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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


An attorney and a judge of the United States Court for the Indian Territory, Luman F. Parker was born on August 23, 1872, at Rolla, Missouri, to Sarah and Luman Franklin Parker, Sr. In 1897 Parker received the bachelor of letters degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. That same year he moved to Vinita, in the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory, where he set up a law practice. He married Ludie Hall of Vinita in 1898. He also served as assistant United States attorney for the Northern District, as master in chancery, and as attorney for the Cherokee Nation. During his career he was also elected mayor of Vinita.

In 1904, when Pres. Theodore Roosevelt named Judge William R. Lawrence to succeed Judge Charles W. Raymond as a "full" judge of the United States Court for the Indian Territory, Luman F. Parker, Jr., was named as Lawrence's successor. When he was nominated for a judgeship, some eyebrows were raised because his father was general solicitor for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway Company. Parker, Jr., assured people that he was "in sympathy with President Roosevelt in his efforts to secure railroad rate legislation."

At thirty-three years of age, Parker was the youngest appointee to the Indian Territory court. He was also the last judge named to the bench before 1907 Oklahoma statehood. In 1905 Parker sentenced Robert Cotton to death for murder. Cotton was the last person executed under sentence of the Indian Territory court.

After statehood Parker remained in Vinita and practiced law. He died on August 14, 1912, on a trip to St. Louis, only a few days shy of his fortieth birthday. Last rites were held in Vinita, and Parker is buried there.

Von Russell Creel


Von Russell Creel, "Capital Punishment and the United States Court for the Indian Territory," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 81 (Summer 2003).

Von Russell Creel, "Fifteen Men in Ermine: Judges of the United States Court for the Indian Territory, 1889–1907," The Chronicles of Oklahoma, 86 (Summer 2008).

"Luman Franklin Parker, Jr.," Vertical File, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Vinita (Indian Territory) Indian Chieftain, 14 August and 23 August 1912.


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Von Russell Creel, “Parker, Luman F., Jr.,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=PA030.

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