Parker, Isaac (1793–1883)

By: Jack K. Selden, Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Isaac Parker, legislator, son of John and Sarah (White) Parker, was born in the northeast corner of Georgia, probably in Elbert or Franklin County, on April 7, 1793. With his parents and siblings, he moved to Dickson County, Tennessee, in the summer of 1803. He moved to Robertson County, Tennessee, where he married Lucy W. Cheatham of Charlotte County, Virginia, on August 13, 1816. Shortly thereafter they moved to Crawford County, Illinois, to join other family members there. He was sheriff of Clark County in 1819–20, later justice of the peace in Crawford County, and county treasurer in Coles County, whence he departed for Texas in late 1833. He settled at Mustang Prairie, Houston County, in 1834 and on October 5, 1835, began a race across the southern United States to spread the alarm of the coming war with Mexico and to call for volunteers to come to Texas. In the fall of 1836 he served during the Texas Revolution as a member of Elisha Clapp's company of rangers. Parker represented Houston County in the House of the Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh congresses (1838–40 and 1841–43) and was a senator for the District of Houston, Nacogdoches, and Rusk in the Eighth and Ninth congresses (1843–45). He was a member of the Convention of 1845. He was a senator in the first four terms of the Texas legislature (1846–53) and represented Ellis and Tarrant counties in the House in 1855–56, at which time he introduced the bill to establish Parker County. In 1845 he made repeated efforts to secure the release of his niece and nephew, Cynthia Ann Parker and John Parker, who had been captured by Indians at Fort Parker on May 19, 1836. He identified Cynthia Ann at Camp Cooper in January 1861, after her recapture on December 18, 1860, by Lawrence Sullivan Ross. Parker took her to his home at Birdville and later to Austin, where he succeeded in having bills passed granting her a pension and a league of land. Four children were born to Parker and his first wife; she died on August 29, 1867. He married Virginia Hill Sims on September 1, 1870, in Limestone County, and they had four children. Isaac Parker died on April 14, 1883, near Weatherford, Texas, and was buried in Turner Cemetery, six miles southeast of Weatherford.

Henry Smythe, Historical Sketch of Parker County and Weatherford (St. Louis: Lavat, 1877; rpt., Waco: Morrison, 1973). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).
  • First Legislature (1846)
  • Second Legislature (1847-1848)
  • Third Legislature (1849-1850)
  • Fourth Legislature (1851-1853)
  • Senate

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jack K. Selden, Jr., “Parker, Isaac,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995