Biography of George Harvey Clark

George Harvey Clark, who is engaged in the undertaking business in Sacramento, was born April 24, 1864, in Florin, Sacramento county, his parents being J. Frank and Dilly A. (Lowell) Clark, both of whom were natives of the Empire state. The father came to California in 1852, crossing the plains with an ox team and locating at Florin, nine miles from the city of Sacramento. He was an expert accountant, but after coming to the west he abandoned his profession and tuned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He was also secretary of the Capital Woolen Mills and later engaged in the retail grocery business in Sacramento. In 1875 he turned his attention to the undertaking business under the firm style of Wick & Clark, in which he continued up to the time of his retirement from active business life in 1892. His continuous industry and well directed efforts have proved the basic elements in the acquirement of a competence, which in his later years provided him with all the necessities and many of the luxuries of life. Several times he was called to public service, acting as deputy under Assistant Treasurer Estadillo, and serving four successive terms as coroner of Sacramento county, his son, George H., succeeding him in that office. He was conscientious and faithful in the performance of every duty that developed upon him in this connection, and in his business career was found reliable and trustworthy. He died in the year 1902 leaving a family of two daughters and one son.

George Harvey Clark attended the primary and grammar schools in Sacramento in his boyhood days and afterward became a student in Howe’s Business College. His education was concluded at the age of seventeen years, and he then engaged in business with his father and became his successor upon the latter’s retirement. He has continued in the undertaking business up to the present time and is now associated with A. P. Booth under the firm style of Clark & Booth.

During the present year (1904) Mr. Clark and his associate have largely extended their undertaking business by the opening of magnificent parlors at 612 and 614 Van Ness avenue in San Francisco. The building, which is located between Golden Gate avenue and Turk street, has been especially constructed for the undertaking business and is modern and up-to-date in every one of its appointments.

He too has devoted some attention to official service, and in 1888 was elected coroner of Sacramento county, in which position he served for two years. In 1892 he was appointed by the board of supervisors to the same office and again served for four years. In 1899 he was elected mayor of Sacramento, and in 1901 was chosen for a second term, which covered the years 1902-03. Over his official record there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil, and in his administration of business affairs he was progressive and business-like, having careful regard for the expenditure of money, yet manifesting none of that ultra-conservatism which blocks progress and improvement. His elections have come to him as a candidate of the Republican party, of which he has long been an earnest and active champion, taking a deep interest in local and state politics and frequently attending the county and state conventions as a delegate.

In 1886 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Clark and Miss Emma Garfield, a native of Sacramento and a daughter of Seth Garfield, superintendent of the Pioneer Flour Mills of Sacramento, who came to California in pioneer days, establishing his home in the capital city. One son has been born of this marriage, J. Frank Clark, named in honor of his paternal grandfather. Mr. Clark belongs to the Masonic fraternity and also has membership relations with the Odd Fellows, the Elks, the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Red Men, the Druids and the Knights of Pythias. Having spent his entire life in this county and been active in its business, political and fraternal circles, he has a wide acquaintance and enjoys the highest esteem and regard of those who have known him throughout his entire career.

Source: Leigh H. Irvine; A History of the New California Its Resources and People, 2 Volumes; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.

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