Clark Family


On December 25, 1852, in the town of Quincy, Illinois, was born a little girl who was to become one of the pioneer settlers of our valley, She was Vina E. Latham and she spent her early childhood with her parents in Illinois. However, in 1864, her father joined a wagon train, which was headed west across the Great Plains. With their worldly possessions in an ox wagon, the Latham Family came to Idaho. In the same fateful year, George W. Clark came with his parents in the same wagon train. He was born in the town of Monroe in the state of Iowa in the year of 1850 on January 30th.

Both of these children’s parents settled in Boise Valley where the children grew to manhood and womanhood. In June 1870 these young people were married. They spent the first years of their marriage on a ranch near Star.

Mr. Clark taught for several terms at a school in Boise Valley, and one of his students was his wife. His teaching was very successful, but he wasn’t satisfied, so in 1883 he made his first visit to our beautiful valley. In the year of 1888 he brought his wife and eight children from their home in Boise Valley to Meadows Valley to make their home. After moving to Meadows Valley, three more children were born.
The Clarks owned the first sawmill in the Valley. At first it was where the Tom Rubberd [sic] house now stands, but later they moved it down toward the Sam Mitchell ranch. They logged with oxen, and there was a crew of six—an en¬gineer, sawyer, ratchet setter old an off-bearer. Frank Waggey drove the oxen. They cut Lumber and boards and sold them to the people of Meadows Valley, in rough lumber for doors, barns, fences, etc. The planing had to be done by hand because there was no machinery with which to do it.

The Clark family also farmed. Their home was on the ranch where Earl Simpson now lives. They had the largest barn in the valley. It didn’t have any nails in it to hold the together; instead they used wooden pins. The barn was built by Dan Yoakum and Newt Munkres and it was 175 feet long.

For many years Mr. Clark and his family put up hay on the present town site of New Meadows. Part of their house was built with the first house on the original town site of New Meadows. This house was built where the Northern Hotel now stands.

Mr. Clark played the violin for the dances, while Herma Yoakum played the organ. They would load the organ on a sled, and several families would take their sleds and they would all go somewhere for a dance. Sometimes they all went to Round Valley. They would do their chores early Saturday night so they could get an early start, and they would get back late Sunday morning. Mr. Clark played for the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Campbell.

For twenty years Mr. Clark was very active in church work while he was in Boise Valley. He had a church office; his work was somewhat like that of a Deacon.

Mr. Clark carried the mail on skis for many years, between New Meadows and Council. The trip to Council from New Meadows took one and one half days. He would eat his dinner at the Stevens station situated at the mouth of the East Fork. He made the trip between Council and New Meadows alone and he cut through the mountains at Evergreen. In the winter months, for many years, he helped another man take the mail to Warren. The trip for the mail was made twice a week.

In those days all supplies were brought in by wagon from Boise. Quite dif¬ferent from the bakeries now days, all bread and pastries had to be baked at home. Most of the clothing was made by hand. They didn’t have speedy machines run by electricity as we have now, but they were happy and had their amusements to enjoy like we have ours.

One of the Clark boys, Fred Clark, was formerly one of our local game wardens.

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