TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
 
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Columns
History/Opinion

Texas | Columns | Lone Star Diary

The Story of Richard J. Clark
Lavaca County Cattleman

by Murray Montgomery
Murray Montgomery
The old newspaper headline simply read "Death of Richard Clark marked passing of one of Texas veteran stockman."

The article beneath the headline went on to describe the life of Richard Clark, mainly about his career in the ranching industry - to be more precise, his experience raising stock in Lavaca County Texas.

Clark died at the age of 89 and all of the information I have about him was in the old newspaper clipping sent to me by one of his descendants, Rick Clark. The newspaper article was so faded that I could not read the name of the publication where it appeared. Rick also sent me a copy of Richard Clark's obituary which was also faded and hard to decipher but there was enough there to put together the story of Richard Clark, better know by his friends and family as "Uncle Dick."
TX - Speaks  Cemetery Confederate soldier Richard J. Clark Headstone
Richard J. Clark
Confederate States Army
Speaks Cemetery

Photo courtesy Murray Montgomery, March 2012

According to his obituary, Richard J. Clark, Sr. was born near Hallettsville in Lavaca County where he lived most of his life. He was the son of John and Margarette Clark who came to Lavaca County by way of Indianola from St. Louis, Missouri, in 1837. Richard was born Feb. 11, 1845, two miles south of Hallettsville near the Lavaca River.

As a young man, Clark spent a lot of time herding cattle in the area around Hallettsville. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined General Lee's forces and remained with the Confederate army until the end of the conflict. According to the aged newspaper article, upon his return home from the war he once again became involved with the cattle business. Clark went on at least three cattle drives sending herds up the trail to Abilene, Kansas. He met "Wild Bill" Hickok on one of those trail drives.

The old publication also included the following: "He became owner of the famous '44 Ranch' located in the corners of Lavaca, DeWitt, and Victoria Counties. He sold the ranch in 1881 and moved to a ranch in Lavaca County, east of the Navidad River and near the Jackson County line."

It was reported that Clark was a good friend of the famous rancher "Shanghai" Pierce and of the Stafford brothers of Columbus. All of them were cattlemen who grazed their herds on open range east of the Colorado River.

From the information gathered in his obituary and the old newspaper article, it is very evident that Richard J. Clark, Sr. was a dedicated family man. He divided much of his holdings with his children and kept just enough land to graze a few hundred cattle for himself.

Clark never forgot his fellow soldiers from the Civil War, and he attended their reunion which was held in Houston in 1920. He was a member of the Odd Fellows organization at the time of his death and had been a member for some 60 years.

The beloved "Uncle Dick" Clark was described as an honorable and honest citizen. It is said that a few days before his death, he was still seen riding a horse and spending time working his cattle.

Richard J. Clark, Sr. is buried in the little cemetery at Speaks, Texas, about 30 miles southeast of Hallettsville.

Murray Montgomery December 5, 2018 Column
More Lone Star Diary

Related Topics:
Texans in War
People
Texas Ranches & Ranching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

TEXAS REGIONS:
Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Courthouses
Jails
Churches
Schoolhouses
Bridges
Theaters
Depots
Rooms with a Past
Monuments
Statues

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Museums
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Cotton Gins
Lodges
Stores
Banks

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Signs
Murals
Gargoyles
Pitted Dates
Cornerstones
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
WWII
Texas Centennial
Ghosts
People
Animals
Food
Music
Art

Books
Cotton
Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps
USA
MEXICO
HOTELS

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
Contributors
Staff
Contact Us

 
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved