ALBERT BARNES CLARK
The name of Albert Barnes Clark is well known in Orange County as one of the pioneers of the seventies who helped to make possible the prosperity of our present day and members of his family still reside in this commonwealth and are among those who enjoy the fruits of his industry.
He was born in La Porte, Indiana, the son of Amzi Clark who was one of the pioneer dry goods merchants of La Porte, Indiana. Albert Barnes Clark was reared in his native state and attended Wabash College. In 1864 he graduated from Yale College, following which he joined the United States Geographical Survey Expedition, under the well-known Clarence King. He subsequently went to Chicago where he became an expert shorthand reporter and was employed in the courts of Cook County. After his marriage in La Porte he returned to Chicago and continued court reporting until his health failed. Because of ill health he gave up his interests in the east and in 1875 moved to Los Angeles County and settled on twenty acres of land at Richland, now known as Orange. Orange County was then a part of Los Angeles County.
Mr. and Mrs. Clark had to undergo the hardships of the early settlers here but they entered into the spirit of the times and assisted with every progressive movement that helped build up their home community. For the irrigation of his orange grove, Mr. Clark put down one of the first deep wells. As the district developed, however, he saw that there was need of better irrigation facilities than the wells and in 1877 he helped organize the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company, a mutual water company, and served as its first president. While acting in this capacity, he was instrumental in formulating the Water By-laws, which have stood the test of time and become a model for later mutual water companies. During the remainder of his life he was always deeply interested in irrigation matters. It was Mr. Clark that shipped the first wrapped oranges from this county to the markets. Of the thirty boxes he sent to San Francisco at this time, he took the trouble to wrap the oranges in ten of the boxes much to the amusement of his neighbors. The laugh was soon on them, however, as he received two dollars more for each box of the wrapped fruit. There was nothing that ever came to his notice that he deemed advantageous to his section but that he gave it his undivided support.
Albert Barnes Clark was married in La Porte, Indiana, in 1872 to Mary Teegarden, daughter of Dr. Abraham and Lura (Treat) Teegarden, of La Porte, Indiana. Dr. Teegarden was one of a family of eleven children and six of the sons were physicians and pioneers in their profession. Abraham rode from Ohio to La Porte on horseback, as a young man, and settled there. Mrs. Clark was reared in the atmosphere of culture and refinement, being a student of Vassar College. Nevertheless she gladly accompanied her husband to California and worked with him in all that he undertook to make this a better place for those who followed. There were four children born to this union. The oldest, Mrs. Elsie Hunt, died in June, 1932, at Cheyenne, Wyoming. Marjory married N. W. Barker and resides in Michigan City, Indiana. They are the parents of two children, Wallace, a graduate of Yale with the class of 1920, and Margery. Kate Clark is a resident of Orange. Donald, a graduate of Yale University with the class of 1905, is now living on part of the original twenty acre tract that had been the home of his parents and the birthplace of their three young children. He married Celia Nunn on January 22, 1912, at Orange, California, and they have eleven children: Donald and Duncan, twins, Albert, Suzanne, David, Stuart, Robert, Neil, George, Oliver, and Rosamond. After the death of Mr. Clark in 1883, Mrs. Clark removed to La Porte, Indiana, and there reared her children. Later, Donald Clark moved to Orange to take charge of the orange grove of which he is now the owner. Mrs. Clark made many trips back to Orange, thereafter, but she died at her home in La Porte, Indiana, in 1922. She was much gratified to see the growth and development of this district and heartily enjoyed her visits here.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 667-669, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.