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PARK, MILTON

PARK, MILTON (1846–1914). Milton Park, Confederate soldier, school administrator, and editor of the Southern Mercury, son of John Thompson Sankey and Tabitha Ann (Skinner) Park, was born in Augusta, Georgia, on January 1, 1846. In 1852 the family moved to Orion, Alabama. In September 1861 Park enlisted in the Orion Grays, which became part of Company A of the Thirty-ninth Alabama Infantry. He remained with the unit until he was captured in December 1864. After the war Park attended Mercer University at Penfield, Georgia, from 1865 to 1867. Subsequently, he and his father founded Greenville Collegiate Institute in Greenville, Alabama. In 1869 Park moved to Jefferson, Texas, where he began a school known as Excelsior College. He was known as a Greek scholar. Around 1873 ill health forced him to abandon his school, and after a brief trip through the west he became one of the editors and publishers of the Jefferson Daily Democrat. On February 2, 1875, he married Alice V. Wimberly in Greenville, Alabama. The couple had four children. In 1876 Park moved to Mexia, Texas, where he founded and taught at a school known as the Polytechnic Institute. In 1883 he returned to Greenville, Alabama, to become president of South Alabama Female College, a position he held until 1885. In 1886 he moved to Kyle, Texas, where he was president of Kyle Baptist Seminary from 1886 to 1888. In 1891 Park became editor of the Dallas-based Southern Mercury, official organ of the state Farmers' Alliance. He bought the paper in 1894. After the split in the People's party following the 1896 election, Park was chairman of the national committee of the antifusionist faction and a vigorous opponent of fusionist chairman Marion Butler. In 1905 Park purchased the Password, a paper similar to the Southern Mercury, and consolidated the two under the name Mercury-Password. In 1907 he sold the paper and became a fire-insurance salesman. Park was a Mason, a Shriner, an Odd Fellow, and a Pythian. He served as adjutant general of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the United Confederate Veterans from 1898 to 1910. He died in Dallas on May 8, 1914.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

A History of Greater Dallas and Vicinity, Vol. 1., by Philip Lindsley; Vol. 2., Selected Biography and Memoirs, ed. L. B. Hill (Chicago: Lewis, 1909).

Cecil Harper, Jr.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Cecil Harper, Jr., "PARK, MILTON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpa15), accessed October 24, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.