type plan, the well built home was designed and constructed under the direction of Archibald G. Young, an architect/builder from nearby Richfield.

Joseph William Parker was born November 19, 1864, at Heber City, Utah. In 1872 his father, Joseph Faulconer Parker, moved the family to Joseph City in Sevier County. The community of Joseph, named for Joseph A. Young, a son of Brigham Young and President of Sevier Stake of the Mormon Church, was settled in the fall of 1872. Joseph William Parker received his early education at Kanosh and Joseph, then attended Brigham Young Academy in Provo for two years. He married Margaret Jane Neel, a schoolteacher, on November 4, 1885, and they built a two-room house near the public square in Joseph City. Against the advice of his family and friends, Joseph W. Parker traded the 2-room house and twelve acres of improved farm land on the outskirts of Joseph for sixty acres of unimproved land and fourteen acres of pasture land two and one-half miles northeast of town. A one-room log house 15% feet by 18% feet was built in 1892-1893 and housed the Parker Family and their seven children, until the present home was completed in 1911. Two years after Joseph Parker began working his newly acquired property, he was called on a proselyting mission to the Southern States for the Mormon Church. Returning to his home in 1897, he spent several winters working at the Otter Creek Reservoir in Piute County to obtain money to purchase lumber to repair his neglected sheds, corrals, and fences, pay debts which had accumulated during his two and one-half year mission, and provide for his family. He also freighted garden produce to the mines at Frisco, Newhouse and Kimberly. By 1906 his efforts had brought sufficient financial success that Archibald G. Young, a Richfield architect/builder was commissioned to draw plans for a new rock home.

A. G. Young was best known as a building contractor, having constructed the Sevier and Piute County courthouses, schools in Richfield and Fillmore, the Young Block and Federal Building in Richfield and other locally significant structures which were designed by other architects. On smaller projects, Young may have drawn his own plans or may have obtained them from house pattern books. The Parker home is very similar to homes portrayed in period house pattern books (for example, “Radford’s Bungalows” printed in 1907) which were circulating locally at the time the house was built.

The architectural significance of the Parker home lies in its design and craftsmanship. The design is pretentious for its rural setting and partakes of the last strains of the Victorian movement. The execution of the design is particularly excellent. The various aspects of construction, masonry, carpentry, metalwork, etc., are masterfully handled. The home is in very good condition today. Lehi Ence and Parley Outzen of Richfield were carpenters, John Johnson and sons of Elsinore did the masonry work and Anthony Lund of Richfield did the painting and interior plastering. Stone for the house was quarried from the mountains at Vacca, near Clear Creek Canyon south of Joseph. J. Elbert and Ervin Parker, sons of Joseph Parker, assisted with the quarrying and masonry work. Improvising when necessary, the builders used pullies from the hay derrick to lift the heavy stones to the top as the walls reached higher.

The home was completed in 1911. Joseph William Parker and his sons installed a water system for the house which consisted of a settling pond, cement cistern with pipes running to the house and yards. In 1917 this system was replaced when the home was connected with the Joseph Water Works. In 1913 the Parker house was electrified when the Telluride Power Company brought electrical service to the community of Joseph.

The home and farm became a show place of local agricultural activity. The Utah Farmer described the house as “One of Sevier County’s Modern Farm Homes,” and Sevier County farm agents often brought guests from the Utah Agricultural College at Logan, and from counties throughout the State to observe the home, farm, and livestock.

Under the initiative of Mr. Parker, he and his sons built up one of the most important Jersey dairy herds in the area. Local historian Irwin L. Warnock observed, “The name Parker is almost synonymous with pure bred Jersey cattle in Sevier County.” In addition to his agricultural pursuits Joseph William Parker was active in other business activities including the organization and financing of the Joseph Co-op. An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served as Bishop of the Joseph Ward and Second Counselor in the South Sevier Stake Presidency. The home still remains in the Parker family and they have expressed a commitment to continue its preservation.