Pioneer of Municipal Progress: Dr. C.B. Park.
Dr. Park was born i Grafton, Vermont, December 14, 1834, representing one of the old New England families. His great-grandfather was a soldier of the Continental army during the Revolutionary was and his grandfather was a pioneer settler of Vermont, removing to that state when it was almost covered with virgin forest. Previous to that day, the family had been represented in Connecticut since the first of the name sought a home in the new world. The parents of Dr. Park were C.B. And Elaina (Tenny) Park, the former a farmer and merchant who wisely gave his son opportunity to indulge his love of education and study. He early gave manifestation of a literary taste and delved deep into the best writings of the day. He finally completed his literary education at Chester academy in Vermont and then turned to the “learned professions” for a life work. Deciding upon the practice of medicine he pursued a course of reading in the office and under the direction of Dr. L.G. Whiting of Chester, Vermont, while later Professor James H. Armsby, of Albany, New York was his preceptor. When nineteen years of age he entered the Albany Medical College, pursuing three years of lectures there and still another course in the University of New York City, from which he was graduated with the class of 1896.
In the same year—on the 3d of July—Dr. Park was married to Miss Nancy D. Carlton, of Andover, Vermont, and on the succeeding day the young couple started for the west and spent one year at Darlington, Lafayette county, Wisconsin, but not being satisfied with that location proceeded to St. Ansgar Mitchell county, Iowa. For four years Dr. Park was there engaged in practice, after which he returned to Vermont and followed his profession in Grafton until the year 1862.
At the time he responded to the country’s call for aid by joining the Union army at surgeon of the Sixteenth Vermont Infantry. He was on duty with that regiment for several months, after which, at the solicitation of Governor Holbrook, he accepted the position of surgeon of the Eleventh Vermont Heavy Artillery and so continued until he was mustered out. Aldace F. Walker, lieutenant colonel of the regiment, afterward published a volume entitled The Vermont Brigade in the Shenandoah Valley, in which he says; “Among all the faithful soldiers of the brigade the one who will longest be remembered with affection by the greatest number and with the greatest reason is Castanus B. Park, of the Eleventh Regiment, the brigade surgeon. As a worker, Dr. Park was indefatigable and his skill was equal to the requirements of his position. Of all its medical staff the brigade were justly proud, the assistant surgeons as well as the surgeons being always found at their post and shrinking from no labor that might benefit their men on the march, in the camp or in battle. Their duties were often extremely arduous for in case of an engagement the work of the surgeons was just begun when ours was over. At and after the battle of Cedar Creek, Dr. Park was at his table for forty-eight hours consecutively and during the campaign it was his duty to perform all the capital operations required in the brigade. The number of amputations when he performed was exceedingly large, but he traced with care the after history of each patient and in no single instance did one fail of recovery. This fact speaks equally well for the physique of the men and the science of the Doctor.”
A manifestation of the regard entertained for Dr. Park by his comrades in arms is indicated by the following letter:
Townsend, Vt., Sept 24, 1863. Dr. C.B. Park,
Dear Sir: your visible connection with our regiment as the surgeon has ceased, but the remembrance of your fidelity, energy and unceasing care will linger long in the hearts of its individual members. In the first place you won our confidence by manifesting a skill in the art of healing which few possess; then by untiring diligence and continued watchfulness you almost robbed disease of its terrors and death of its victims, but, this is not all. Your whole intercourse with us was characterized by gentlemanly deportment and kindly consideration. Neither the annoyance of dealing with unpleasant subjects for the necessary inconveniences of camp life induced neglect or sourness. In order to manifest our appreciation of your services the accompanying silverware has been selected and I have the honor of presenting it to you in behalf of the enlisted men of the Sixteenth Vermont Regiment. Accept it not for the intrinsic worth but for the memories which cluster around it. Receive it as an expression of grateful remembrance from hearts which have been quickened to nobler emotions to the principles of freedom and humanity. I am, Yours respectfully, Lyman,E. Knapp.
There is more to this biography, but, this is the main core.
Contributor: Jean Wilson
Nancy Derry Carlton Park
Surg 16th VT Vols and 11th VT Artilery