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Park, William S., 1879-1946


Dr. William B. S. Park (1879-1946), son of John S. and Nancy Park, was born in Kentucky and completed his education in California and Illinois, receiving his degree in dentistry in 1900. In 1907, William followed his father, John S. Park, to the new town of Las Vegas, Nevada, initially working alongside him at the First State Bank. In 1912, he established his dental practice. He married Mary Belle Viley in 1909 and in 1915 the couple had their only child, John William Park. John William Park married Joan King on June 30, 1940 before dying while testing an aircraft six weeks later. Joan gave birth to their daughter Virginia 1941 and maintained a close relationship with William S. and Mary Belle Park.

After his retirement, William S. Park became interested in the geology and archaeology of southern Nevada. He worked with Dr. Mark R. Harrington on the excavations of the Lost City site in 1924 and the Gypsum Cave site in the early 1930s. His interest continued after these excavations and alongside Richard "Chick" Perkins, he developed an extensive collection of pre-ancestral Puebloan pottery, spear and arrow points, and other artifacts from the Lost City area; these artifacts would form the basis of the Lost City Museum in Overton, Nevada. Park also developed his interests in rock collecting and petroglyphs, which he expanded through expeditions into the desert areas around Las Vegas. It was during one such hike that he suffered a fatal heart attack, dying in Boulder City, Nevada in 1946.


"The Lost City." National Park Service. Accessed April 18 2019,

"William S. Park dies suddenly." Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, Nevada), February 25, 1946, pgs. 1-2.