Biography of Ralph B. Clark
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RALPH B. CLARK, In his native city of Anderson Mr. Clark has found ample scope and opportunity for effective business enterprise and has gained a secure position as a representative citizen of the County with good claims upon popular confidence and esteem in the community that has always been his home, and in the progress and prosperity of which he maintains the deepest interest, He is a member of the firm of Clark-and Haber, which conducts a flourishing retail jewelry business, and is also general manager of the Merchants Fire Insurance Company, one of the strong institutions of its kind in the state, with general offices at Anderson.
Ralph B. Clark was born at Anderson, Indiana, on July 24, 1866, and belongs to one of the oldest and most honored pioneer families of Madison County, where his grandfather George Clark established a home at an early period, and continued to reside in Fall Creek Township until his death at the patriarchal age of ninety-two years, Grandfather Clark contributed his quota to the development and progress of the County, and was a mail who enjoyed the unqualified esteem of all who knew him.
The parents of Ralph B. Clark were Ralph N. and Mary A. (Jackson) Clark, both of whom were born and reared in Indiana, The mother was a daughter of Hon, Andrew Jackson, another of the sterling pioneers in Madison County, and a resident of Anderson at the time of his death. Andrew Jackson became the owner of an excellent landed estate in Madison County, and was long numbered among the representative agriculturists and stock growers of this favored section, having given special attention to the raising of high grade horses and cattle, He was a man of energy and enterprise, was broad in his views, and enjoyed the unqualified confidence and esteem of his fellow men, Ralph N. Clark continued to reside on his homestead farm until his death, which occurred in 1872. He was born in 1820. His wife survives him by a number of years.
Ralph B. Clark is indebted to the public schools of Anderson for his early educational advantages, which included the curriculum of the high school. After leaving school he entered a jewelry store at Anderson and learned the trade of jeweler and watchmaker, Thoroughly equipped in this line, in 1888, Mr. Clark engaged in the retail business on his own account, and from a modest beginning built up a large and prosperous enterprise, .which for years has been a center of patronage for most discriminating buyers, For a number of years Mr. Clark conducted the business under his own name, and then admitted his brother-in-law, William Raber, to partnership, This alliance has since continued and the firm of Clark and Raber has a thoroughly metropolitan jewelry establishment at 1008 Meridian street, where they carry a large and select line of watches, clocks, jewelry, silverware, etc, Mr. Clark has long been one of the prominent and progressive business men of Anderson, and his success has been the direct result of fair and honorable dealing, and personal popularity. In 1905 he had the distinction of being elected president of the Indiana Retail Merchants Association, and remained in that office five years, He has been general manager of the Merchants Fire Insurance Company since 1906, and has been an important factor in developing that large and substantial corporation.
Public spirited in his civic attitude, Mr. Clark has always given his influence and cooperation to the furtherance of measures and enterprises projected for the general good of his home city and County, and has long had a prominent place in the local Republican party, In this connection he has done much effective campaign work in the interests of his friends and the general party organization, and in 1912 his name was prominently brought forward in connection with the office of state senator from this district, The general wave of Democratic success of course defeated his political aspirations, Mr. Clark served two years as a member of the Anderson Board of Public Works, and for one year was a member of the Board of Pensioners of police. In the Masonic fraternity he is affiliated with Mount Moriah Lodge No, 77, F. & A. M.; Anderson. Chapter No, 52, R. A. M.; and Anderson Commandery No, 33. K. T., and also belongs to Banner Lodge No, 416, Knights of Pythias, In 1906 he became one of the organizers of the Merchants Fire Insurance Company of Anderson, has served as its secretary since its incorporation, and has done much to bring it to its present substantial and important status in the insurance field of Indiana.
In 1891 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Clark to Miss Olive B. Burnett, She was born and reared in Anderson and is a popular figure in social affairs, Mr. and Mrs. Clark have three children: George L., Ralph Walker, and Mary Ellen.