Biography of W. L. Clark of Forestville, California

The name of Clark is well known throughout Sonoma county, and especially in Forestville, where father and son in their several capacities have become familiar to every household, the former as postmaster of this town for many years, and the latter as a dispenser of meats throughout the town and surrounding country. Not only is W. L. Clark a native of the state, but he is also a native of Sonoma county, his birth occurring in Windsor May 8, 1865, the son of W. S. Clark and his wife, both natives of Illinois. During the period of gold excitement W. S. Clark[1]W. S. Clark is William Clark, Benjamin Clarks’ brother. What is the name of the other brother who came to California? and two brother came to the state, but the records do not state that they came for the purpose of mining; indeed, the contrary might be inferred from the fact that W.S. Clark was engaged in business in Sonoma county in and early day, and in 1865, under Abraham Lincoln, was filling the office of postmaster in Forestville. He continued in this office throughout the remainder of his life, and during the last twelve of eighteen years was also engaged in a mercantile business in addition to this. He passed away in 1896, at the age of sixty-nine. The wife and mother is still living in Forestville at a good old age.

W. L. Clark enjoyed the freedom of country life during his boyhood, and with the other children of the family attended the public schools of Windsor. The first work of any character that he recalls was assisting his father in the post-office, and when not doing his he clerked in the store of which his father was the proprietor. His first independent venture was as a stock-dealer, a business in which he has been engaged in Forestville since 1893. From the modest beginning of that year has developed the large stock and market business of which he is the proprietor today, his three wagons delivering meats to households all over this part of the county. On an average he slaughters and delivers seven head of cattle a week, besides which he maintains a large meat-market in Forestville.

In 1890, W.L. Clark formed domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Emma L. Jewett, a native of Sonoma county, and six children, five daughters, and one son, have been born to them. Hazel Frances became the wife of A. L. Hicks, of Sebastopol, January 16, 1910, and they have a daughter, Bernice Clark Hicks, born May 31, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Hicks make their home in Forestville, Sonoma county. Eva May Clark, born in 1894, is a graduate of the school in Forestville and is receiving a musical education. The other children, Gladys Ann, Wilma Stratton, Edna May and Lloyd Smith, are pupils in the public schools of Forestville.

As was his father before him, Mr. Clark is a stanch Republican, and although interested in the affairs of his chosen party, is not an office-seeker, in fact, he steadfastly refused to be a candidate for any office not connected with the school board, upon which he has served from time to time. Fraternally he is well known all over Sonoma county, being a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Rebekahs at Forestville, the Camp at Santa Rosa, besides which he belongs to the Woodmen of America and the Artisans and at one time was affiliated with the Foresters. Besides two sisters in Santa Rosa, Mr. Clark has three other sisters in other parts of the state, one in Occidental, one in Berkeley and another in San Francisco.

Source: Gregory, Thomas Jefferson; History of Sonoma County, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county, who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present time; Los Angeles, Calif.: Historic record company, 1911.


1W. S. Clark is William Clark, Benjamin Clarks’ brother. What is the name of the other brother who came to California?

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