Louise Child Porter Clarke
Contributor: Hokie374 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Written by Mary Louise Clarke Barker
Louise Child Porter was born September 8, 1909, to Arthur Porter Jr. and Nelle Child Porter in Rexburg, Madison County, Idaho. She was the fourth child in a family of ten. She attended schools in Rexburg and then graduated from Ricks College where she participated in the school orchestra as a violinist. She worked after school and during the summers at her father’s businesses-Porter’s Book Store and the Rexburg Journal. She helped with the proofreading at the newspaper.
During this time she met David Ronald Clarke and became engaged to him when he left for an LDS Mission to Oakland, California. When he returned, they were married February 20, 1931, in the Logan LDS Temple. After their marriage, they left for a log home on a ranch near Salmon, Idaho, along with Ronald’s parents, where they became sharecroppers. Their first child, David Ronald Clarke Jr., was born in the home in 1933. In late March or early April 1934 they moved to Tendoy, Idaho, where her second son, Arthur Porter Clarke, was born in 1935. Daughter Mary Louise Clarke was born at the Salmon Hospital in 1938.
In March of the same year, the family relocated to Darby, Montana, where they purchased property. There were no LDS Church facilities there, so meetings were held in their home with family, neighbors and friends. Merlyn John Clarke was born at home here in 1940. In the early spring of 1941 they moved once again to Moise, Montana, in order to get the early crops in the ground. Here they worked from daylight to dark, always fighting weather and the lack of water to scratch out a living. In the fall of 1942 they sold everything and moved back to Rexburg, living first in her Grandmother Porter’s home and then on a rented farm in Archer near Rexburg. On April 10, 1945, Warren Patrick Clarke was born.
In November 1945 Ronald was able to purchase his Grandfather Griffin’s home in Clarkston, Utah, as well as land to farm. On November 10, 1947, she gave birth to a second daughter, Bessie Nell Clarke, who passed away November 17, 1947. On August 25, 1949, James Thomas Clarke was born. On January 10, 1953, Louise gave birth to a stillborn baby boy.
Ronald and Louise had a small dance band and played for dances from Malad, Idaho, to Plymouth, Utah and all the towns in between, and from Preston, Idaho, to Hyrum, Utah. Louise also taught in the YWMIA and the Primary. She worked for a time a Thiokol Chemical Corp. at Promontory, Utah. She later worked as a C.N.A. at Sunshine Terrace in Logan, Utah. On November 26, 1974, Louise and Ronald were called to serve an LDS Mission in Adelaide, Australia. They were released on August 19, 1976. Four years after their return they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July of 1981 with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and their extended family and friends.
Ronald died from cancer in 1984. Louise, 80, sold her home in Clarkston and moved to St. George, Utah, where she purchased a two-bedroom bungalow. She served as a visiting teacher and was active in the DUP. She traveled to visit her children in Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Utah. She died May 14, 1999, just two days after returning home from accompanying her sister Mary Nell Harris to Omaha, Nebraska, where she visited with her son Patrick and family.