Clarence U. Clark

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Clarence U. Clark, 33˚
Clarence U. Clark, 33˚, of Grand Rapids (From the Lou B. Winsor Photo Collection)

Grand Rapids lumberman who was successful in the hemlock bark business and later served a Secretary of the Valley of Grand Rapids, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.


His official 33˚ obituary reads:

Clarence Ulysses Clark, 33˚

Born at Frankford, Minnesota, November 27, 1868

Died at Toledo, Ohio, September 26, 1938

The uncertainty of human life presented another example during the meeting of the Supreme Council at Columbus, Ohio, in the sudden passing of Ill. Bro. Clarence Ulysses Clark, 33˚, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who died at Toledo, Ohio, while on his way with friends to attend the sessions.

On the afternoon of the closing of the Annual Meeting in Columbus, funeral services were held for this loyal member back at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The body was taken to the Masonic Temple, where he had served so loyally, and there services were held at 3:30. The thirty-third degree members present in Grand Rapids served as Honorary pallbearers, and there was a great outpouring of members of other branches of Masonry and of the general public, for Clarence U. Clark was greatly beloved.

Ill. Bro. Clark was born November 27, 1868, a son of Nelson Byron Clark and Isabella Jame Higgins. The father was a native of Nunday, Livingston County, New York, and was a dealer in Hemlock bark and lumber. The place of the son's nativity was Frankford, Mower County, Minnesota. Educated in the grade schools of Fremont, Michigan, he took a practical course in the Swensberg Business College at Grand Rapids.

He associated with his father in hemlock bark and timber operations from 1886 to 1897, continuing the business after his father's death until 1904, when he organized the Hemlock Bark Company, composed of representative Western Michigan lumbermen, continuing as the Manager until 1909, when the company dissolved. He then represented the individual members until about 1917, when the hemlock bark stumpage supply of the members becoming exhausted it was apparent that changing conditions had about concluded this work. He then organized and became president of Clark Brothers, cucumber salters.

He was married October 15, 1891, at Grand Rapids, to Cora Eleanor Sees, daughter of Robert D. Sees. She died March 1, 1914, and on June 17, 1915, at Grand Rapids, he was married to Henrietta Anna Schneider, daughter of Henry Schneider. He is survived by the widow and three children, Doric Isabella, Randall Edwin, and Helen Edwina. Another son, Glenn Forest Clark, died at the age of six months.

Ill. Brother Clark was a member and Trustee of the South Congregationalist Church of Grand Rapids. He was a Trustee since 1906 and President of the Board for many years. He was a member of Manton, Michigan, Village Council, 1902 to 1904, and School Board Trustee of that Village from 1901 to 1904. He held membership in the Masonic Club of Grand Rapids and the Lakeview Country Club; he was Secretary-Treasurer of Macatawa Park Cottagers' Association at Macatawa, Michigan.

In Freemasonry, he was raised December 17, 1890, in Grand River Lodge No. 34 of Grand Rapids. He transferred to Manton Lodge No. 347, Manton, Michigan, and back to York Lodge No. 410 in Grand Rapids. He was Secretary of Manton Lodge No. 347 in 1902, Treasurer from 1903 to 1904, when he moved back to Grand Rapids.

On November 11, 1892, he received the Mark Master, on November 18, 1892, the Past Master and Most Excellent Master, and on November 25, the Royal Arch Degrees in Traverse City Chapter No. 102, Royal Arch Masons. He later transferred to Columbian Chapter No. 132 at Grand Rapids.

He was a member of Tyre Council No. 10, Royal and Select Masters, where he received the degrees November 23, 1920.

He was knighted September 27, 1893, in Traverse City Commandery No. 41, and transferred to DeMolai Commandery No. 5 in Grand Rapids.

The Scottish Rite Degrees were conferred upon him in Moriah Grand Lodge of Perfection, Cyrus Council Princes of Jerusalem, Robinson Chapter Rose Croix and DeWitt Clinton Consistory, all of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on February 8,9,10, 1898. He at once became active in the degrees, particularly those of the Council and the Consistory, and became Secretary of the Scottish Rite bodies in Grand Rapids in 1921 and served faithfully and well in that capacity to date of his death.

The Thirty-third degree and Honorary membership were conferred upon him September 20, 1921, at the meeting of the Supreme Council in Boston, Massachusetts.

He was known to all for his uniform courtesy and willingness to serve.

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