Of Pigs and Farms…


One valuable resource for learning about ancestors in Lancaster is the city directories.  They were published periodically and included the address of residents as well as their occupation and, occassionally, where they worked.  They were sort of precursor to telephone books.  I don’t know if the directories were all-inclusive, meaning all households were included; so it’s possible there were families living in the area that were not included in the directories.  Nevertheless, with “Parmer” being a sort of unique surname,  the whole list of parmers is on a page or two.  I like to look at the list and see who lives with who and how their residence changes from year to year.

A 1903 city directory shows Luther, now about 18 years old, boarding at 522 Dauphin St, the home of John J. Parmer, his brother.  According to Zillow.com, the home there was built in 1900 so it would be the same home that they lived in.  You can see a picture of the home by clicking here.  It’s the home to the left of the tree, with the green chair in front.

In 1907, Luther is shown at the same address of his brother, Aldus.  In 1911, he is at the same location, but Aldus has moved.  It’s interesting to note that in the 1910 census, Luther lives with his father, Samuel M., who the census notes owns the home.  Yet Samuel is not listed in the city directory for either 1907 or 1911.

Over the years, Luther worked at several jobs, including those listed below from the city directories:

1903   Cork maker

1907   Works at cork factory

1910   Salesman at a feed store (from census record)

1911   Driver

1913   Warp hanger

1916  Warp hanger

1917   Boiler maker

Sometime after 1917, he may have gotten tired of city life because he moved to the country and worked on a farm.  A photo of the home where he lived is shown below.  When he lived there, it likely did not have the addition at the right end.

Farm home first rented

Finally, in 1926 Luther came upon an opportunity that would hold his interest for the remainder of his working career.

The story goes that he went to the market to buy a pig and he came home having bought a farm!

What a surprise that must have been for his family!




2 thoughts on “Of Pigs and Farms…

  1. Pingback: Farm Life | parmersancestors.com

  2. Pingback: Luther in Londonderry | parmersancestors.com

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