James Edward (Ed) Clark History
Contributor: ScottDimmick Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
History of James Edward (Ed) Clark, 1902 to 1982
compiled by his grandson, Stephen Walston
James Edward Clark was the 4th child born to James Edward Clark and Susannah Walker Fuller at Eureka, Utah on February 21, 1902. His father was a miner, a Catholic and 52 years older than his son. His father and paternal grandparents moved to Utah from New York to work in the mines. One of the mines they worked in was Silver Reef. In 1890 Silver Reef had 1,500 people living there, 9 grocery stores, 2 drug stores, 5 restaurants, a boarding house that held 50, 6 saloons, a billard hall, 2 dance halls, a citizens hall, and a Catholic church that had a hospital in the basement. It operated until 1908. Ed’s uncle, Henry Clark, was a professional gambler there. A news article wrote that he was well liked and fast with a gun. One day Henry won seemingly too much money and he was accused of cheating. Guns were drawn and Henry was killed. His friends erected a large stone tombstone over his grave.
When Ed was 2 years old (1904) his family moved to Mercur, Utah, where his father worked until 1906 when in a cave-in in the Mercur Mine his back was broken and he lingered in the Holy Cross Hospital for about 3 months and died November 13, 1906. They moved to Mammoth, Utah in 1909. His mother had received $500 from the mine owner for her husband’s death. She bought a house in Mammoth and remarried in 1907, but this husband, who was also a miner, died in 1911. In Mammoth she made and sold cakes, pies and cream puffs and took in renters. They were so poor that one Christmas all Ed received as a gift was a little cup.
On April 1, 1909 his Grandma Fuller died, so he and his mother took the train from Tintic Junction to Modena, Utah, then used a 2 horse drawn stage to travel to Leeds where his grandmother was buried. They returned and lived in Mammoth until 1912. In Mammoth he and his brothers (Henry and Jack) helped by gathering wood. He also handed out advertising fliers to get movie tickets. In the winters they rode hand sleighs. He was baptized into the LDS Church on April 13, 1910 and attended school in Mammoth until they moved to Benjamin, Utah in 1912, where he started the 5th grade – which was the same grade as his brother, Jack. He attended school there until he went to Spanish Fork Jr High in 1917. His first year traveling to school in Spanish Fork they traveled in a 2-horse school wagon that was like a sheep camp wagon with a stove in the middle and seats along the sides. In 1918 the school district began using a Model T Ford truck that would haul about 20 students.
During World War I Ed was 16 and he and his brother, Jack, worked on the farm; while his brother, Henry, joined the military. They had 14 acres of sugar beets and sold turkeys, ducks and geese. He and Jack thinned and blocked sugar beets for others for $10.50 to $12.00 an acre. In 1919 and 1920 he also shoveled hot oil mulch to lay the paved road from the Spanish Fork Sugar Factory to the Payson High School. He received 47 cents an hour and made $4.70 for a 10 hour day. He saved this money to go to school at BYU. He also hired out for $3.50 a day and was paid $1.00 a day to drive the school bus.
In Benjamin his mother bought a farm for $2,500 and put down $500. The boys worked hard to help pay off the loan. He thinned, weeded, and topped beets. Ed started driving the school bus for Jack Bingham and the Nebo School District in 1919 (age 17) for one dollar a day. He drove until he finished high school in 1921.
After high school he attended BYU in 1921 to 1922 and worked during the summer of 1922 at the North Lilly Mine in Dividend, Utah. He was prepared to start his 2nd year at BYU and had been offered $20 a month to play football there. Ed had wanted to finish his 2nd year at BYU and then go back east to medical school, but did not have the money to continue. Instead, his brother, Jack, had convinced his mother, his brother, Henry, and him to mortgage the farm for $4,000 and buy ½ interest in 3 trucks to be used as school buses, along with a large garage in which to store them. He also went into business with Jack Bingham, Jack, his brother to raise chickens. In 1923 they had 2,000 hens. Ed took care of the chickens and the farm. They lived with their mother from 1922 to 1929.
Tragic struck in 1924, when his brother, Jack was driving a school bus (truck) that was struck by a train. Both on the bus were killed. Jack owed $4,000 on the farm and another $5,000 on the trucks. Ed took over the loan obligations. His brother, Henry, came back from Mammoth where he had worked as a miner to take care of the chickens. Ed ran the truck and school bus business. He ran 3 school buses for the Nebo School District for about 100 students, which was contracted annually for $3,300. He also did truck hauling for furniture and passengers for things like scout trips.
He had a partnership with his brother, Henry, until 1931 when they divided the assets. He ended up with a little house in Benjamin across the road from the school and let his mother live there until she passed away. Catherine and Ed 1947
After marrying they moved to Spanish For, Utah at 150 West 3 North where their first child, Barbara Louise was born on February 14, 1931. Ed started working part-time for the State Road driving truck for $4.50 a day until 1933 than worked full-time. He also ran a thrashing machine for others. They would receive 8 bushels for each 100 bushels they thrashed, which they sold for 25 cents a bushel. Ed and Barbara
Ed then became Spanish Fork Chief of Police from 1934 to 1936. He received $135 per month. During the Great Depression in 1934 through 1944, employment was very difficult and the WPA was started and paid each person $30 a month. In 1935 Ed bought a city lot from Thomas Evans for $450 at 225 N to 247 N 1st West in Spanish Fork. He then bought a house from the Sugar Factory for $750 and had it moved to the lot. They lived there until 1948 when they built a house next door and rented the prior house in 4 apartments. In 1937 and 1938 he carried mail as a substitute and rode a bicycle about 20 miles a day, while also farming 14 acres. He then worked as Deputy Sheriff of Utah County from 1939 to 1943 and received $150 a month. When World War II started he was frozen to the job. He did other work, as riding shotgun for an armor car to Geneva. He was also assigned to take guns away from German and Japanese citizens. In 1943 he was made foreman for the State Road Shed located in Thistle, Utah. He was in charge of 54 miles of road. Most of the work was done by hand. Finally in 1949 he started working at Geneva, Utah for USS Company. He worked there until 1967 when he retired after 18 years work.
Ed and Milton 1950
Some of Ed’s prized possessions were letters he received from different men thanking him for what he had done for them when they were teenagers and had were in trouble with the law. As the law, Ed worked with them to become good men.
He also invested in land. In 1956 he bought 28 acres that was divided by the freeway construction (I-15). North of the freeway he had 6.9 acres and south 15 acres. However, in 1969 the Spanish Fork City condemned the ground for a park and the well and paid him only $42,600. By 2018 the land is worth more than a million per acre. He continued to invest and bought 10 acres in Spanish Fork, sold this and bought 3 acres west of Spanish Fork. He also owned a jewelry store at 220 N. Main, Springville, Utah, which he purchased for $20,000. He paid cash for the land and store.
On the land that the city condemned Ed had raised mostly Shetland ponies for many years. At one time he had over 100. He had a nice barn and artesian well on the property. He enjoyed taking his grandchildren down to his “farm” and help feed the ponies.
Ed was active in scouting when he was younger but was not active in the LDS church, but one time later in his life told his grandson, Stephen, that he did believe it to be true. He had a bad experience with a bishop early in his life and, even though he and Catherine were married in the Salt Lake Temple, was inactive mostly the rest of his life. The bishop supposedly sold him a car that was a “lemon” and would not honor his word to repair it.
His wife, Catherine, describes him as a very good husband, a good family man, and a proud father. He was never stingy with him money or time and shared both freely. He was always good to his mother-in-law.
Ed was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 80 in 1982. He found out this in July 1982. In early August of 1982 he and Catherine traveled to Longview, Washington to visit Stephen and his family. Stephen and Kathleen just after their visit adopted a little boy that August and had honored Ed, by giving the boy the middle name Edward. During this last trip Ed was very active then and climbed with the others a lighthouse in Astoria, Oregon. They had planned to move to Moab and had designed a house to be build. However, when he arrived back he was sick and received 7 pints of blood on September 16th at the Payson hospital. He fell from his bed the next day and hit his head on the concrete floor, which required an ambulance to return him to the hospital. He died on September 20th, 1982 at the Payson hospital, which facility his grandson would run 7 years later.