History of the Restoration Movement

Randolph Clark


Biographical Sketch On The Life Of Randolph Clark

Randolph Clark, teacher and minister, son of Esther Hettie (D'Spain) and Joseph Addison Clark, was born in Powelltown (now Waskom), Texas, on August 15, 1844, and educated at home. In the spring of 1864 he joined the Sixteenth Texas Cavalry, in which his brother, Addison Clark, had been serving the Confederacy since the spring of 1862. After the war he and Addison attended Carlton School in Kentucky Town and, later, Carlton College in Bonham. On July 5, 1870, he married Ellen Blanche Lee; they had seven children, including Randolph Lee Clark. Early in their education the two brothers decided to pursue teaching careers together. They took charge of the Male and Female Seminary of Fort Worth in 1869 and operated the school until 1874, when the town's railroad-boom atmosphere and the rowdy population it attracted made the downtown location unsuitable. When a land developer in Hood County offered them a large stone school building, Randolph opened Add-Ran Male and Female College at Thorp Springs in 1873. The following year, his responsibilities in Fort Worth fulfilled, Addison joined the school as president. In 1876 Randolph Clark took his family to West Virginia, where he completed a course of study in the physical sciences at Bethany College. Immediately upon his return to Thorp Spring, a dispute with the developer led the brothers to buy land nearby and construct their own building. Clark served Add-Ran College as vice president and full-time faculty member for twenty years, and under the Clark brothers' leadership the school gained a national reputation for educational excellence. He received an M.A. degree in literature from the college in 1896.

Clark was ordained a minister in the Disciples of Christ Church (now Christian Church) in 1873, and throughout his tenure with Add-Ran College he preached in communities throughout Central and North Texas. Addison was a minister in the same communion, but the word Christian was not included in the school's charter until 1890, when the Clarks officially deeded the property to the Disciples of Christ, the church from which the school's trustees had always been selected. When the institution moved to Waco in 1895, Clark stayed in Thorp Spring and taught at Jarvis college; when it closed in 1898, he opened Randolph College in Lancaster, at the request of citizens there. Two years later he founded Hereford College in Hereford, later called Randolph College and, still later, Panhandle Christian College. After 1910 Clark devoted his attention to various pastorates in the state, the Race Street Christian Church in Stephenville being his last. Texas Christian University awarded him an LL.D. degree in 1923, the year he served as chaplain of the Texas Senate. He died in Dallas on November 22, 1935, and was buried in Stephenville.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Joseph Lynn Clark, Thank God We Made It (Austin: University of Texas, 1969). Jerome A. Moore, Texas Christian University: A Hundred Years of History (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1974). Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930).

Carey Goodwin

Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "CLARK, RANDOLPH," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/CC/fcl12.html (accessed September 29, 2005).

Randolph Clark

Randolph Clark, a retired resident of Ranger, was for many years associated with his brother, Addison Clark, in the management of Add-Ran College in Thorp Springs [sic]. Probably no other two men in Texas have been regarded with more special veneration as educators and trainers of men than Addison and Randolph Clark. Their institution was famous not only in Texas but throughout the South, and it had a part in the education of many men who rose to high distinction and who have always been glad to credit the school for part of the influences that contributed to their success in the world.

Randolph Clark was born in Harrison County, Texas, August 15, 1844, before the close of the era of the Republic. His father, Joseph Anderson Clark, came to Texas in 1839. He was a lawyer, civil engineer and printer, and he did the printing for the first congress of the Republic that met in Austin. He learned the trade of printing as a boy, and in 1845 he established and edited the Rusk Pioneer, in 1849 moving his printing plant to Palestine and changing the name of his paper to the Trinity Advocate. He sold this paper to James Ewan, whose son afterwards edited it. Joseph Anderson Clark gave up the law and newspaper business in 1854. He had been educated for the law and civil engineering at the University of Alabama. When he retired from law practice he entered the ministry of the Christian Church, and that was his vocation until his death. He married Hattie D'Spain, a native of Alabama, who came to Texas in 1838. They married in Nacogdoches, Texas and became the parents of eight children. Of these Addison, the older of the two famous school men, was born December 11, 1842, and died May 11, 1911. He was survived by several children, one of them being Carlton Clark, now teacher of history in the University of Oregon at Eugene, and president of the Pacific Coast Historical Society. Randolph Clark was the next in age. Ida, who is still living, married Alexander Nesbit, a farmer, and has two sons and one daughter, one of her sons being a business man at Amarillo, and the other a carpenter, while the daughter is a teacher in the public schools of Fort Worth. Joseph Clark, a hardware merchant at Stamford, Texas, has three children, both sons being associated with him in business, while his daughter is a widow, now living at his home. Thomas Marshall Clark, teacher of English and modern languages in the Texas State Teachers College at Canyon City, has a son who is head of the music department in the same college, this son being Wallace R. Clark. The daughter Mary Clark died when eighteen years old. Franklin Clark, was born in Collin County, Texas, in 1861, is a physician practicing in Iowa Park, Texas, and has two sons who are also physicians, one of them associated with him, while the other is a surgeon in the Abilene Hospital. The youngest child, Amelia Clark, married J.B. Rogers, a teacher in southern California, and she became the mother of six children, one of her sons, Edward, having been an invalid since he was gassed in France, and is now in a government sanitarium in California, while one of her daughters, Sadie, married Joe Harding, a cousin of the late President Harding.

Randolph Clark acquired his early education in public schools in Texas and also attended an academy. In March, 1862, the Sixteenth Texas Regiment was formed at McKinney, and he joined it in 1863 and was in active service until the close of the war, being in General Walker's division under Major General Dick Taylor, in what was known as McCulloch's Brigade of Cavalry. This cavalry was dismounted and was employed in scouting duty from New Orleans to Arkansas. His brother Addison was a first lieutenant and when his captain was shot took command of the Company D of the Sixteenth Texas Regiment.

Randolph Clark after the war, finished his education and in 1876 gained his A.B. degree. Texas Christian University, which inherits the property and some of the traditions of Add-Ran College, bestowed upon him in 1896 the Master of Arts degree, and in 1924 the honorary degree Doctor of Laws. Not long after the war he and his brother Addison determined to establish a preparatory school primarily for the purpose of instructing men whose education had been interrupted during the war. They first selected Fort Worth as the home of the school and made their start there in 1869. In 1873 they removed the school to Thorp Springs [sic] to get away from the environment of Fort Worth. Thorp Springs [sic] was a rural locality, well isolated from railroads, a beautiful place, where under the direction of two men who were natural teachers and guided by high moral and religious purpose, their school could achieve such fame as came to Add-Ran College. At one time more than a hundred counties of Texas were represented in a student body. In their faculty was represented talent from the leading universities of the South. The standards of the school and the efficiency of its work were recognized all over the country, and the graduates were welcomed in all the great universities. When they finally decided to turn over their school to the Christian Church they donated the building and two tracts of land, the library and other equipment, the only stipulation being that their descendants should have free tuition, though this stipulation was never enforced.

Randolph Clark married at Bonham, Texas, July 5, 1870, Ellen Blanche Lee. Her father, Col. R.W. Lee, served as an artillery officer in the Confederate army, and her grandfather was a colonel in the regular army, a graduate of West Point Military Academy at the same time with General Taylor, and served as an officer in the Army of the Republic of Texas. Her mother was Susanna Moody, of an old Texas family. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have a family of seven children. Lee Clark is now president of the Junior College and superintendent of schools at Gainsville [sic], Texas, married Leo Ti Sypert, and has a family of nine children, all his four daughters being married, and one of his sons is a teacher in the University of South Carolina. Luella, the second child, married Robert Holloway, now superintendent of schools at Ranger, Texas, and they have two sons, Sterling C. Holloway, born December 17, 1902, now assistant district attorney at Eastland, and Robert Randolph Holloway, born July 23, 1899, a graduate in law from the University of Texas and member of the law firm Harris, Woodruff & Holloway at Brownwood, one of the largest law firms in West Texas. John J. Clark, born January 14, 1879, lives at Stephensville [sic], Texas, is a traveling salesman for the Metzger Creamery Company, and by his marriage with Miss Sallie Sears has three children, Ruth, born in 1910, Anna Lee, born in 1912, and Joseph R., born in 1923. Annie Clark, born June 22, 1876, is the wife of Fred H. Chandler, a lawyer at Stephensville [sic], and their seven children are: Fred C., born in 1898, Grace, born in 1901, Wayne, born in 1903, these three children being married, Randolph, born in 1906, Joseph, born in 1910, Earl Harrison, born in 1913, and Stayton, born in 1917. Joseph L. Clark, born July 27, 1881, a teacher of history at Austin, married Sally Frances Chism. Mary Blanche Clark married D.M. Hassler, sheriff of Erath County. She was born July 1, 1884, and has three children, Esther Sue, born in 1910, Lynn, born in 1913, and Ellen Blanche, born in 1918. Esther M. Clark, the youngest of the family, was born August 11, 1893, and is the wife of E.T. Chandler, a lawyer at Stephensville [sic]. They have two children, Ella Frances, born in 1917, and Clark Pannill, born in 1923.

Mr. Randolph Clark is a Democrat and a member of the Christian Church. Randolph College at Cisco is named in his honor.

-From Texas Under Many Flags - Published in 1930, Copied From Hood County Texas Genealogical Society Website

See More On The Clark Family Here

Directions To The Grave Of Randolph Clark

Randolph Clark is buried in the Stephenville, Texas in the West End Cemetery. Take I-20 between Fort Worth and Abilene to Exit 386. Head south on Hwy. 281 toward Stephenville. In Stephenville the road becomes Morgan Mill Rd. Turn right on Hwy. 195 (E. Washington St.) and head toward the city center. Continue through town. On the west side the street will become W. Washington St. The cemetery will be at the intersection of W. Washington Street and Lillian Street across from Tarleton State University. Enter Cemetery. Go to second left, and 11 graves over and 5 graves in toward the entrance, and look for CLARK.

GPS Coordinates For West End Cemetery
32° 12' 45.90" N x 98° 13' 02.60" W
Block 6, Sect. 8, Lot 31c

Randolph Clark
Aug. 15, 1844
Nov. 22, 1935

Ella Lee Clark
Oct. 12, 1850
Feb. 27, 1921

As Preacher And Teacher
his life exemplified the true
the honorable, the just, the
Pure, the Lovely.

Her Life Beautifully Testified
That Love Suffereth Long And
Is Kind, Seeks Not Its Own
Thinketh No Evil,
Love Never Faileth."

They Rejoiced In The Lord Always

Alvin Jennings Standing Beside Randolph Clark's Grave

Special Thanks: We extend our appreciation to Alvin R. Jennings for providing some of the pictures of the grave of Randolph Clark for this site. He visited the grave in September, 2005 and sent the pictures to us for publishing here. I was able to visit the grave in January, 2006 when I took some of the pictures that appear to be late in the evening.

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