Fonds MC18 - William Park family

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William Park family

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds

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  • 1830-1946, 1994 (Creation)
    Park family (Descendants of William Park Sr.)

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15 cm of textual records
ca. 50 photographs : b&w and sepia toned
21 watercolours and other material

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(Branch begins in 1818)

Biographical history

Merchant and lumberman, William Park, Sr., the son of Jane and Adam Park (d. ca. 1828), was born in Dumfries, Scotland, about 1819. He immigrated to the Miramichi area of New Brunswick with his family about 1823 and grew up at Douglastown, Nothumberland County, with his two sisters, Jannet and Ella Carlyle Park. On 8 March 1848, William Park, Sr., married Margaret McLaggan, the eldest daughter of Catherine McNabb and Alexander McLaggan, of Blackville. They had 5 children, including, William Adam (1853-1924), Catherine Jane (1848-1871, m. Dr. William J. Dawson), Christianna A. (1851-1941, m. Dr. William P. Bishop), Alexander McL. (d. 1885), James, Charles P., and David R. Following Adam Park's death, about 1828, his widow, Jane Park, remarried, in January 1830, William L. Scott (d. 1858), who operated an inn at Douglastown. In the early 1850s, Jane and William L. Scott were living with William and Margaret Park and their children, in Newcastle Parish.

William Park, Sr., was a well-known businessman in the Miramichi area. In 1851, he was employed as a shopkeeper. The following year, he and his business partner, John Alexander, constructed a steam-powered sawmill at Murray's Cove, in Douglastown. Following Alexander's accidental death that year, he formed a partnership with his father-in-law, Alexander MacLaggan, under the name MacLaggan & Park. The business continued until 1866 when Park began working on his own. In 1871 the mill was still operating and was considered one of the main businesses in the area. Between 1878 and 1881, D. & J. Ritchie took over the enterprise. In 1881 censustakers reported Park's occupation as a merchant. He was operating a dry-goods store in 1891. William Park, Sr., died at Newcastle on 25 November 1896.

William and Margaret Park's son, William Adam Park, was born at Douglastown, on 27 June 1853. He received his education at Harkin's Academy, Newcastle (now Miramichi), and at the Presbyterian Academy, Chatham (now Miramichi). He studied law with Allan A. Davidson, Sr., and was admitted to the bar of New Brunswick in 1876. William A. Park established a law practice in Newcastle. He served on the Northumberland County Council (1876-1879) and was warden of the county in 1877. As well, he took an active interest in militia affairs and held a position in the local battalion. In 1882, William A. Park was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. He served until 1887 when he was appointed collector of customs for the port of Newcastle, remaining at that post until 1923.

William A. Park was active in other areas of public life. He was a mason and, in 1878 and 1880, held the post of worshipful master of Northumberland Lodge. Beginning in 1895, he served on the senate of the University of New Brunswick. As well, he was president of the Highland Society (1902-1905); the first president of the Miramichi Hospital Board (1916-1919); a trustee of St. James Presbyterian Church; and president of the Newcastle Curling Club. William A. Park married Edith Winslow (1867-1947), on 2 June 1909, at Brookline, near Boston, Massachusetts, and they had a son, Francis (Frank) William Park. William A. Park, died on 8 June 1924, at Newcastle.

William A. Park's wife, Edith Winslow Park, was accomplished in her own right. She was born on 2 June 1867, at Newcastle, to Constance Mary Hansard (1832-1909), the daughter of Margaret Bell (d. 1870) and Hugh Josiah Hansard (1797-1853), of Woodlands, near Fredericton, York County, and Francis Edward Winslow (1824-1904), the son of Loyalist John Francis Wentworth Winslow, of Woodstock, Carleton County. Francis E. Winslow was employed with the Bank of Montreal, in Chatham, for many years, rising to the position of manager. Edith Winslow Park had no fewer than 4 siblings, namely, Laura (1864-1956, m. Henry Montgomery Campbell), Edward F. (d. 1946), Warren Copely (m. Josephine Carvill), and Constance M. (called Polly, 1874-ca. 1943, m. Rev. George J. D. Peters)

In 1906, after the death of her parents, Edith Winslow enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, receiving a general scholarship, in 1907, and earning a diploma in 1909. For many years, she corresponded with Katherine B. Child (d. 1953), an assistant director and instructor in design at the school. About 1935, after her husband's death, Edith Park moved to Fredericton. She was living at 174 Waterloo Row, with her son, Francis W. Park, at the time of her death, on 29 December 1947. She was buried in Newcastle.

William A. and Edith Park's son, Francis (Frank) William Park, was born on 4 September 1910, at Newcastle. He attended Upper Canada College, in Toronto, Ontario, and Harvard University, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was involved in left-wing politics in the 1930s and became a Communist activist. Beginning in 1936 until 1942, Frank Park worked in Fredericton with Fraser Winslow, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Fredericton. Frank Park worked in Cuba for the "Canadian Tribune" and served as national director of the National Council for Canadian-Soviet Friendship. He married Libbie Campbell Aird, who died in Ottawa, in 1986, and was buried in Newcastle. Frank Park was living on Clearview Avenue, in Ottawa, in May 1994.

Sources: RS141 Death certificate of Edith Park (1947); Census records 1881, 1901, and 1911; RS75A York County Probate Records (Edith Park, 1948); Dictionary of Miramichi Biography by W. D. Hamilton (1997), "William Park" and "William Adam Park"; MC18 and notes by Frank Park in administration file (1987).

Custodial history

The oral history was recorded by Barry Toole and Janet Toole, for the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, on 17 May 1994.

Scope and content

This fonds documents the business, professional, and personal activities of members of the William Park family and extended families (Winslow, Hansard, and Scott), of Newcastle (now Miramichi), Northumberland County, New Brunswick, including William Park, Sr.; William Adam Park; his wife, Edith Winslow Park; their son, Francis William (Frank) Park; Margaret McLaggan Park; William L. Scott; Margaret Bell Hansard; Constance Mary Hansard; France E. Winslow; Constance M. Park Peters; and Christianna Park Bishop.

William Park, Sr.'s records include 3 certificates of appointment (1859 and 1865); receipts (1866-1867) and a single return (1857) relating to his work as commission of roads / highways; 3 deeds, a mortgage, and a bond; 2 draft articles of co-partnership, 1 each between him and John Alexander, Jr. and Alexander McLaggan (January 1855) and Alexander McLaggan (September 1855); 2 agreements, 1 each between him and Jane Davidson (1863) and David Ritchie, John Ritchie, Robert Ritchie, and Allan Ritchie (1872); William Park, Sr.'s estate records, including a copy of his will (1896-1906); share certificates (1864, 1887, and 1901); purchase agreements for pew number no. 2 in St. James Presbyterian Church and for burial lots in the church cemetery (1850, 1863, 1889); and 3 pieces of correspondence (1858 and 1869).

William Adam Park's records include 6 commissions of appointment (1875, 1887, 1888); 9 pieces of correspondence, 7 pertaining to the provincial election of 1887; his personal account book of expenses (1910-1923); 2 letter books relating to his position as collector of customs (1869-1896, 1894-1998); 1 deed; 1 share in the Miramichi Agricultural Exhibition Association; an assignment of interest in pew no. 22, St. James Presbyterian Church; and an agreement between Peter McLaggan and William A. Park (1912).

Edith Winslow Park's records include a letter from H. V. Parker, offering condolences on the death of her husband, William A. Park (1924); 2 cook books (printed); and graphic material, notably, 20 watercolours of plants and flowers, 12 place cards in pen and ink with touches of watercolour, an illuminated Lord's Prayer in calligraphy, and a watercolour of a stone church on birchbark.

Francis William (Frank) Park's records include 3 transcripts of interviews conducted with him by Barry and Janet Toole, in 1994, (49 pp.) that focus on his family, working life, and activities as a communist activist. He discusses his life in New Brunswick and Ontario (Ottawa) during World War II, his marriage, and his travels to Mexico, Russia, Cuba ("Canadian Tribune"), and elsewhere. There are also 2 post cards (1939, 1946), and notes on the Park family genealogy.

The fonds also includes a few records of extended family members. Margaret McLaggan Park's records include a partial letter from Catherine Scott, Andrew Scott's wife, that outlines the Scotts' move to Minneapolis and their new life in the western United States (1862); William L. Scott's records include a bill of sale between him and David Mott for a chestnut wall-eyed mare, sled, and harness (1830). There are also Margaret Bell Hansard's recipe book (manuscript) [19th c.]; Constance Mary Hansard's recipe book (manuscript) [19th c.]; a deed between Francis E. Winslow and James Fish (1877); a hand-bound, manuscript copy of an illustrated, children's Christmas storybook by Constance M. Park Peters (1927); and letters of administration for the estate of William P. Bishop, Christianna Park Bishop's husband (1907).

The fonds also contains more than 50 photographs of members of the Park, Winslow, and Hansard families, including 2 studio portraits of William A. Park by Notman, of Montreal. The photographs have been moved to PANB's photograph section. See P226 for a listing of items.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Frank W. Park donated this fonds to PANB in 1969 and 1987. See MC18 administrative file for details.


Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions

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Physical description

Other materials are 3 x 3M SX60 audio cassette tapes and graphic material --12 place cards and 1 illuminated Lord's Prayer.

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