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Henry C. Park

Henry C. Park, Architect [1849-1920]

Henry C. Park [†], born in Waverly, New York in 1849, arrived in neighboring Clearfield County, Pennsylvania as a young man. According to a brief note in an 1891 DuBois, Pennsylvania, newspaper, he began his career as an architect in Punxsutawney in 1891. There he designed a house for T. M. Kurtz. He remained in Jefferson County for only three years, settling in Ridgway, the seat of Elk County, in 1894. He became the resident architect for the Hyde-Murphy Company, a phenomenal Ridgway millwork producer and building contractor. Hyde-Murphy had been established ten years before Park came to Ridgway, under the ownership of Walter Murphy and J. S. Hyde. The firm became noted manufacturers of all manner of building material, including trimwork, mantles, stairs, grillwork, and art glass. As their architect, Park was at the center of a frenzy of activity throughout this part of Pennsylvania, while his own practice flourished and his reputation spread. In 1900 the Ridgway Advocate reported that Park was well known as, "a noted and busy architect." He designed the Jefferson County Home, the Ridgway High School, and the Elk County Hospital (all built by Hyde-Murphy), as well as the Jones House, (a Clarion, Pennsylvania, hotel), the Blaisdell residence in St. Mary's, the F. Hohne residence in DuBois, the Ridgway Country Club, the Jefferson County Exposition Hall in Brookville (1915), the Brookville Methodist Episcopal Parsonage (1903), and Punxsutawney's 1905 Jefferson Theatre. When Park died in 1920, he was eulogized as the architect of "beautiful homes."

† David L. Taylor, T. M. Kurtz House, Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, PA, nomination document, 1988, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.