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Dick and Elois Clark

Dick Clark (1905-1999)

Howard Vernon (Dick) Clark was born August 17, 1905 to Joseph Ezra Clark and Margaret Franklin Fry. When he was born his parents could not agree on which name to call him so the children named him Dick and that is what he was called all of his life.

Vivian Elois Gunter was born November 6, 1908 to Fred Neshach Gunter and Etole Myers.

Dick and Elois (E-lois) were married July 13, 1927 in San Saba, Texas. They had the following children: Jack, Nell, Donna, and Tommie Joe. The Clarks always went to church, the Church of Christ. They would go early enough to pick up Granny Clark.

When Dick and Elois were married they had only a Model-T Ford and household supplies, but they were ready to work for their share. They spent the first Fall of their marriage gathering pecans at Regency, near the Colorado River, living in a tent. In 1928 they lived in the Live Oak community, later they moved to the China Creek community and lived there until 1933. In 1933 they moved to the U.M. Sanderson farm on the San Saba River.

On the farm they grew corn, maize, and cotton. They got 2/3 of the corn and maize, ¾ of the cotton, and ½ of the pecans they harvested in the river bottomland. The landlord got the remainder. Jack said, “Things were well for us until July 1938, when the Great Flood, known as the ‘38 Flood’ came. We moved the cows and horses out onto high ground, with the exception of two horses Dad kept with him. He and Leslie Jones, a close neighbor, stayed in the house in the river bottom. Dad and Leslie—Leslie could not swim—retreated to the attic of the house. They cooked their meals over the globe of a kerosene lamp. The two men were trapped there for a week before being rescued by Elvis Brown, who came for them in a large outboard motorboat.” They cleaned up and started over.

World War II came and went while on the Turner farm. No one had to serve in the War, and farming was good. Dick and Elois made a great team. They were very resourceful. Dick was a great planner. After the flood, he and Elois put money away and bought their own farm. Dick farmed while Elois raised chickens and quilted. Along with farming, they had an egg business and were a main supplier to area stores and restaurants. There were three stock tanks on the farm. One was purely stocked with sun perch and another with catfish. The remaining tank was mainly for the cattle in the southern part of the farm. Dick created artificial reefs in the sun perch tank by tossing in a couple of old, gutted out stoves. These reefs were the best fishing spots. That was by design. He could fill up a freezer on a half-day’s fishing. If times were hard, there was always fish to eat.

They sold their home in San Saba and moved to Rockdale in 1989.


Sources: Jack Clark and Paul Collier

Compiled by Angie Collier in 2002

Updated with pictures from Ramona Alford 2009

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