Lucius H. Parker was born on March 20, 1807, in Woodstock, Vermont, to Tilly Parker and Miriam Wallace Parker. He studied and taught at a number of schools. He taught at Middlebury Academy in western New York, then went to Oneida, then left for Lane Theological Seminary, where he studied from1833 through1834. He left with the other Lane Rebels about six weeks before he would have graduated. He soon came to Oberlin to continue his studies.
On August 31, 1836, he married Elizabeth Holyoke of Cincinnati, OH, who came from an abolitionist family. Her family may have financed the Lane Rebels. Together Lucius and Elizabeth would have several children: David, William E., Mary Elizabeth, Lucius H. Jr., Robert W., Charles W., Emily A., Edward and William H. William H Parker would later come to study Oberlin.( He died in Oberlin, Ohio in October 25, 1860.) Lucius’s sister, Jane Parker Chapman, was also an Oberlin student, and she married another student in the Oberlin Seminary.
In 1836 Lucius Parker left Oberlin to preach. He was ordained on July 6, 1836 in Janesville, New York. He also preached in Maumee County and in Galesburg, IL. In 1837, he and his wife returned to Oberlin. While Lucius studied in the seminary, Elizabeth attended the Ladies’ Course. Lucius Parker graduated from Oberlin Seminary in 1838.
After graduation, he moved to Waine,
Pennsylvania, and worked in some 15 or 16 churches there. In 1844, he was accused
of wrongdoing in a church where he was a prominent figure, and he decided to
leave the parish. However, before he left he called a council regarding his
activities as pastor, and even his accusers found that they could not produce
any evidence of misconduct. After this, he moved back to Galesburg, IL.
In 1848, he started identifying as a believer in Congregationalism, which was a more aggressively antislavery denomination at the time. This caused some controversy within his church and continued to create tension throughout the 1850s. In 1848, Parker helped found the Free Soil party. During this period he worked on securing funds to help fund churches, sometimes putting up his own money, which caused him financial difficulties on at least one occasion.
Lucius Parker died on February 2, 1872, in Galesburg, IL, and Elizabeth Holyoke Parker died there in 1909.