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Duval Co. Biographies

Author: The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923,  Vol. II pg.92

CLARK CHARLES A. The popular estimate placed upon the service of Mr. CLARK as a member and the chairman of the Duval County Board of Commissioners made virtually his re-election a matter of certainty when he announced his candidacy for such re-election, as representative from the Fourth District. He is one of the substantial and public-spirited citizens of Jacksonville and
his official service as county commissioner has shown his deep interest in and loyalty to his home city and county.

Mr. CLARK was born at Campbellford, Province of Ontario, Canada, on the 26th of February, 1867, and is son of WILLIAM B. and FLORA A. (LINDSLEY) CLARK, the former of whom was born in that province, December 25, 1841, and the latter of whom was born in New York State, her death having occurred in 1892, the subject of this sketch having been the second in order of birth in a
family of five sons and two daughters. WILLIAM B. CLARK continued his activities as a representative of farm industry in his native province until 1882, when he came to Florida, where he is now living retired in the city of Jacksonville.

CHARLES A. CLARK gained his early education in the schools of his native province in Canada and was a lad of fourteen years at the time of the family removal to Florida. He here continued his studies in the public schools, and here he gave three years to learning the undertaking and marble business, in the establishment conducted by B.E.OAK. He thereafter became associated with his brother GEORGE W. in establishing an independent enterprise of the same order, and in 1889 he purchased his brother’s interest in the business, which he thereafter conducted individually and with marked success until July, 1909, when he sold out and retired from active business.

Mr. CLARK had never previously held public office until he was elected county commissioner Duval County, in 1920, his election having been confirmed by appointment by Governor Catts, on the 17th of August of that year. On the 4th of January, 1921, he was elected chairman of the county board of commissioners, and his executive administration was marked by progressiveness and well directed efforts to conserve economy in county affairs as well as to advance measures making for civic and material benefit. From an article appearing in the Florida Times-Union of March 4, 1922, in connection with Mr. CLARK’s announcement of his candidacy for re-election, are taken, with minor changes, the following extracts:“While not taking credit for the admirable way in which the present
commission has functioned, friends of Mr. CLARK say the present efficiency of the board but reflects his conscientious efforts to serve the people to the best of his ability. Chairman Clark, who was elected to the board on a good-roads platform, has, as far as humanly possible, fulfilled his campaign pledges, by giving Duval County better roads than it ever before had. The maintenance of county roads has been the chief aim of Chairman Clark, and it is said that no member of a county road gang has braved the elements and worked harder than Mr. CLARK. When heavy rain inundated many roads in the county Chairman Clark labored day and night in bringing aid to the people of the rural districts. A number of needed roads have been cleared under Chairman Clark’s administration, and road conditions generally throughout the county have taken on a different aspect. The Pablo Beach road has been materially improved, as well as many other important highways, and effective paving work has been done. Improvements at the county stockade and prison
farm, under the rule of the commission presided over by Mr. Clark, have made Duval County famous among prison experts who convened here in a prison congress last fall. It was under Mr. CLARK’s rule of the commission that the Jacksonville-St. Johns river bridge-the huge tentacle of steel and concrete that now makes Duval County united as one-was completed.

It is worthy of record that Mr. CLARK brought to Florida the first automobile placed in commission south of Washington, D.C., and his ownership of this vehicle doubtless had much to do with his vigorous advocacy of good roads. He now has a battery of three automobiles, as well as three pleasure boats, and he finds his chief recreation in utilizing these excellent facilities. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and he and his wife are active communicants of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Mr. CLARK is a charter member of Jacksonville Lodge, No. 221, B.P.O.E.; is past master of Solomon Lodge, No. 20, F. and A.M.; and his Masonic affiliation in the York Rite include membership in Jacksonville Chapter, No. 12, R.A.M.; Hallmark Council, No. 3, R. and S.M.; and Damascus Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templars. In the Masonic Scottish Rite he has received the thirty-second degree, in Florida Consistory, No. 2, and he is a life member of Morocco Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

September 2, 1890, recorded the marriage of Mr. CLARK to Miss MARGUERITE A. KOCH, who was born at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and who is the gracious and popular chatelaine of their pleasant Florida home. They have no children.

Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn

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This page presented August 19, 2010