E. W. Clark biography

E. W. CLARK. The vast stretch of country known as western Texas, with is varied resources, its hills, its vales and rolling prairie covered with a luxuriant growth of natural grass, has been the scene of many eventful life histories. Years ago herds of buffaloes roamed over the district, also wild horses, and then came the vanguard of civilization as represented by the cattle-raisers, who fed their herds upon the plains here. Many of these men came to the west without capital, but through the utilization of the natural resources of the state worked their way steadily upward form a humble financial position to one of affluence. Many of the most prominent live stock men of America are representatives of this class. They were indeed the architects and builders of their own fortunes. Many of these men have become acknowledged leaders in business and public life and, although without the advantages of school training, have gained their education on the boundless prairies under the starlit sky, developing their powers through their efforts to overcome the obstacles and difficulties that confronted them. To these men rightly belongs an honor which cannot be claimed by a generation reared amidst the advantages and opportunities of the later times and this class of men finds a worthy representative in E. W. Clark.

His father, W. T. Clark, was a native of Mississippi, and was married to Miss Martha Carrington, a native of Virginia. The marriage was celebrated in the former state, and in 1857 they removed to Texas, settling in Denton county. There they continued to make their home, Mr. Clark following the occupation of farming and stock-raising. The wife and mother died about 1866 but Mr. Clark long survived her and passed away in April, 1897. They reared a family of seven children, four sons and three daughters.

Eugene Walter Clark is a native of Texas, having been born in Denton county on the 16th of June, 1860. He made his home with his parents up to the age of fifteen years, when he went to Young county, Texas, and there began business for himself, working on a ranch for wages. In 1884 he made his way to New Mexico, where he entered the employ of John Chisum, tending his herd of cattle. He remained with him for three years, his time being spent partly in New Mexico and partly in Benson, Arizona. In 1887 Mr. Clark purchased some cattle and embarked in business for himself. He moved his herd on to the open range in Texas on the line between this state and New Mexico and while herding his cattle there their number was largely increased and he continued in the business until 1900, when he sold the stock to A. B. Robertson, of Colorado, Texas, and Winfield Scott, of Fort Worth. The following year he entered into a contract with W. E. Connell and John Scarborough, of Fort Worth, whereby these parties purchased the famous O S ranch in Garza county, Texas, consisting of seventy-four thousand acres of patented land and about twenty thousand acres of leased land, the same being one of the largest ranches in the country. He stock it with Hereford and Durham cattle of high grades and in the conduct of the enterprise met with gratifying success. Mr. Clark has had a varied experience on the western frontier with all its vicissitudes of the cow camp, the cattle trail, the riding lines and the general round up. He has traveled the trail extensively all through the country from Texas to the Dakotas and as far west as New Mexico and Arizona and is entirely familiar with all of the experiences which constitute the life of the cowboy and the cattle man.

Mr. Clark was married on Christmas day in 1895 to Miss Lillie McCormick, of Texarkana, Texas, a daughter of P. F. McCormick, one of the early settlers of this state and a well known business man of that city. Mrs. Clark was born in Mississippi, but was brought to this state by her parents when a small child. They have one daughter, Mona.

Mr. Clark has been a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity for about fifteen years, having joined the order in Midland, Texas, where he holds his membership at the present time, having made his home there for about five years after marriage. He is a typical stockman, having spent the greater part of his life in the west. In addition to his being part owner of the O S ranch in Garza county, he is also its business manager and has conducted it in a profitable manner. As the organization of the Snyder National Bank, of Snyder, Texas, in the spring of 1905, he subscribed for a considerable portion of its stock, is one of its directors, and also the vice-president of the institution. He had taken great interest in the management of the bank and shows considerable ability as a financier as well as stockman. He is one of the representative men of western Texas, watchful of business opportunities, alert and enterprising, and in his utilization of the advantages that come to all he has made for himself a creditable place and honored name.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 652-653.