Like many others born in Lowell, Theodore Edson Parker was named after Rev. Theodore Edson, the first minister of St. Anne’s Church. He lived modestly, worked for the Boott Mills and later the telephone company. He was 59 was he inherited a fortune from his uncle, Dr. Moses Greeley Parker. He oversaw several projects for his uncle’s estate. One was the establishment of a public library in Dracut. Another was the construction of his uncle’s tomb, which included relocating five family members from a Dracut cemetery to the tomb located at Lowell Cemetery.
Perhaps because of his fortune, he became a very reclusive man. All the correspondence in the Cemetery’s files regarding his own imposing mausoleum was from his secretary. Letters from 1928 indicate the Ralph Adams Cram was the architect for the building to be constructed of Vermont granite and Italian marble with stained glass windows. At his death in 1938, Parker was interred as he wished.
His will designated endowments for some local charities and led to the establishment of the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation. This foundation is still a major benefactor of many charitable, educational, and other non-profit organizations in the city.