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City of Parker Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary

Story and photos by Anthony Shea, Major USAF, Retired

State Senator Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41) left and State Representative Donna Oberlander (R-63) right present Proclamations from State Senate and House to Parker City Mayor, Dwayne Amsler.


The towns folks of the City of Parker, Armstrong County, gathered on Saturday, July 15th to celebrate their city’s (sesquicentennial) 150th anniversary.

As part of the celebration, both State Senator Joe Pittman (R-41) and State Representative Donna Oberlander (R-63) presented proclamations from the State Senate and House of Representatives respectively to Parker’s Mayor, Dwayne (Bud) Amsler, congratulating the City of Parker on its anniversary.

As part of the celebrations, the town hosted a parade with various fire departments, civic groups and politicos in participation. At the park in town, were various vendors and food trucks. Also, Parker City 150th anniversary T-shirts and coins were sold. Local residents Bill and Marilyn McCall had many old photos and artifacts from Parker and the surrounding area. Marilyn McCall is also the author of two Parker City historical books; “From Boom to Bust, The Making of the Smallest City in the USA, Parker, Pennsylvania” and “Ben Hogan’s Wild Ride”. The former book is out of print however, a second edition is in the works with an estimated release in 2024.

Unearthed Time Capsule

buried 50 Years ago in 1973

just prior to it being opened.


The main event of the day was the opening of a time capsule that was buried exactly 50 years ago at the town’s 100th anniversary. Officiating at the time capsule opening was Mayor Dwayne Amsler. Mr. Amsler recognized Catholic Pastor Steve Connor who was present at the burying ceremony of the time capsule in 1973. In the time capsule was a letter which was read that started with “Dear Future”. The letter detailed the events surrounding the Centennial Celebration and hopes for the future of the town. Various items from the time capsule were returned to the descendants who were in the crowd. One of the recipients was former resident MaryAnn (Schuster) Mackrell who was given an envelope with a letter and a U.S. Saving Bond from her father and mother, John and Dixie (Preston) Schuster. The evening’s events ended with a fireworks display.

MaryAnn (Schuster) Mackrell receives an envelope out of the time-capsule from her parents, John and Dixie Schuster.

It contained a bond purchased

from what was then the

Citizen’s National Bank in Parker.


The City of Parker originally got its start with the oil boom in 1865. By 1867, there were 1,056 oil wells in and around the Parker City area. The area’s population swelled to over 20,000 residents in the early 1870’s. In 1873, by a special act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, the City of Parker was formed from combining the communities Parker’s Landing and Lawrence-burg. The City was named after Judge John Parker. By 1878, the oil boom turned bust with the oil wells depleted. In 1879, almost the entire waterfront, 83 buildings, burnt to the ground. The City of Parker went from about 1,000 inhabitants to over 20,000 inhabitants and back down to under a 1,000 in the course of a decade. Parker is known as the “Smallest City in the United States” still holding its charter from 1873.

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