SEPTEMBER 2008 — On September 21, 1966, more than six hundred REALTORS® and friends met in Buffalo’s Statler-Hilton Hotel to honor REALTOR® Fenton M. Parke and celebrate his 100th birthday.
Local historian Roy W. Nagle had long known the popular centenarian. Parke “has had some major part in every forward-going movement in this community,” Nagle said. He also “led in promoting and guiding industrial real estate activities for the betterment of Buffalo.”
Parke first came to Buffalo in 1891 to study law. He was told, ”You’re a farmer. Go back on the farm — that’s where you belong.” He persevered and specialized in real estate law. In 1902 he founded what would become Parke, Hall & Co. “without a customer to my name, without a single listing.”
Parke remembered when the young Buffalo Board joined the New York State Association and the National Association — Buffalo REALTORS® were “jiners,” he recalled.
He served three terms as President of the Buffalo Board and one as President of the New York State Association. He helped in writing the NAR Code of Ethics in 1913.
At his centennial party a reporter asked Parke which year of his life he had enjoyed the most. “All of it,” he replied without pause. “The best time of my life? All of it.”
Fenton Parke died February 6, 1967.