The town of Parker began as Parker’s Landing on the Colorado River

PARKER, Ariz. (3TV/CBS5) — Nestled on the banks of the Colorado River, the town of Parker began as a point on the river that served as a ferry terminal for freight traveling up and down the Colorado River by steamboat.

In the 19th century, from 1852 until the railroad came to Arizona, the most economical way to get goods into the territory was to ship them, literally. Materials from the east were loaded onto ships to sail around South America and then into the Gulf of Mexico. From the Colorado River Delta, goods were loaded onto paddle wheel steamers to travel up the river, stopping at shore points along the way. The town of Parker was first known as Parker’s Landing.

Parker is named after Ely Parker, who was then Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Appointed to the position by President Grant in 1869, Parker held this position until 1871. He was the first Native American to hold this office.

The town of Parker is named after Ely Parker, Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1869 to 1871. He was the first Native American to hold this position.(Arizona Historical Society)

The small community, post office and all moved upriver approximately 4 miles to the current location in 1905 when a railroad bridge was built over the Colorado River. The site where Parker was laid out was a planned rail stopover, watering station, and shipping station. The railway ran through the center of town. In 1908, the town was laid out and lots were sold at auction in 1910.

Le Parker was officially incorporated as a city in 1948. On New Year’s Day 1983, the city of Parker became the county seat of the newly formed La Paz County.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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