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Rutledge Parker

Rutledge ParkerForestry Pioneer

Rutledge was born on September 19, 1877 in South Carolina. His family lineage went back to the earliest days of Colonial America. His given name "Rutledge" was handed down from John Rutledge, Governor of South Carolina during the American Revolution and a signer of the U.S. Constitution. His maternal grandmother was a sister of General George Gordon Meade, West Point 1855, who commanded the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg.

He received his early education from tutors, and received his high school education at Porter's Military Academy in Charleston South Carolina. In 1900 he was a timberland surveyor for the Atlantic Coast Lumber Company at Charleston. He entered Yale in 1905 and received a Masters Degree in Forestry in 1908. In July of 1908 he came to the Northwest working in Wallace Idaho and Libby Montana. In 1910 Parker was named a First Lieutenant in the Montana National Guard and by 1940 he was a Colonel in the Ordinance Department of the Guard.

From 1911 to 1924 he served as Deputy and Forest Supervisor on the former Missoula National Forest. He then spent two years working on his apple orchard along Rattlesnake Creek near Missoula. During the Great Depression, Rutledge and his wife Albertina Brown Parker were very active collecting food, clothing and other items for destitute people.

He was appointed State Forester by Governor John E. Erickson on March 1, 1926. He remained State Forester for a total of seven, four year appointments and served under six Governors.

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