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The town of Parker is a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. Parker was founded in 1872 by ranchers and farmers from neighboring communities who sought to form a more central location for their families. The original townsite was laid out by William Hood on behalf of the Union Pacific Railroad, which had purchased land from the Kansas Pacific Railroad in 1870 to build its line through Douglas County. The new railroad offered jobs and security to residents as well as new markets for local goods such as wheat, corn and livestock; it also provided access to larger markets via connections with other railroads at Strasburg (east) or Fort Collins (west). In addition, many early settlers were drawn west because of rumors that John Wesley Iliff planned to lay track through nearby Castle Rock; this never happened but Parker still benefited greatly when Iliff built his own line into Denver instead. A post office called "Parker" opened in 1873 serving area farmers until 1974 when it moved closer into town where it remains today under ZIP code 80134 .