Long one of the active workers in the industrial life of Rhode Island, George W. Park held a place of especial prominence for his labors in the railway industry, having been connected for many years with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company. Although not a native of this State, Mr. Park spent his entire life in New England, so that he was thoroughly familiar with the people and customs of this part of the United States, and was able to take a most helpful part in the affairs of his community. An individual of kindly and generous impulse and strong public spirit, he combined with these traits a geniality of personality that readily won the hearts of those around him. Known as a useful citizen, a friend to many of his fellows, and an ideal husband and father, he occupied a position of warm affection in the minds of those whose privilege it was to know him, and his death removed from this State a most substantial citizen.
Mr. Park was born in Blackstone, Massachusetts, son of Irving G. and Minnie (Young) Park. While he was still a small boy, his family removed to Providence, Rhode Island, where he attended the public schools. His first employment was as a conductor on the electric cars for the Rhode Island Railway Company. In 1902 he entered the employ of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company, which promoted him through various positions, including that of passenger agent, up to the post of baggage master. From that last appointment he was forced to retire, in September, 1929, on account of failing health.
Along with his activities in these different positions, he took a leading part in the affairs of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, having been chairman of the local grievance committee from 1915 to 1922. He also served as delegate to the Brotherhood’s conventions at Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. He was likewise one of the founders and an active worker in the Annis Club, a branch of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, as well as a member of the New England Railroad Veterans’ Association. With strong fraternal affiliations, he was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose. His political alignment was with the Democratic party, in whose local affairs he was ever a leader. In 1926 and 1928 he was a candidate for the office of councilman from the Fifth District of East Providence; and he was also at one time a candidate for tax assessor for the town of East Providence. Into all of his work—political, civic, business—Mr. Park constantly put his best energies, with the result that he was a valuable citizen in his Rhode Island community, and one who bore the love of his fellowmen.
George W. Park married, on March 17, 1899, Olive Bannetti, of Providence. To this marriage there were born two children:
- George Fred.
- Lydia Charlotte.
The death of Mr. Park, on January 29, 1930, was productive of sincere sorrow and regret among his hosts of friends. For he was honored and loved by all who knew him. His pleasant nature and his ever-ready smile were qualities always associated with him in the thoughts of others; and for his wonderful personality, his clean and rigorous habits, his truthfulness and trustworthiness, he will long live in the memories of friends and acquaintances. Ambitious and gifted, he was interested in every public endeavor, and his help in promoting worthy causes was of inestimable value. His love and kindliness were very marked, especially in his own family circle, where he was a companion and a comrade to his children, with whom he often went on fishing or motoring expeditions, or spent many happy hours of leisure with them in his home. As friend, as husband and father, as citizen and worker, his name will live on in the years to come, source of encouragement and guidance to many.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.