M. B. CLARKE. M. B. Clarke, cashier of the West Plains Bank, is one of the capable and practical business men of the place and his name is synonymous for integrity and good judgment. The bank, of which he is the most efficient cashier, was incorporated in 1883 with a capital stock of $15,000, and the officers were: B. F. Olden, president, and Joseph L. Thomas, cashier. The capital stock in 1890 was increased to $50,000 and the present officers elected. In 1889 Mr. M. B. Clarke was elected cashier, and after serving two years again took the position March 1, 1883. The other officers are: Judge Olden, president, and R. S. Hogan, vice-president. The bank is doing a general business and the average deposit is $120,000. The stockholders are residents of the county and are among the wide-awake, thoroughgoing men of the same. The building is owned by the bank officials and was erected at a cost of $5,000. This bank has probably been one of the best managed of any in the State, always having a cash reserve of at least 50 per cent of the deposits, and it holds the confidence of the entire public.
Mr. Clarke is a native of New London County, Conn., born November 12, 1857, and the son of B. F. Clarke, who was a sea captain. The father was born in Connecticut and died when our subject was fourteen years of age. The mother, whose maiden name was Ann A. Pachey, was also born in Connecticut, but was of English parents. At present she is making her home in West Plains. Our subject is a descendant of good old Revolutionary stock and the elder of two children. His brother, Perry C. Clarke, is in business in Philadelphia. Young M. B. Clarke gained his early schooling in his native town, and after the death of his father he began clerking in a crockery store there, following the same for four years. All the schooling he obtained was previous to his fourteenth year. From New London he went to New York City, where he clerked for Henry Russell & Co., in the wholesale crockery business. There he remained until 1881, and then became traveling salesman for the William Rogers Manufacturing Company, of Hartford, Conn., continuing with the same two years. In the fall of 1883 he located in Oregon County, Missouri, and studied law with W. M. Evans, the present circuit judge of the Twentieth Judicial District and was admitted to the bar by Judge John R. Woodside, a pioneer attorney of this part of Missouri. He took up his practice at Alton in company with Judge Evans and they continued together up to the time Mr. Evans was elected judge. Mr. Clarke continued to practice his profession in Alton until 1887, when he came to West Plains, where he still continued it until he entered the bank. He and Judge Evans were the leading attorneys of this section of the State and prosecuted and defended some of the important criminal cases. In his political views Mr. Clarke is a Republican. He was a delegate to the Minnesota Convention, has been a member of the State Central Committee and has been chairman of the Oregon County Central Committee. He was a candidate for Congress in the last election against Arnold, the Democratic candidate. Mr. Clarke is a Mason, past master of Mount Zion Lodge and past eminent commander of the West Plains Commandery No. 48. He is also a member of the A. O. U. W. After moving to West Plains Mr. Clarke married Miss Attie M. Ald, daughter of Capt. J. B. Ald, of Thomasville, Oregon County, Missouri, and he and wife are worthy members of the Baptist and Presbyterian Churches, respectively. One son, Edward, has been born to this union.