James Parker Nolan, 84, president, treasurer and member of the board of directors of Folger, Nolan, Fleming, Douglas Inc., a Washington investment banking house, died of hypertension Monday at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Nolan, a lifelong resident of Washington, graduated from McKinley Technical High School. His first job was as a messenger in Union Station. He attended Georgetown University law school and served in the Army tank corps in France during World War I. He then worked for the State Department.

In 1924, he began his career in finance, working for the National City Company. In 1931, Mr. Nolan and J. Clifford Folger founded Folger, Nolan & Company. Despite the Great Depression, the company prospered. "We figured someone had to do business and it might as well be us," Mr. Nolan once said in an interview.

In 1953, Folger, Nolan merged with W. B. Hibbs & Co. It later became Folger, Nolan, Fleming, Douglas.

Mr. Nolan was a former president of the Washington Stock Exchange, a governor of the New York Stock Exchange and an associate member of the American Stock Exchange. He also was a member of the Investment Bankers Association and a member of the board of the National Association of Security Dealers. He was a director of the CSX Corporation and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.

He also was a former chairman of the finance committee of the Landon School for Boys and a decorated Knight of Malta. His clubs included the Brooke, the Washington Bond, the Metropolitan, the Alfalfa, the Chevy Chase Country Club and the Farmington Country Club. He was a trustee of the Chestnut Lodge hospital in Rockville.

Mr. Nolan's first wife, the former Ellen DuBose Ravenel Peelle, whom he married in 1928, died in 1970. His second wife, the former Florence Wetherill Walker, whom he married in 1972, died in 1978.

Survivors include three children by his first marriage, James Parker Jr. of Bethesda, Dr. Stanton Peelle of Charlottesville, Va., and Gaillard Ravenel of Acton, Mass.; one stepdaughter, Florence Danneberg of Englewood, Colo.; three sisters, Mrs. John Blanche of Baton Rouge, La., and Dorothy Cecil and Ann Cowl, both of St. Augustine, Fla., one brother, Walter Parker of Santa Rosa, Calif.; five grandchildren, and seven step-grandchildren.