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Parke Family journals


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Thomas Edge Parke, son of John A. and Anna Edge Parke, was a Quaker physician of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and active member of Downingtown Preparative and Uwchlan Monthly Meetings. He was born 1 mo 3, 1851, and died 12 mo 12, 1913. He married first Maribah Willits in 2 mo 1881. She died a year after their marriage, followed shortly by the death of their son. Thomas E. Parke earned a his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced medicine in Downingtown until his retirement in 1894. He was a founder and manager of Chester County Hospital and active in local politics, business and Quaker concerns.

In 1888 he married second Mary A. Bacon, daughter of William Henry and Hannah Haines Bacon of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was a birthright member of Frankford Monthly Meeting, born 11 month 24, 1855, and died 11 month 10, 1927. The couple had two sons: William (1891-1902) and Thomas (1901-1965) who married Caroline Lippincott Hoopes. Mary Bacon Parke was active in Uwchlan Monthly Meeting, serving as an Elder, and other philanthropic concerns.

The collection contains diaries and daybooks of Dr. Thomas E. Parke and his wife, Mary Bacon Parke, of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Very rich in detail, they reflect the life and activities of 20th century Quakers, active in the Society of Friends, business, and philanthropic activities.

Arranged chronologically

Purchase, 2017.064 and 2020.031

Daybooks and diaries, 1911-1927, were processed in 2018. In 2020, additional journals written by Thomas E. Parke were purchased and added to the collection.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Finding Aid Date
December 2018
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

Thomas E. Parke journal, 1896-01-01-1901-10-19.
Scope and Contents

Daily entries of Quaker meetings, boards, family notes. Attended Friends Missionary Society. Includes clippings and weather.

Thomas E. Parke journal, 1901-10-20-1906-01-30.
Scope and Contents

Daily entries which are in another hand when Dr. Parke was ill. Family, board meetings, committees, Quaker meetings and speakers. Details such as weather and arrival of migrating birds. He noted severe flooding on the Brandywine River in February 1902. Son William Bacon Parket died 6 month 1, 1902, complications of appendicitis. Newspaper clippings of interest.

Thomas E. Parke journal, 1911.
Scope and Contents

Daily entries which include family and business notes, bills paid, meetings attended.

Thomas E. Parke and Mary Bacon journal, 1913.
Scope and Contents

Daily early entries reflect Dr. Parke's activities and his family's, and also finances and philanthropic. Entries lacking January 14 to March 30, and then resumed until he fell ill in December when Mary continued entries, recorded his illness and death on December.

Mary Bacon Parke daybook, 1925.
Scope and Contents

Daily notes and activities - Mission Board, reviewing Meeting Discipline, school committee, Children's Aid Society. Vaccinated against smallpox in April, a scare in Philadelphia. Remarks on Meeting. July 2 left for trip to Europe with her son Tom and others - no entries. Resumed in September. Had dinner at the Duponts' and was on Hospital Board and other organizations. Son at University of Pennsylvania medical school, and she served as clerk of the meeting.

Mary Bacon Parke daybook, 1926.
Scope and Contents

Daily actitivities, including Hospital Board, Meetings, and visits

Mary Bacon Parke daybook, 1927.
Scope and Contents

Mary Bacon Parke was active until sudden gastro illness in November, and she died November 10, 1927. Final entries in a different handwriting describe her illness,death, and results of her autopsy.

Mary Bacon Parke commonplace book, 1902-1927.
Scope and Contents

Journal with clippings. It begins with her story about the life and death of their first child, William B. Parke, who died in 1902. Clippings of poetry and obituaries of family members including her husband who died in 1913.

Mary Bacon Parke address book, undated, circa 1920.

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