CHARLES R. PARK, Justice of the Peace in Normal Township, is a native of Tioga County, N. Y., where he was born
on the 24th of January, 1819. His father, Daniel R. Park, was a native of Connecticut, a farmer by occupation,
and died on the farm in Tioga County when nearly ninety years of age. The mother, Elizabeth (Dougherty) Park, was
of Irish birth and parentage, and emigrated to the United States with her parents when a child. She was educated
in New York City, whence she removed to Tioga County, and was there married to Daniel R. Park. She became the mother
of ten children, and died at the old homestead, aged about seventy years. Of the children, three are now living:
James E., of St. Louis, Mo.; Charles R., our subject, and George W., a resident of Owego, N. Y.
The subject of this history was reared on his fatherís farm, in the meantime receiving a fair education, and remained in his native State until about twenty-five years of age, his time being occupied mainly in farming pursuits. He also carried on a grocery business at No. 546 Grand street, New York City. In 1854 Mr. Park emigrated West, and has since been a resident of the Prairie State. He followed railroading on the Illinois Central Railroad for a few years, and then engaged in the commission business at Chicago until the opening of the Rebellion. He then removed to Panola, and engaged in general merchandising, whence he removed to El Paso and embarked in the hardware business. He afterward carried on a trade in lumber, and in the meantime served under President Johnson as Deputy Revenue Collector for Woodford County.
In about 1871 Mr. Park removed to Gilman, Ill., and for eighteen months engaged in the hotel business. He then went to Chicago and occupied himself in the grocery business until December, 1874, when he came to Normal which has since been his residence. Here he served as Justice of the Peace for eight consecutive years, has been Notary Public, and also carried on an insurance business and a real-estate agency.
In politics Mr. Park is strongly Democratic. In 1886 he was the candidate of his party for County Treasurer, but was defeated with the balance of his ticket. Previous to the war our subject was connected with the State Militia of New York, where he held the rank of Captain, Ensign and Lieutenant Colonel, serving with the military for a period of eight years.
Mr. Park was married in 1856, to Miss Martha J. Bennett, their wedding taking place in the city of Chicago. Mrs. Park was a native of Wilkes Barre, Pa. She died on the 19th of January, 1885. By this union there was one child, a daughter, who died in infancy. Fannie, an adopted daughter, is the wife of L. B. Fuller, of Normal. Mr. Park is a member of Normal Lodge No. 673, A. F. & A. M., having been connected with the fraternity since 1860.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 470. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.