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Unkempt, rough and tough looking members of the gang, or lynch mob, or vigilantes, or posse riders, or cow herders. They had minimal or no dialog, not much screen time, and were generally not listed in the film credits. Some would show up as a face in the crowd, portraying townspeople, barflies, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.

Post Park

Real name:
Custer Bland Park

1899 - 1955

Post Park's specialty was driving stages and wagons and he also did some stuntwork and uncredited roles as a townsman, gang member, posse rider, etc.

Custer Bland Park was born November 4, 1899 in Missouri, but the family was in Fergus County, Montana at the time of the 1900 census. Father Knyptson E. Park was a farm hand, stockman and feed barn owner. Circa 1911, they re-located to Roundup, Musselshell County, Montana, and the father became County Assessor. Post and brother Cecil attended school in Roundup, Montana and both were Boy Scouts. During this period, Post developed horse wrangling and wagon driving skills that would be of later value in the movie business.

In 1918 through mid 1919, he did World War I duty as a Private in a medical unit / field hospital and was stationed in France. And in 1921, he married a local Roundup, Montana gal named Emma Collette and two sons were born: William E. Park (born about 1923) and Owen R. Park (born about 1927).

He was still living in Montana in the mid 1920s and the Newspaper Archive had the October 11, 1925 issue of the Helena (Montana) Daily Independent which had a report of Custer B. Park in an automobile accident.

Unsure when the marriage to Emma ended, but Post tied the knot a second time. He married Dorothy Fleming in Rapid City, South Dakota in 1929, and they would be together through his death in 1955.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has Park's movie career spanning about twenty years, from about 1935 through the mid 1950s. However, when the 1930 census was taken, Post was living in Rapid City, South Dakota with second wife Dorothy, and his occupation was movie actor.

Newspaper Archive had the September 2, 1948 Van Nuys (California) News which had a large article and photo on Post's son, Army Sergeant William Park, who had just received a Bronze Star for World War II service. He was career Army and had already been awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantry badge.

Post Park passed away from a heart attack on September 18, 1955 at his home in Van Nuys, California and is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Post Park:

(Image courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are expert driver Post Park, Jimmy Wakely and Milburn Morante in a still from Wakely's RIDIN' DOWN THE TRAIL (Monogram, 1947).

The arm-in-a-cast for Post Park was an excuse for Wakely to handle the reins, but if Jimmy got into trouble, Park was ready to take over.

Blowup / crop of Park's face on the left.

On the trail of Post Park.

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), Fold3 Military Records (subscription), California Death Index, and the death certificate provide more on Post Park and family:

  • 1890 census is unavailable - it was lost in a 1921 fire (and water damage) at the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C.
  • 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - 38 year old John Single (born Missouri; occupation "Stockraiser") was head of the household in Gilhedge (Edge, Maiden, Grass Range districts), Fergus County, Montana. With him are 26 year old Knyptson E. Park (born Missouri; occupation "Hired man - Farm Laborer"), his 27 year old wife Lizzie M. (born Missouri), 5 year old daughter Ira (born Missouri), and 1 year old son Custer B. (born Missouri):
  • 1910 census summary and census takers worksheet - living in Melstone School District, Fergus County, Montana were K. E. Parks [sic] (born Missouri; occupation "Proprietor - Feed Barn"), his 36 year old wife Martha E. (born Missouri), 14 year old daughter Iva (born Missouri), 10 year old son C. B. Parks [sic] (born Missouri), 8 year old son C. D. (born Montana), and 3 year old daughter Opa (born Montana):
  • Ancestry and Fold3 had several World War I military records for Park. In September, 1918, Private (Medical) Custer B. Park was at Camp Dodge, New York in a replacement medical unit. In April, 1919, Private Park (and many others from Field Hospital number 42) returned to the U. S., sailing from Brest, France to Hoboken, New Jersey and then to Camp Dix, New Jersey. Those records have his mother's name as Martha E. Park, Roundup, Montana.
  • 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - owning their home in School District 55, Musselshell County, Montana were 46 year old K. E. Park (born Missouri; occupation "Stockman - Stock Farm"), his 46 year old wife Martha E. (born Missouri), 20 year old son Custer B. (born Missouri; occupation "Laborer - Stock Farm"), 18 year old son Cecil O. (born Montana), 12 year old daughter Opal (born Montana) and 5 year old son Leenoris (born Montana)
  • August 22, 1921 Montana marriage license of 21 year old Custer B. Park (born Missouri) and 18 year old Emma Collette (born Montana) in Roundup, Musselshell County, Montana. His parents were K. E. Park and Martha Elizabeth Pollard. Post's brother Cecil O. Park was a witness:
  • Ancestry had the August 23, 1929 South Dakota marriage record of 29 year old Custer Bland Park and 24 year old Dorothy Fleming at "Inspiration Point on Rim Rock trail near Rapid City, S. D." Both were divorced and this was their second marriage. Dorothy's home address was Rapid City and Park's residence was Winnett, Montana.
  • 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - 30 year old Custer Park (born Montana) and 24 year old wife Dorothy (born Iowa) were among many lodgers at an apartment building in Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota. He was a veteran of World War I and occupation was "Actor - Movies". Dorothy's occupation was "Trimmer - Millinery". Another lodger is 4 year old Owen Flemming (born Minnesota; and he is probably son Owen from Park's earlier marriage to Emma Collette):
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - owning their home at 6943 Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles were 40 year old Custer B. Park (born Missouri), his 34 year old wife Dorothy P. (born Iowa), 17 year old son William E. (born Washington) and 13 year old son Owen R. (born Minnesota). His occupation was "Extra Stuntman - Motion Picture Industry", and in 1939, he worked 24 weeks and earned $1800.00:
  • Death certificate - 55 year old Custer B. Park, AKA Post Park, was born November 4, 1899 in Missouri. Occupation was "Stunt Man - Motion Pictures". He passed away from a heart attack on September 18, 1955 at his home at 5543 Sunnyslope Avenue, Van Nuys, Los Angeles County. Death certificate informant was wife Dorothy Park. He was a World War I veteran and his parents were K. E. Park and Martha Pollard. Burial at Forest Lawn.
  • California Death Index mirrors the death certificate and there are dual records for Custer B. Park and Post B. Park. He was born November 4, 1899 in Missouri, mother's maiden name of Pollard, and he passed away September 18, 1955 in the Los Angeles area:

Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Custer Post Park (1899 - 1955) who is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California:

The Library of Congress, Chronicling America website has early newspapers. Here's links to four about Custer Park, brother Cecil, and father K. E. Park:

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