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Edwin Pond Parker : Class of 1912 (Honorary)

Edwin Pond Parker, the venerated Pastor of the Second Church of Christ (Congregational) of Hartford, received the honorary degree of LL. D. at the Commencement in 1912. Two of his sons were graduated from Trinity, Burton in the Class of 1893, and Robert Prescott in the Class of 1894. . Edwin Pond Parker was born at Castine, Maine, January 13, 1836, a son of Wooster and Wealthy Ann (Pond) Parker. The father was a Congregational Minister of Belfast, Maine, though he was born at Saybrook, Connecticut, and was a descendent of William Parker, an original Proprietor of Hartford. Mr. Parker's mother, Wealthy Ann Pond, was a daughter of the Rev. Dr. Enoch Pond of Bangor, Maine.

Dr. Parker was prepared for College at the Academy at Foxcroft, Maine. He was graduated from Bowdoin College with Honors in 1856. After graduation he entered the Bangor Theological Seminary, graduating in 1859.

In the autumn of 1869, Dr. Parker accepted a call to become Pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Hartford, and was ordained January 11, 1860, succeeding the Rev. Dr. Walter Clark. Dr. Parker served the Church faithfully and effectively for fifty-two years, becoming Pastor Emeritus March 31, 1912. During the rest of his life, he held that relation to the Church. Dr. Parker was a friend of the Rev. Dr. Horace Bushnell, and may in a sense be regarded as of his “school.” Perhaps no minister of the Congregational Church since Dr. Bushnell’s time has had more influence in shaping its ideals and theological views.

Dr. Parker was much interested in Church music, in fact in all affecting public worship, and composed a number of excellent hymns, besides editing several hymn books for church and Sunday-school use.

He prepared an elaborate Historical Discourse on the occasion of the celebration in 1870 of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Founding of the Second Church, and wrote a full and valuable History of the Church. Dr. Parker published among other works The Ministry of Natural Beauty; Sermons on Domestic Duties; A Historical Discourse On the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Missionary Society of Connecticut; The Hartford Central Association and the Bushnell Controversy. He was in much demand as a lecturer on literary and historical subjects, and wrote and spoke in a finished style with a wealth of reference and quotation of the best of English literature.

From 1895 to 1919, Dr. Parker was a member of the Yale Corporation, rendering valuable service in a period of rapid : change and development. He was Chaplain of the Connecticut Legislature for several years, and gave valuable service as a member of the High School Committee of Hartford.

Dr. Parker was twice married: first, November 1, 1859, at Bangor, Maine, to Lucy M. Harris, who died April 11, 1894; and second, July 9, 1895, to Mrs. Laura A. Gilbert of Hartford, who died December 11, 1917. Lucy M. Harris was a daughter of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Harris, of Bangor, Maine, Professor in the Bangor Theological Seminary. Later he was President of Bowdoin College, and still later Professor of Theology in the Yale Divinity School.

The children were Harris, a merchant of Hartford, born in 1860, whose daughter Ruth Stanton, married Charles H. Baker, Jr., a member of the Class of 1916 at Trinity; Lily Pond married in 1892 Morris Penrose; Lewis Darling, married in 1891, Carrie Isable Knaus, Vice-President of the Billings and Spencer Company of Hartford; Mary Elizabeth, married February 1, 1893, Frederick C. Billings, President of the Billings and Spencer Company; Burton, Trinity '93, married in 1900, Miss Mildred Bres- lyn of Buffalo, New York, and is export Manager of the Billings and Spencer Company; and Robert Prescott, Trinity '94, married in 1891, Ruth Whitmore, and died in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1917.

Dr. Parker died May 28, 1920, greatly mourned and greatly honored.

Source: Trinity College bulletin, Volume 17, Issue 3, Pub. 1920