Biography of Bishop Wilford W. Clark

Wilford Woodruff Clark, bishop of the Montpelier ward in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has risen by successive steps from deacon to elder, from elder to one of the seventy, thence to the office of high priest and finally to that of bishop. As a member of the seventy he performed a mission in the south, principally in North Carolina, where he met with great success in establishing churches. In civil life he is known as Hon. Wilford Woodruff Clark. He was elected, as a Republican, to the third Idaho state legislature, of which he was an active and useful member. He introduced the bill giving the state legislature its present membership: one senator from each county and representatives according to population, and was influential in securing the passage of the bill which gave the franchise to women.

Bishop Clark was born at Farmington, Davis County, Utah, February 2, 1863. His forefathers were among the first settlers of our American colonies and were prominent in fighting the fight of liberty and in making our primitive national history. Ezra T. Clark, his father, was born November 25, 1823, in Illinois, where Bishop Clark’s grandfather was a pioneer, and married Mary Stevenson, who had the unique distinction of having been born on the rock of Gibraltar, in 1825. They were converted to the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints early in the history of the church in Iowa, and in 1848 crossed the plains to Salt Lake City, and were among the earliest emigrants who braved the dangers of that long and perilous journey. In 1849 they located at Farmington, Davis County, Utah, on a farm which Mr. Clark made one of the best in the vicinity and on which he yet lives. He has been an active and efficient member of his church, and has faithfully and successfully performed several important missions in its behalf, in the United States and in Europe, and now has the great honor of being one of its patriarchs. The wife of his youth has been spared to him and they are living out their days calmly, peacefully, without regrets and with the hope that is given to those who labor for their fellows and trust to God for their ultimate reward.

Bishop Clark was educated at Salt Lake City Deseret University, now the Utah University, and at Brigham Young Academy, at Provo, Utah, and engaged in farming and stock-raising, which he has continued to the present time, with increasing success. At Montpelier he has a farm of one hundred and twenty-four acres, and with his father and brother, he owns a ranch of twelve hundred acres at f Bear Lake County, Idaho, where they have a herd of cattle and also a herd of horses. They began to import Shorthorn cattle about thirty years ago, as a means to the improvement of their own stock, and as a result they have been instrumental in improving to a degree the stock of the whole county. They are breeding a fine grade of horses, and are among the most successful farmers in their part of the state.

July 22, 1885, Bishop Clark married Miss Pamelia Dunn, a native of Plain City, Utah, and a daughter of John Dunn, a prominent citizen of that town. They have had eight children: Wilford Woodruff, Jr.; William O.; Vera Pamelia; Royal D.; Ernest, deceased; Elmer R.; Homer, and Howard, twins, born on their mother’s thirty-fifth birthday.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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