Obit: Clark, Homer C. #2 (1875 - 1915)

Contact: Ann Stevens

Surnames: Clark, Rhoder, Zimmer, Paulson, Ross, Marsh, Hetzel, Smart, Sturdevant, Wells, Chellis, Hopkins, Tarr, Perry, Shuster, Krumrey, Free, Chapman, Sontag, Lamb, Lang, Wheeler, Mooney, Webb, Berry, Albers

----Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/11/1915

Clark, Homer C. (24 Nov 1875 – 3 Nov 1915)

Homer C. Clark met a tragic death last Wednesday afternoon when he was pinned beneath his automobile about three miles south of Granton, between the Paul Rhoder farm and the school house. Mr. Clark had driven to Marshfield in the morning, taking his stenographer, Miss Helen Zimmer, with him to take a deposition in a law suit. He had completed his work and left for home shortly after 1 o’clock. Miss Agnes Paulson, who was at Marshfield, was invited to go home with Mr. Clark and Miss Zimmer. Just south of the school house, Mr. Clark started to turn out for an approaching team and going at a fairly good rate of speed his front wheels refused to leave a shallow but very hard rut in the road. Mr. Clark evidently gave the wheel a quick turn to leave the rut with the result that his car left the road, dropped into the ditch and turned over. Mr. Clark evidently realized the coming danger, for both the young ladies in the back seat state that he turned his head quickly to them as though to warn them, but in that instant the car turned turtle. Homer was caught beneath the side of the car and his life crushed out. As the car turned over, Homer had evidently made an effort to get clear, for his head and shoulders were clear of the car. He was caught face downward with weight of the car resting across his back just behind his shoulders.

Miss Zimmer was thrown clear of the car, but Miss Paulson, who had a jar of goldfish in her lap and had been sitting well forward in her seat, was caught beneath the auto, but fortunately fell between the seats so that she was not caught beneath the wreck. Miss Zimmer hurried to Mr. Clark as soon as possible and asked him if he was hurt. Homer nodded his head and life became extinct at that moment. Both young ladies then showed a remarkable degree of heroism for Miss Zimmer ran to the side of the road, secured a pole and pried the car high enough to allow Miss Paulson to crawl from beneath it. Miss Paulson, though bruised and badly shaken, went to a nearby farm and telephoned for help and then secured an automobile and drove to Granton for a doctor and assistance. Dr. Ross and a number of Granton men hurried to the scene of the accident and a number from Neillsville drove out as soon as the word of the accident had reached here. The remains were brought home and taken to the home of W.J. Marsh, the Clark home being almost dismantled in preparation for the removal of Mr. and Mrs. Clark to Milwaukee.

The accident cast a pall over the entire community for this was the first fatal automobile accident to befall a Neillsville resident. Everybody grieved the death of Mr. Clark and rejoiced in the narrow escape of the two young ladies. The exact cause of the accident is very difficult to determine for while Homer was driving at a fair rate of speed, yet he was an expert driver and quite level headed. He had been invited to attend the funeral of the four men who were killed at Unity the Sunday previous, but stated that he had so much work to do at home in preparation for leaving for Milwaukee Saturday that he could not do so.

Homer C. Clark was born on Nov
. 24, 1875, at New Castle, Maine. He came to Wisconsin in 1893, going to Merrill where he remained in the law offices of Hetzel & Smart until September, 1895. He then went to Madison where he attended the law school of the state university, graduating in 1898, having been admitted to the bar in 1897. He came to Neillsville in the fall of 1898 and took up the practice of his profession. On July 1, 1901, he entered into partnership with L.M. Sturdevant, which partnership continued until Mr. Sturdevant removed to Eau Claire and since that time Mr. Clark has been engaged in practice alone. On July 19, 1898, Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Sybil Wells, who survives him. He is also survived by his mother and sister, Miss Phrona Clark of Damariscotta, Maine, a sister Miss Vesta Clark of South Framington, Mass., a sister Mrs. Chellis of Ashland, Mass., a sister Mrs. Hopkins of South Framington, and a brother, Orlando Clark, of Milwaukee. Mr. Clark and wife, Miss Vesta Clark, Leonard Hopkins of Chicago and Arthur Tarr and wife of Park Falls were here for the funeral. [part of article missing]

He was of a happy disposition which made friends readily and he conscientiously strove to retain them. He was a kindly and lovable nature and his public life was marked with many manifestations of the reciprocations which came because of his many sterling qualities. Childless himself yet he was a great friend of the children and every Neillsville boy and girl came to know and respect him for the interest he took in them and the conversations he held with them at every opportunity. He was a deep student and a most able attorney and it is said of him by his brother attorneys that he delved deeper into points of law attendant with preparation of a case than the average attorney. He was a hard worker and the success which came to him was due in a great measure to those qualities of energy, kindness and uprightness.

He was preparing to remove to Milwaukee where his talents would find expression in a larger field of labor and had planned to leave Saturday to take up his work.

Mr. Clark was always a prominent figure in public life and held several public offices at various times. In the Masonic life Homer was particularly well known for there he had applied many of those talents which characterized him. He spent much time and labor in Masonic work and the fruits of his labors were shown in the wonderful tribute the Masonic brethren gave him when close to 500 Masons accompanied his body to its last resting place. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon, Rev. W.W. Perry of Milwaukee, Grand Secretary of the Masonic lodge, conducting the Masonic services at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Marsh. The funeral cortege was headed by the Knight Templars, followed by the Chapter and Blue Lodges and the Modern Woodmen. The Masonic services at the grave were beautiful in thought and action and made a most profound impression upon everybody. The pall bearers were Sir Knights Shuster, Marsh, Krumrey, Free, Chapman and Sontag.

Mr. Clark was honored at various times with offices in the Grand Masonic lodge. Two years ago he was Grand High Priest of the Chapter and at the time of his death was Captain General of the Grand Commandery. The high esteem in which he was held in Masonic circles is attested by the presence of many of the officers of the various Grand Lodges. Among those who were here for the funeral were Grand Secretary W.W. Perry of Milwaukee, Grand Commander Lamb of Madison, Past Grand Commander Lang of Racine, Past Grand Commander Wheeler of Eau Claire, Grand Senior Warden Mooney of Oconto, Grand High Priest Clark of Menomonie, Deputy Grand High Priest Langdon of La Crosse, Past Grand High Priest Webb of Superior, Grand Scribe Berry of Phillips, Grand Principal Sojourner W.W. Albers of Wausau.

Masonic brethren were here from all parts of the state. A special train from Eau Claire brought almost a hundred, seventy-five were here from Black River Falls, a special brought the Marshfield lodges and automobiles brought members from Stanley, Greenwood, Loyal, Granton, Grand Rapids, Owen, Abbotsford and many other surrounding cities. It is said that Homer Clark’s funeral was the largest Masonic funeral ever held in the state, and was a fitting tribute to one who had given freely at all times to the call of is lodge brothers.



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