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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Joseph Park


Joseph PARK was one of the oldest and most respected citizens of Urbana, whose life was a credit to any community, and an honor to any family. He was born at Williams Grove, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, August 17, 1816. He was the son of Elihu and Elspy (LAMON) PARK of York County Pa. He was of Scot-Irish ancestry. He 4th great grandmother emigrated from England with Willam Penn and settled with him in Philadelphia. Joseph emigrated to Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio at the age of twenty. There he married on March 22, 1838, Mary HANES d/o of Judge Jacob HANES. Joseph and Mary were the parents of 7 children, of whom only 3 survived to maturity. Kate, Ann (wife of James DUNLOP) and Wildney. When the gold fever broke out in 1849, Joseph went to California, where he stayed for a short time before returning to Ohio. He came to Urbana in 1854, when he formed a partnership with his older brother, William. He remained as a partner in the mill business until his death. He was also associated with James Porter, and then John Royer, and later was the sole owner of Park's Flouring Mill. He inlisted in the Army during the Civil War, and was elected a Captain of Company G. 76th Regiment Illinois Volunteers. He was at Bolivar, Lagrange, Tenn, and was with General Grant on his first campaign to Vicksburg. He was injured at Vicksburg.

He was a staunch member of the Universalist Church. A stained glass window was donated to this church by his daughter, Kate, after his death, and can still be seen at that church today.

He was a member of the Masonic Order, having become a Mason about 1840 in Ohio.

He and his wife, Mary, are buried at the Mr. Hope Cemetery. Joseph died 10 Feb 1894.

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