DR. E. A. CLARK
SURNAMES: WASHBURN, CALAHAN, SWIFT, GOFF, McCRARY,
an old resident of San Jose, was born near Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio, August 17, 1826. His father moved to Michigan in 1831, where the early years of our subject were spent, and where he studied medicine, taking lectures at the Indiana Medical College. After two years' practice of medicine in St. Joseph County, Michigan, he came to California, by the way of Panama, early in 1850. Spending a few months in the mines near Downieville, he came to Santa Clara County, where he engaged in farming until 1858. In 1856 the Doctor assisted in the organization of the Republican party in Santa Clara County. In 1857 he was nominated by that party for County Clerk. The Republican ticket, although successful in the State in 1856, was defeated in 1857 by the union of the American and Democratic parties. In 1858 the Doctor removed to San Luis Obispo County and engaged in fruit-raising, planting the first successful orchard in the northwestern part of the county, near the present village of Cambria. Here he lost his first wife, formerly Lydia H. Washburn, a cousin of the late Hon. E. B. Washburn, of Illinois. Three of their children are still living, two sons now residing in San Diego County, and one daughter, the widow of former Recorder of this county, Mrs. Anna Calahan, living in San Jose. In 1866 the Doctor returned to this county. Here for two years he was Deputy Assessor of Internal Revenue; part of one year he was Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue, and one year was Deputy Recorder and Auditor. He engaged in real-estate business in 1869. Having, for his own information and pleasure, studied law, and having been admitted to the District Court Bar, he did more or less legal business for several years. In April, 1872, he was appointed City Superintendent of Schools, which position he filled until May, 1873, when he resigned to assume the duties of Postmaster of San Jose, to which office he was appointed by President Grant. At the end of his term as Postmaster the Doctor went to San Francisco, and commenced the practice of medicine, after attending a full course of medical lectures at Cooper Medical College. After remaining there three years, owing to the delicate health of his second wife, he returned to San Jose, where he practiced his profession until August, 1887. His second wife, to whom he was married in January, 1869, was a sister of Mr. E. J. Swift, of the Ocean House, Santa Cruz. She died suddenly, January 8, 1884, while absent in San Francisco on a visit. In June, 1886, the Doctor married Miss Alice E. Goff, daughter of J. H. F. Goff, of Gilroy, California, and niece of Judge George W. McCrary, of Kansas City, former Secretary of War under President Hayes. Seeing the great future opening for San Jose and Santa Clara County, the Doctor, in August, 1887, again engaged in the real-estate business in company with J. B. Collins, a son-in-law of another pioneer of Santa Clara, S. A. Clark. They have a fine office under the St. James Hotel.
having an active mind, was not content with the routine of professional life,
but used his pen on various topics. The first season after returning from San
Francisco he wrote a series of articles on the " Philosophy of Money " for the
Daily Mercury, which were widely read; a sketch of the Vigilance Committee of
San Luis Obispo; and a short story for the Mercury entitled "Orson and Orsemus."
Besides frequent contributions to the Mercury on various topics, over his own
signature, at various times during the sickness or absence of the editors of the
Daily Mercury, he wrote numerous editorials for that paper, which in the
aggregate would make quite a volume. An exhaustive article of his on the Chinese
question was published in a Chicago paper in 1886. Another article, on "The
Scientific Probabilities of a Future Life," was published in the Overland
Monthly for May, 1886, and was copied into the Mercury. Commencing in June,
1887, the Mercury published a serial story by Dr. Clark, which ran through
twelve numbers, entitled, "The Harrisons, or the Ruin Caused by the Chinese
Invasion." This story contains a more vivid description of the fascinating and
destructive character of the opium habit than anything yet published. It would
prove a great educator in reference to the evils of Chinese contact with our
people if generally read. As Dr. Clark is still vigorous in body. and mind,
local and general literature may yet be still more enriched by contributions
from his ready pen.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT