Clarence William Clark

No. 13325 Clarence Clark

Photo of Clarence Clark contained in an album at the Dorchester Historical Society of about 150 photos kept by Nathaniel R. Perkins, MD, who examined thousands of men who were going into the war, 1914-1918. Given by Mrs. N. R. Perkins in accordance with instructions from her late husband, Dr. Nathaniel P. Perkins of 1122 Adams St, Dorchester. Index catalog has entries for the individuals.

Lt Clarence Clark Mattapan 101st Regiment Co H


Clarence William Clark by Camille Arbogast.

Clarence William Clark was born on April 25, 1894, in Methuen, Massachusetts. His mother, Mary L. (McKibbon), was from Newcastle, New Brunswick; his father, Frank Herbert, was born in Haverhill, MA. Frank was a baker with his own bakery at 19 Hampshire Street in Methuen, which advertised, “Hot Rolls fresh every afternoon, Brown Bread and Beans Saturday night and Sunday Morning.” Mary and Frank married in 1893 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lawrence. They also had three younger children: Mary, Katherine, and Paul. The family lived at 34 Lowell Street in Methuen.

By 1910, they moved to Canton, where they lived on Shuman Avenue. Frank continued to work as a baker. In June 1914, Mary died of uterine cancer. By that time, they were living at 119 Hollingsworth Street in Mattapan. Later the family moved to 1420 Blue Hill Avenue.

In May 1915, at age 21, Clarence enlisted in the National Guard. (It is possible that he had prior military service; a Boston Post article reported he had been in the military since 1912.) In June 1916, as a Sergeant in H Company, 9th Massachusetts Infantry, he served in El Paso, Texas, as a driver, chauffeuring officers along the Mexican border. According to the Boston Post, he thought “driving an automobile along Washington street on a busy afternoon is far more interesting.”

Around this time, Clarence married Gertrude C. Murphy, who lived up the street from the Clarks at 1416 Blue Hill Avenue. In 1917, Clarence was listed in the Boston directory residing at 1416 Blue Hill Avenue, working as a chauffeur. Clarence and Gertrude’s son, William F., was born in November 1917.

On March 25, 1917, Clarence reported for duty to serve in the First World War. On April 3, he mustered as a Sergeant in H Company, 9th Infantry, later reclassified as the 101st Infantry of the 26th Division, or Yankee Division. He departed for France on September 7, 1917, sailing from Hoboken, New Jersey on the USS Pastores. In early 1918, Clarence attended “the training school of officers on the firing lines in France,” and in February was promoted to Second Lieutenant. In June 1918, he was discharged to accept a commission. By the end of the war, he was serving as a First Lieutenant in the 214th Military Police Company. On May 25, 1919 he sailed from Brest, France, returning to the United States on the USS Freedom. He was discharged on July 15, 1919.

After the war, Clarence and Gertrude continued to live with her family at 1416 Blue Hill Avenue. They eventually had three more children: Doris, Marjorie, and Virginia. According to the census, in January 1920, Clarence was working as an automobile mechanic. He appears as a “Collector” in the 1922 and 1923 Boston directories. In April 1922, he was selected as Federal Prohibition enforcement agent in the Worcester District. A month later, a story headlined “Dry Sleuths Make Worcester Clean Up” told of Clarence and his team, undercover “as laboring men with a thirst that only liquor would quench,” operating stings in “former barrooms, hotels and other places,” catching those who violated the Volstead Act. In 1924, Clarence and his family moved to 11 Randolph Street in Mattapan. The next year, he was a candidate for City Council. In the 1927 directory his job changes to “Detective,” the occupation given for him into the 1930s. In 1931, his address appears as 11 Rector Road, Mattapan.

1933 is the last listing for Clarence W. Clark living at 11 Rector Road. Beginning in 1934, his wife appears at the 11 Rector Road address as Mrs. Gertrude Clark. She is listed this way throughout the 1940s and 1950s. In Boston directories in the 1960s and early 1970s, she is described as the widow of Clarence W. Clark and was still living at 11 Rector Road. When Gertrude died in 1978, her obituary described her as the “beloved wife of the late Clarence W. Clark.”

Clarence was not actually dead though, as it appears his marriage ended sometime in the 1930s; possibly Gertrude described herself as his widow to avoid social embarrassment. They may have been the Clarence W. and Gertrude Clark who divorced in Putnam County, Florida in 1953. On April 9, 1953, Clarence remarried, wedding Mary Duncan in Georgia. Prior, Clarence served in World War II from April 1942 and until November 1949, attaining the rank of Colonel. By 1981, he was living at 15541 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, Colorado.

Clarence W. Clark died on August 19, 1981, at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Colorado. He was buried in Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver. He was a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Yankee Division Veterans Association, the Mile High Chapter of the Retired Officers Association, and the Murphy Borelli Chapter of Disabled American Veterans. He was survived by his second wife and his four children from his first marriage.


Birth record, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts;

Methuen, Boston directories, various years;

Family Trees;

1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 Federal Census;

Death Record for Mary L. (McKibbon) Clark, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts;

Service Record; The Adjutant General Office, Archives-Museum Branch, Concord, MA

“Says Duty at Border is Not a Bit Exciting,” Boston Post, 23 July 1916;

Lists of Outgoing Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, Maryland;

“Dorchester Boy to Be A Lieutenant,” Boston Post, 17 February 1918, 10;

Lists of Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, Maryland;

“Clarence W Clark Heads Worcester Dry Agents” Boston Globe, 6 April 1922, 11;

“Dry Sleuths Make Worcester Cleanup” Boston Globe, 16 May 1922, 5;

“Fletcher Serves Notice He’ll Seek Mayor’s Job” Boston Globe, 2 Sept 1925, 9;

Deaths, Boston Globe, 19 May 1978, 45;

Florida Department of Health. Florida Divorce Index, 1927-2001;

Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs;

National Cemetery Administration. Nationwide Gravesite Locator. U.S. Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.1775-2006;

“Clarence W. Clark,” Denver Post, 26 August 1981, 35; provided by the Denver Obituary Project, The Denver Public Library

“Clarence W. Clark,” Rocky Mountain News, 25 August 1981, 110; provided by the Denver Obituary Project, The Denver Public Library




Posted on

March 29, 2022

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.