Biographies of American Seedsmen and Nurserymen Park, George Watt–(d.1935)–LaPark, Pennsylvania, Libonia, Pennsylvania, Greenwood, South Carolina–At age 16, Park, raised flowers in a corner of his mother’s gardens and sold seeds to friends and neighbors.  The George W. Park Seed Co., Inc. was established in 1868, and that same year he printed an eight-page catalog.  In 1871, Park started the publication The Floral Gazette, a monthly journal of floriculture whose name was later changed to Park’s Floral Magazine in 1877.  In November of 1905, 400,296 copies of the magazine were mailed out.  The company began as a wholesaler and retailer of flower and vegetable seeds.  In 1882, Park fulfilled a life-long dream of having a college education.  In that year he enrolled at Michigan State University and graduated four years later with a degree in horticulture.  He traveled across the U.S., Mexico and Europe and during one of his trips he stopped to visit Mary Barratt.  Mary was a South Carolina county home demonstration agent who had written him for advice.  They were married in 1918, and they moved to Dunedin, Florida.  The climate was not good for the seed business, so they moved to Greenwood, South Carolina.  When George died in 1935, his wife Mary ran the business until his son George Barratt took over.  When George B. died in 1967, his brother William John Park ran the business.  William continued until 1990 when he became Chairman of the Board and was succeeded  by his nephew, J. Leonard Park, and niece, Karen Park Jennings.  J. Leonard is CEO and President, and his sister, Karen is Senior Vice-President, and produces the numerous Park catalogs.
Sources: GG; CLG; SW2;