Isaac Charles Parker (October 15, 1838 – November 17, 1896) was an American politician and jurist. He served as the United States Congressman for Missouri's 7th congressional district for two terms and presided over the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas for 21 years.
He became known as the "Hanging Judge" of the American Old West due to the large number of convicts whom he sentenced to death. In 21 years on the federal bench, Judge Parker tried 13,490 cases. In more than 8,500 of these cases, the defendant either pleaded guilty or was convicted at trial. Parker sentenced 160 people to death; 79 of them were executed.
Parker's health deteriorated in the 1890s and the jurisdiction and power of his court were reduced by Congress. In September 1896, Congress effectively closed the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas by removing its jurisdiction. Shortly after, on November 17, 1896, Parker died of complications due to Bright's disease. He is buried in Fort Smith.
Parker was the youngest son of Joseph Parker and his wife Jane Shannon, and the great-nephew of Ohio Governor Wilson Shannon.
"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXSR-KHY : 12 April 2016), Isaac C Parker in household of Joseph Parker, Warren, Belmont, Ohio, United States; citing family 254, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4XH-7KY : 12 April 2016), Isaac C Parker, Missouri, United States; citing p. 58, family 459, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,261.
"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNWP-9WF : 12 August 2017), Isaac C Parker, Fort Smith, Sebastian, Arkansas, United States; citing enumeration district ED 177, sheet 524A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0056; FHL microfilm 1,254,056.
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