In 1853 Park started the abolitionist newspaper Industrial Luminary. On April 14, 1855, a mob threw the printing press into the Missouri River and threatened to tar and feather him. However Park at the time was in Manhattan, Kansas (where he was the first settler) and was working on establishing a university there that would become Kansas State University.
In 1859 he promoted the Parkville and Grand River Railroad to build the first bridge across the Missouri River. Park lost the battle to Kansas City when the Hannibal Bridge opened in 1869 making it the dominant city in the region.
In 1875 he donated land for what would become Park University on the bluffs above the Missouri River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19.3 km²), of which, 6.9 square miles (17.9 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it (7.50%) is water.
There were 1,510 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $68,600, and the median income for a family was $86,820. Males had a median income of $64,917 versus $31,740 for females. The per capita income for the city was $33,119. About 5.0% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.