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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Samuel Asahel Clarke ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Samuel Asahel Clarke
BORN: 18 Mar 1827 DIED: 20 Aug 1909 BURIED: aft Aug 1909
ETHNICITY:   OCCUPATION:  Journalist, librarian, orchardist, sawmill owner, miner, clerk in legislature, investor, publisher, author.
BIRTH PLACE:  Gibara, District of Holguin, Cuba
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
IOOF Register: Lot #109, 1 SW, bur. 20 Aug. 1909. S. A. Clarke, age 82, male, white, Salem Hosp., was an old Oregonian 
OSBH DC (Marion County 1909) #2546: Samuel A. Clark; b. March 8, 1827 in Gibara, Cuba, son of George Ashil Clarke (b. Conneticut) and Mary Ann Jessup (b. New York); male; white, widower, occupation: Journalist; d. Aug. 20, 1909, age 82 years, 5 months, 12 days, at Salem Hospital, Salem, Oregon; informant: Wm. J. Clarke of Gervais, Oregon; burial: I.O.O.F. Rural Cemetery, Aug. 22, 1909
Rigdon Records: Bk. 1, #81: Saml. Clark, died Aug. 20, 1909, age 82, widower; occupation: Literary Man; service at 330 N. Summer, Salem, Oregon, burial: I.O.O.F. cemetery; Father: George Asahel Clarke 1781 - 1830; Mother Mary Ann Jessup 1794 - 1856; Spouse: Mrs. Harriet T. Clarke (Buckingham). qv 

From Candelaria - S. A. Clarke has shipped from the Candelaria fruit farm, near the Rural cemetery, up to date, 450 crates of plums, or 10,000 pounds of fruit. The most of them were peach plums, sent to Portland, Tacoma and Seattle. On Friday of last week there were no plums in Portland of any consequence, save those from Salem. There will be about 2,000 crates of plums in Candelaria orchard, but little of anything else. The prune crop is non est on 3,000 trees and the pears "halo" on 2,000 more. Only a few old pear trees - planted by J. A. Johns in '51 - are bearing. He says there will be one-tenth of a crop. Prices are fair. He expects the orchard will pay expenses, which is better than most will do this year". 
Oregon Statesman, 18 Aug 1896 5:5

MORE FRUIT TREES -- S. A. CLARKE, the owner of the large fruit orchard on the hills south of Salem, is having two thousand more fruit trees set out this spring, one thousand pears, the balance peaches and prunes. They are all grown in his own nursery and are taken up with their roots and the surrounding dirt, and set right out without hardly interfering with their growth. This makes eight thousand trees of the best varieties in Mr. Clarke's orchard now. 
Oregon Statesman 8 Mar 1889 5:2; 

From HISTORY of OREGON NEWSPAPERS: The name STATESMAN was dropped in favor of UNIONIST. It was revived in 1869 when Samuel A. Clarke, formerly of the OREGONIAN purchased the UNIONIST, including whatever was left of the STATESMAN, and made the name STATESMAN AND UNIONIST. Clarke's purchase was made after the death of J. W. P. Huntington, who had bought the paper in 1868. Sam Clarke..was a poet of considerable repute, besides being a capable newspaper man and hightly versatile. Born in 1827 in Cuba, where his father was a merchant, and educated in New York City, he was a gold-hunting forty-niner in California, coming to Oregon in 1850. A year later he drew the plan of the new city of Portland on the occasion of its incorporation. Buying a donation claim near Salem, he resided there for several years, in fact came to regard Salem as his settled home. In 1862 he became the first clerk of the new Baker county. Running a sawmill in Portland was another of his many activities. In 1864 he was back in Portland as editor of the OREGONIAN. Two years later he was one of the incorporators of the Oregon Central Railroad, which was taken over by Ben Holladay in 1868. In the Modoc Indian War he made a fine record as correspondent for the New York Times. Clarke, Samuel Asahel (March 8, 1828-Aug 20, 1909, Pioneer journalist and historian, was born in Cuba, the son of a plantation owner. Following his father's death, he lived in Charleston, S.C., moving to New York City where he was educated. Coming to Oregon in 1850, he was active in promoting the Portland townsite (qv), where he operated a sawmill. He joined Umpqua gold rush, 1851; settled on land claim near Salem, 1852; moved into Salem, 1859; and participated in Auburn (qv) gold rush, 1862. He was legislative clerk, Salem, 1862; and editor of Oregonian, 1864-65. Participated in organizing Oregon and California Railroad Co., (qv), serving as secretaary for three years. Was owner-editor of Salem Statesmen, 1867-72 and half-owner of Willamette Farmer, 1872-78. Moved to Portland in 1878 where he was head of literary bureau of Villard railroad syndicate until 1883. Author of several works, the best known being PIONEER DAYS of OREGON HISTORY, LEGENDS of the CASCADES, and small book of poems. From 1898 until 1908 was librarian of the General Land Office, Washington, DC. He married Harriot Talcott Buckingham at Portland in 1852; they had four children. 
(PHOL, 339-349: Oregonian, 21 Aug. 1909, 5:__.) Corning, pg. 55.
Was One Time Editor of Oregonian and Proprietor of the Statesman -- 
Held Office of Librarian to General Land Office and Interior Departments at Washington 
At 7 o'clock Friday evening, S. A. Clarke, historian and poet, passed away at the Salem hospital, after an illness covering several months. The end came peacefully, as if falling asleep after a day of toil. He retained his wonderful mental faculties till the end, recognizing his son; w. J. Clarke, a few minutes before he passed away. No arrangements have been made for the funeral owing to the fact that one daughter, Mrs. Looney, is in Seattle. 
Samuel A. Clarke was born on the Island of Cuba, March 7, 1827, to which country his father had removed several years before, and where he was engaged in the mercantile business. He died when the subject of this notice was about three years old. His widow then returned to the United States, living in Charleston, South Carolina, and in New York, where the young student grew up and received his education. He followed the stream of gold hunters to California, coming around the Horn, and reached Oregon in the year 1850. His home at first was in the then village of Portland, for a short time, when he removed to Marion county, and took up a donation claim south of Salem, after acquiring the title to which he took up his residence in Salem, which was his permanent home ever afterward. Mr. Clarke was married to Miss Harriet. T. Buckingham, in Portland, February 29, 1852. The young couple came to Salem to reside, and here Mrs. Clarke died in January, 1890. She was well known as a leader in society circles, and was beloved by all who knew her, and none named her but to praise. Three children survive the deceased, namely; Mrs. N. H. Looney, of the reform school; Wm. J. Clarke, of Gervais; and Mrs. Sarah Dyer, of Salem. Marion, their eldest daughter, died in the spring of 1881. When the county of Baker was organized in the year 1862, Mr. Clarke became its first county clerk, by appointment of Governor Gibbs, which position he held for two years, after which he removed back to his old home in Salem. At various periods of his life he was editor of several papers in Oregon, among them the Oregonian, the Record, and the Statesman. He became the owner of the last named paper in 1869, and continued the publication of the same for three years or more, with splendid success, taking full telegraphic dispatches, especially during the period of the war between France and Prussia. He then disposed of the establishment, and entered into partnership with D. W. Craig in the publication of the Willamette Farmer, in 1872. In 1880 he purchased his partner's interest, and removed the paper to Portland, but returned with it to Salem three years later, where he continued the publication of the same until 1887, when the paper was merged in the Pacific Rural Spirit, of Portland. Although an earnest Republican from the earliest organization of the party, Mr. Clarke was never an aspirant for office, preferring to give his time and strength toward assisting the party to success in the state and nation. In 1862, and again in 1872, he was elected clerk of the house, for the duties of which he was well adapted by education, and performed them to the satisfaction of all. He was one of the incorporators of the Oregon Central Railroad Company, which was organized in 1866, and was its secretary until Ben Holladay took over the affairs of the company, in 1868. Early in life Mr. Clarke took to literature, and for years he was correspondent of many papers in the United States among them the Sacramento Union and the New York Times, both leading papers of the country. For the latter he was field correspondent during the Modoc Indian war, and acquired the commendation of the publishers for his activity and enterprise in the dangerous duties of his position. As a poet, Mr. Clarke ranked high in the literature of the times, amny of his productions appearing in Harpers, and in other periodicals of the day. As a writer for the press, daily or otherwise, Mr. Clarke was at his best. He was not regarded as a forcible writer, like others of our well-known editors, but there was facility and grace in his style that was readily acknowledged by all, and his versatility was a conspicuous feature of his writing, as one who knew him well can testify. Samuel A. Clarke must always occupy a leading place in the public literary history and thought, but the work by which he will be best known undoubtedly will be that of his old age, "Pioneer Days of Oregon History," the materials for which he collected from various sources, and in its pages he has embalmed a tribute to the men and women who settled and held this country from the savages with an elegance, eloquence, and often a sublimity, seldom paralleled. Peace to his memory! D. W. C. 
Daily Oregon Statesman 21 August 1909 1:1, 2 

Only Relatives and Friends Are Invited to Services at the Home 
The funeral of Samuel A. Clarke will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon at the home of Mrs. Sarah A. Dyer, 33 North Summer street, the Rev. Philip Bauer to conduct the services. Only friends and relatives will attend at the house. Interment will be in Odd Fellows' cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Looney, arrived from Seattle last night and will be at the funeral. Mrs. Looney is a daughter of the deceased. 
Oregon Statesman 22 August 1909 5:5 

A nearly identical obituary was printed in The Oregonian with the additional paragraph: 
"The last active work of Mr. Clarke was at Washington, where he served for several years as Librarian of the General Land Office in the Department of the Interior. He returned from the National capital two years ago. Mr. Clarke is survived by one son and two daughters - William J. Clarke, publisher of the Gervais Star; Mrs. N. H. Looney, wife of the Superintendent of the Oregon State Reform School, in this city, and Mrs. Sarah Dyer, of Salem."
The Oregonian 21 August 1909 5:3
Samuel A. Clarke 
March 18, 1827 
August 20, 1907
IOOF Register of Burials
Rigdon Records: Bk. 1, #81
OSBH DC (Marion County 1909) #2546
OS, 18 Aug 1896 5:5
OS, 8 Mar 1889 5:2
DOS 21 August 1909 1:1, 2 
DOS 22 August 1909 5:5 
Oregonian 21 August 1909 5:3 
HISTORY of OREGON NEWSPAPERS by Trumbull, pg. 133-136 
Corning, pg, 55 
See Also: Powers, Albert. HISTORY of OREGON LITERATURE, pg. 339-349.

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