Tom Parr of Ohio
Born in 1942, we lived in Mansfield, Ohio until 1955, when my family moved to Columbus, Ohio. I began my work career in a IGA grocery store through high school. In 1963 I married Jane Kropp and we have 2 children, Connie and Tom Jr. along with 5 grandchildren. (Jane and I was married for 49 wonderful years). In 1966 I became a professional firefighter/paramedic for the City of Upper Arlington, Ohio, however, in 1974, to help with expenses, Jane and I also started a medical supply business “Parr Emergency Products Sales, Inc.” originally on a part time basis, but it grew to where I took early retirement from the fire department in 1981. Our business flourished until we sold it in 2000. There is my life in a nutshell, so where does trapping come into play.
In my younger days I trapped mostly the creeks for mink, muskrat and raccoon. As I grew older my excitement shifted towards coyote and beaver. I do some nuisance control work, mostly fox and skunk for local Golf courses and beaver and coyote control for several farmers. For three years, starting in 2010, I worked with a biologist from Ohio State University trapping coyote. I would catch the coyote, and they would collar, ear tag and release to monitor for travel distance, howl recognition, and the like. Strangely, I caught a few of these coyotes more than once.
Today, I enjoy trapping beaver and coyote. I was never a longliner, nor have I caught huge numbers of any species, but besides my modest catch, I also “put-up” a couple dozen coyote each year for local hunters that want a coyote hide tanned.
Like all trappers, I have many stories to tell, not only about a proud moment but also about the one that got away!
I have been a weekend trapper even through childhood and like many trappers my entire life revolves around traps in one form or another. In 1991 I became the President / Editor of the North American Trap Collector’s Assoc. which I still maintain today. In 2000 we established the “North American Trap Collectors Museum, Inc.” which is located on my property, along with my personal collection of over 4500 traps there is 189 of the late Richard Gerstell’s collection on loan from the Pennsylvania State Museum here as well.
I have been involved with “Trappers World Magazine” since August 2001 and became the majority owner in September of 2013. I laid out the Ohio State Trappers Assoc. “Buckeye Trapper” from March 2005 until October 2011. Since January 2007 I have been writing articles each month for Fur-Fish-Game titled “Antique Trap Collecting with Tom Parr”.
In Aug 2007 Modern Marvels did a segment of a documentary titled “Traps” at the museum, and in May 2015 CBS did a story on “Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood” on mouse traps with the overall museum displayed. Over the years, Jane and I recorded, valued and many times sold well over 20 major trap collections for members of NATCA. Sadly, Jane passed away January 26, 2012 from ovarian cancer.