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Fred Howard Parker papers

Identifier: SCL-MS-9375

The papers of Fred Howard Parker (1899-1988) span the years 1881 through 1982. Included in the collection are correspondence; teaching materials and lecture notes from Chicora College, the University of South Carolina summer school, and Columbia College; administrative material for Columbia College Music Department; and programs from Parker's organ recital programs broadcast via WIS Radio. The collection also contains college class notes of Frederick L. Parker, Fred H. Parker, and Carolyn Patterson Parker. Carolyn Parker's work as choir director at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Columbia, and Fred Parker's tenure as organist-choirmaster at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, are also documented. Included too are miscellaneous letters describing small town life in Johnston and Edgefield during the early part of the twentieth century revealing ways in which it was affected by World War I, such diseases as measles and influenza, and a changing world--electricity, indoor plumbing, automobiles, an attempt at racial integration. There is some correspondence from Janie Evans Patterson, sister to Carolyn Patterson Parker, while working as a missionary-teacher in Cuba during the first third of the twentieth century. Fred Howard Parker was born in 1899 in Johnston, S.C., son of Dr. Frederick Lee Parker, the town dentist, and Julia Prescott Parker. While Dr. Parker wished his son to follow the family tradition of dentistry (Dr. Horace Parker, Frederick Lee Parker's father, was also a dentist), Julia Parker recognized and encouraged her son's appreciation of music. Dr. F.L. Parker did not believe music was a proper avenue for a man or that Fred would be able to support himself through a career in music. Against his father's advice, but with his mother's support, Fred H. Parker pursued music. After receiving a degree in music from Chicora College in 1924, he taught music there for four years. In 1930, Chicora College merged with Queen's College in Charlotte, NC, to form Queens-Chicora College. Fred Parker chose to remain in Columbia and began a new career, first as Associate Director (1930-1931), then Director of Music, at Columbia College. He remained at Columbia College until his retirement in 1965. While teaching at Chicora College, Fred Parker met Carolyn Patterson, the voice instructor. In 1930, when Chicora merged with Queen's, Patterson relocated to Mitchell College, a small junior college in Statesville, N.C. Fearing the limitations a small town and college would place on her career, Carolyn applied for a teaching position at Columbia College and in 1931 returned to South Carolina. While Fred and Carolyn had been friends during their time of teaching together at Chicora College, it was at Columbia College that their romance began. They were married in 1934. Carolyn remained as voice instructor at Columbia College until her retirement in 1965. While at Columbia College, she was instrumental in establishing a chapter of the Delta Omicron Society. Both Parkers were actively involved with music in the Columbia community. Fred served as organist-choirmaster at First Presbyterian Church while Carolyn was choir director at Ebenezer Lutheran Church. In addition, Carolyn was active in the Columbia Music Festival Association, and Fred was a president of the college music division of the South Carolina Education Association and the Columbia Music Teachers' Association. For twenty-seven years, Fred Parker presented a program of weekly organ recitals broadcast via WIS radio. He also edited a weekly column, "Beloved Hymns", for the State newspaper.


  • 1881 - 1982


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact The South Caroliniana Library.


5 Linear Feet (4 cartons)

Biographical / Historical

1873 Birth of Frederick Lee Parker to Dr. Horace Parker and Sarah Dorn Parker 1877 Birth of Julia Annie Prescott to Dr. William Edward Prescott and Ellen Culbreath Prescott 1895 Graduation of Frederick Lee Parker, University of Maryland Dental School 1896 Marriage of Dr. Frederick Lee Parker and Julia Annie Prescott 1899 8 July Birth of Fred Howard Parker to Dr. Frederick Lee Parker and Julia Prescott Parker 1900 Birth of Carolyn Patterson 1917-1918 Fred Howard Parker attended Georgia Institute of Technology 1922 B.S., University of South Carolina 1924 B.M., Chicora College, Columbia, S.C. 1925-1930 Music instructor, Chicora College, Columbia, S.C. 1927-1965 Organist-Choirmaster, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C. 1930-1931 Associate Director of Music, Columbia College, Columbia, S.C. 1930-1957 Weekly organ recitals, WIS Radio, Columbia, S.C. 1931-1965 Director of music, Columbia College, Columbia, S.C. 1934 Marriage of Fred Howard Parker and Carolyn Patterson 1936 Death of Julia Prescott Parker 1939 M.A. (Music), University of South Carolina 1951 Death of Dr. Frederick Lee Parker 1981 Death of Carolyn Patterson Parker 1988 24 Aug. Death of Fred Howard Parker


Also includes accession number 11249 and, 11530.

Repository Details

Part of the South Caroliniana Library Repository

910 Sumter St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-5747 (Fax)

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