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Riverside County









Ernest Perley Clarke, president of the Riverside Daily Press, Incorporated, of Riverside, has been prominently identified with journalistic interests in southern California as managing editor of the Riverside Daily Press for a period covering more than a third of a century. In various other ways his labors have contributed to the material and cultural progress of this part of the state. The width of the continent separates him from his birthplace, for he was born at Alna, Maine, December 13, 1859, a son of John P. and Angie (Perkins) Clarke. He acquired his preparatory education at Kents Hill Seminary in Maine and continued his studies at Wesleyan University of Middletown, Connecticut, which institution conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1885, that of Master of Arts in 1888 and that of Doctor of Laws in 1925. He is a member of the collegiate fraternity of Phi Beta Kappa.

Immediately following his graduation from Wesleyan University, in 1885, Mr. Clarke secured employment on the United States geological survey. After a few months, late in that same year, he came to California and with his brother, A .F. Clarke, founded the Ontario Record, which he edited until 1894. White thus active he also taught for one year in Chaffey College of Ontario, California, and served for three years as a member of the board of education of San Bernardino county. In 1894 he acquired an interest in the Riverside Daily Press and two years later assumed his present duties as managing editor. The story of the Riverside Daily Press is printed in another part of this work. Mr. Clarke’s influence in newspaper circles has been felt all over the state; he was instrumental in securing the organization of the dailies of southern California into an association, and has served as its president.

Mr. Clarke has not confined his efforts to his paper, important as that work has been, but has been ready and willing to do his part as a public-spirited citizen whenever the occasion arose. From 1897 to 1913 he served on the board of managers of the southern California State Hospital, and the greater part of that time was its chairman, but resigned in 1913 to accept the appointment to membership on the state board of education, of which he was made president in 1915 and on which he served until 1926. In 1927 he was reappointed to the board and is therefore rounding out a period of service lasting twenty years. For some years he was president of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce and the Riverside Young Men’s Christian Association. In 1912 he was a delegate to the Methodist General Conference held at Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1920 he was honored by Governor Stephens, who appointed him to represent California at the citizens educational conference in Washington, D.C. During the World war he served as a member of the executive committee of the Riverside War Relief Council, and gave a number of travel talks for the Young Men’s Christian Association at March Field and Camp Kearney. For a number of years Mr. Clarke has been a contributor to the Sunset Magazine, the Overland Monthly and other publications, and he is in demand as a speaker before educational gatherings. Among his published works are “Six Orations of Paul” and “What One Editor Thinks.” Since 1916 he has been a trustee of the University of Southern California, in the progress of which institution he is keenly interested. He represented California at a conference of governors in 1925 and also at the conference of eleven western states held in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1929. An earlier biographer wrote: “His conception of service is so high and is so closely interwoven with his every action that his entire life is a series of good and constructive deeds which result in lasting benefit to a wide circle.” He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is a Kiwanian.

On the 3rd of July, 1898, Mr. Clarke was united in marriage to Louise M. Harvey, M.D., of Los Angeles, California, and they reside in an attractive home at 3456 Ramona drive, Riverside.


Transcribed 4-17-12 Marilyn R. Pankey.

Source: California of the South Vol. II, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 293-295, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,  Indianapolis.  1933.

© 2012  Marilyn R. Pankey.