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The New International Encyclopædia/Parker, Alton Brooks

< The New International Encyclopædia

PAR'KER, Alton Brooks (1852—). An American jurist. He was born at Cortland, N. Y., and graduated at the Albany Law School in 1872. It was his early intention to fit iiimsclf for a teacher, and by much sacrifice and perseverance he succeeded in working his way through the Cortland Normal School. Teaching, however, proved distasteful to him, and he entered the law office of Schoonmaker and Hardenburgh at Kingston, N. Y., and eventually completed the course at the Albany Law School. In 1877 Parker was elected Surrogate of Ulster County, and he held that position until 1885. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1884, and in 1885 successfully managed the Democratic gubernatorial campaign. In 1886 Parker was appointed by Governor Hill to a vacancy in the Supreme Court, and in the autumn of the same year he was elected as the candidate of both parties for a full term. He was transferred to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in 1889, and in 1897 reached the culmination of his judicial career when he was chosen Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. Judge Parker had many opportunities for political preferment, notably the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1902, but refused to take advantage of them.