M. Parker Williams, editor and proprietor of the
Hudson Gazette and Daily Register, was born in Belfast, Maine, on the
24th of February, 1826. His father, Captain John Williams, was a
prominent ship-owner and sea-captain of his time, and was largely engaged in
the East India and Liverpool trade.
He died in
1831, when the subject of this sketch was five years old. He came from
sturdy Revolutionary stock on both the maternal and paternal sides.
His mother, Sarah Parker, was the oldest daughter of Mighill Parker, who
performed valuable service for his country during the War of 1812, and
granddaughter of Captain Parker, commander of the "minute-men" at Lexington,
who left his plow in the furrow on the day of that memorable battle, and led
his little army to victory. His father was a lineal descendant of
David Williams, one of the captors of André,
and of William Williams, one of the signers of the Declaration of
successful editors in this country, Mr. Williams is a self-made man.
He was thrown upon his own resources when quite young, but by a strong will,
indomitable perseverance, and industrious habits he mastered all the
practical, and many of the intricate, branches of education, and was never
behind his class. He early manifested a literary taste, and took
naturally to the pen. He commenced writing for periodicals before he
reached his eighteenth year, and from this source received a considerable
income, a large part of which came from good old "Father Norris," editor of
the Boston Olive Branch, then one of the leading literary papers of
the country, and who took special pride in developing literary talents in
at the age of twenty-two, he became editor of the Gazette, at
Thomastown (now Rockland), Maine; but aiming for a larger field of labor, he
went to Boston in 1850, and was connected with the Herald of that
city. In 1851 he was called to Philadelphia, and was there connected
with the Daily Register.
On the 7th
of September, 1857, he purchased the Hudson Gazette, which was in a
decaying condition. He built it up to a paying basis, and on the 26th
of May, 1866, established the Hudson Daily Register. He
purchased a franchise in the Associated Press, which was a bold venture [p.
that time, but with his experience in journalism, and the facilities at this
command, the success of the journal was assured at the outset; and the
result has not disappointed his sanguine expectations. Under his lead
rural journalism in this section of the State has greatly improved in
mechanical appearance, and no small degree of the improvement in enterprise
and energy in Hudson within the last decade may be attributed to the
influence of the Gazette and Register.