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“A Brief Story of My Life”—Autobiography of Rev. Charles B. Clark Sr.

 Unprocessed Material — Box: 06651 C
Identifier: H2017-048

Content Description

The collection consists of a forty-six page, typed autobiography of Reverend Charles Badger Clark (1839-1921) titled, “A Brief Story of My Life.” The manuscript was written in the winter of 1909-1910 by Reverend Clark and was transcribed, from the original, by Reverend Clark’s grandson Edwin E. Clark of Hill City (S.D.) in 1965. Charles Badger Clark was born at Sauquoit, New York (Oneida County) December 19, 1839 to Henry and Harriet (Badger) Clark. His mother died six months after his birth. He became a member of the Christian faith in 1856 through the Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church. The family moved to Mount Pleasant (IA) in 1857. They sojourned to Missouri for a time, but being both Unionists and Abolitionists, the family was forced to return to Mount Pleasant before the start of the Civil War. Charles and his half-brother Frank enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 and served with Company B of the 25th Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Being wounded at the battle of Vicksburg, Charles was discharged for disability in 1863. He attended Iowa Wesleyan College at Mount Pleasant and he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Iowa Conference in September 1864. Charles married Mary Cleaver in March 1865. He ministered for several years in Iowa before moving to the Plankinton (D.T.) area in 1883 to farm. He would once again take up the mantle of the ministry, serving as a pastor in Mitchell and supported the establishment of Dakota Wesleyan University. The family moved to Huron (S.D.) where Charles served as minister for four years. In 1898 they moved to the Black Hills and Charles become pastor at the Methodist church in Deadwood. His first wife Mary died that year. Charles and Mary had four children: Harry, Harriet, Frederick and Charles Jr. Harriet died at age eight and Frederick died at age twenty-two. Charles later remarried Anna Morris of Cleveland (OH) in June 1901. At various locations he would serve as pastor then advance to the superintendent of the regional Methodist district. He was known as an excellent speaker and patriot, who was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic of South Dakota and was the organization’s commander in 1896. In his later years he was made chaplain at the Battle Mountain Sanitarium (Hot Springs, S.D.) holding that post for eight years. He died in Hot Springs on June 10, 1921. He is buried in the family plot at Mitchell (S.D.) In addition to the autobiography, the collection includes a photograph of the Clark family taken around the 1890s. The photograph includes Charles, Mary, Harry “Hal,” Frederick and Charles Jr. The photo was taken by the Jerome Wiltse photo studio of Mitchell (S.D.). Also included is a letter sent by Badger Clark to Edwin Clark on May 28, 1940 which includes a short poem. Finally, the collection holds a twenty-five-dollar United States Savings Band issued to Badger Clark from the Custer County Bank, dated July 1, 1944.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • Event: ca. 1840s-1910s
  • Winter 1909-1910
  • 1944
  • 1965



1.0 Cubic Feet