Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


In a list of Soledad's substantial business men and "go-getters," the name of Mark C. Clark, manager of the Soledad Mercantile Company, would rightfully occupy a place near the top. He was born on a farm near Salinas, September 9, 1870, and since arriving at manhood's estate he has been intimately connected with the development of Monterey county. His parents, M. H. and Ellen (Perry) Clark, both members of old southern families, came from Tennessee to California in 1868 by way of the Isthmus of Panama and settled near Salinas.

After completing his common school education, Mark C. Clark began his business career as clerk in a store. For several years he was in the employ of Sarles & Wideman, then with the Vandehurst, Sanborn Company of Salinas. In 1909 he came to Soledad to assume the managership of the Soledad Mercantile Company. During the sixteen years that he has been in charge of this concern he has built up a trade amounting to two hundred thousand dollars or more annually. In addition to his mercantile interests, Mr. Clark has been prominently identified with other enterprises. While in Gonzales he erected a large two story brick block-one of the best in that city; took an active part in organizing the Gonzales high school and erecting the building for its use; and took the initiative in raising the bonus of five thousand dollars to secure the location of the Alpine Milk Company there, and there was a general expression of regret when he left that place for Soledad. He was influential in bringing about the incorporation of the latter city and in inducing the United Milk Company to locate a plant here, as he is largely interested in dairying. Recently he purchased a ranch of one thousand acres near Soledad, all of which is under irrigation, or will be in the near future. Here he has his dairy farm and a herd of high bred cattle.

Mr. Clark is an Elk and a member of the Masonic fraternity. While he takes an interest in all subjects affecting the public welfare, he has never been especially active politically. His first wife was Miss Margaret Wideman, of Gonzales, who bore him a son and a daughter. Alfred H., now in charge of his father's ranch, is a graduate in the Science and Letters course of the University of California, specialized in history and was an honor student, which admitted him to membership in the Winged Helmet Society. He also belongs to the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Clarice, also a graduate of the University of California, is now a teacher in the high school at Bonsville, California. In 1902 his first wife died, and in 1909 Mr. Clark married Miss Leola Wilcox of Healdsburg.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.