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CLARK, William W.

Author: The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923,  Vol. II pg.328

CLARK, WILLIAM W., who is engaged in the practice of law at Milton,
judicial center of Santa Rosa County, has by his character and achievement won
high prestige as one of the able and representative members of the bar of his
native state and as one of the leaders in the directing of popular sentiment
and action in his home city and county. He is a scion of old and influential
families of Florida, and in this state occurred the death of both his paternal
and maternal grandfathers, WILLIAM M. CLARK and DEMPSEY FAIRCLOTH.
Mr. CLARK was born near Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida, on the 16th
of November, 1875, and is a son of WILLIAM A. and FINETTIE JANE (FAIRCLOTH)
CLARK, both likewise natives of Florida. WILLIAM A. CLARK was a youthful
member of the Home Guard of Florida in the Confederate service in the Civil
war period, and his father was a gallant soldier of the Confederacy in that
great conflict, having suffered impairment of health from which he never fully
recovered. WILLIAM A. CLARK was born August 21, 1852, and thus was but a boy
when he served in the Home Guard as noted above. In 1872 was solemnized his
marriage with Miss FINETTIE JANE FAIRCLOTH, who was born January 10, 1853, and
whose death occurred in 1895. WILLIAM A. CLARK was for many years actively
identified with agricultural and livestock industry, was influential in public
affairs of a local order and served several years as justice of the peace. He
is now living virtually retired and resides in Holmes County, Florida, near
WILLIAM W. CLARK gained his preliminary education in the graded
schools, and thereafter he gave about nine years to successful work as a
teacher in the schools of Gadsden, Liberty, Jackson and Santa Rosa counties.
In 1905 he graduated from the Florida State Normal School at DeFuniak Springs,
and thereafter he continued teaching a short time. During his pedagogic
career Mr. CLARK continued to assist in the work and management of the home
farm during his vacations, and a short time after his graduation from the
normal school he was appointed deputy county clerk of Santa Rosa County.
While the incumbent of this position he studied law in the office of Amos &
West at Milton, and in 1906 he was admitted to the bar upon examination before
Judge Carter in the City of Pensacola. In May of that year he opened an
office and engaged in the practice of law at Milton. He soon developed a
successful practice, and he continued his law business in an individual way
until 1914, when he formed a partnership with ERNEST M. MAGAHA, this alliance
continuing until 1916, when Mr. Magaha was elected county judge. In 1916 Mr.
CLARK formed a professional partnership with HARRY W. THOMPSON, with whom he
continued to be thus associated until 1918, when Mr. Thompson entered the
service of his country as an aviator in the World war. Thereafter Mr. CLARK
continued in independent practice until January 14, 1921, when he formed a law
partnership with L. V. TRUEMAN this partnership having, however, been
dissolved in July of that year, and Mr. CLARK having since continued in sole
control of his large and representative law practice.
Mr. CLARK has served several terms as mayor of Milton, and had much to
do with the formulating and adopting of the present effective municipal code
of this thriving little city, which is chartered under a special act of the
State Legislature. In addition to his service as mayor he has given equally
loyal and progressive service as a member of the Board of Aldermen of his home
city. Mr. CLARK is a leader in the local councils and campaign activities of
the democratic party, and has served as a member of the County Committee of
his party for Santa Rosa County, as well as a member of the Democratic
Executive Committee of this congressional district. He is a valued member of
the Milton Board of Education, he has served as chancellor of the local lodge
of the Knights of Pythias, and he was instant in patriotic service during the
period of the nation’s participation in the World war. He was a member of the
Legal Advisory Board of Santa Rosa County, was one of the vital four-minute
speakers and did splendid service in advancing the local drives in support of
the Government war bonds, Red Cross work, etc. He and his wife hold
membership in the Unitarian Church, and their son is a member of the
Presbyterian Church.
December 6, 1903, recorded the marriage of Mr. CLARK and Miss LUELLA
HELEN WEST, who was born and reared in Santa Rosa County, and who is a
daughter of L. F. and FANNIE L.(McARTHUR)WEST, the latter of whom is
deceased. L. F. WEST, who now resides at Milton, was born in this state, as
was also his wife, and while reared in the South he followed the dictates of
his conscience when the Civil war was precipitated, gallantly met local
censure and opposition, and went forth as a young soldier of the Union. He
thus served during virtually the entire period of the war, and he has always
continued to believe that his loyalty to the nation was thus expressed in a
legitimate way and that he took the right stand, even though he deeply
sympathized with the stricken Southland in its struggle. Mr. West was
formerly a progressive exponent of agriculture and livestock industry and was
also one of the most prominent and influential representatives of the timber
industry in Western Florida, where he still has large and valuable holdings,
though he is now living virtually retired-a man of high principles and one who
has ever commanded unqualified popular confidence and esteem. Mr. and Mrs.
CLARK have but one child, WILLIAM W., Jr.

Pesented by Nancy Rayburn

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