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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Parker, Alton Brooks

PARKER, Alton Brooks, jurist, b. in Cortland, N. Y., 14 May, 1851. He is the son of a farmer, and at the age of sixteen taught school with a view to educating himself without cost to his father. While teaching in Ulster county he studied law in a Kingston office, graduating bom the Albany law-school in 1872. Five years later he was elected surrogate of Ulster county, being re-elected for six years in 1883. He was a delegate to the Democratic national convention which nominated Gov. Cleveland for president, and aided in the election of David B. Hill as his successor. When Judge Westbrook of the supreme court died, in 1885, Gov. Hill appointed Parker his successor. His election followed the next, year, and in January, 1889, he was appointed to the court of appeals, being the youngest man who ever sat on that bench. He retained this office till the dissolution of the court in 1892. Then, at the request of other judges, he was appointed by Gov. Flower a member of the general term of the supreme court of the first department, and continued at work in New York city until the creation of the appellate division of the supreme court, when he resumed the duties of the trial terms in his own district. In 1897 Judge Parker was a member of the appellate division of the supreme court in New York city part of the year in consequence of the illness of Judge Barrett and in November of that same year he was elected chief judge of the court of appeals.