Lewis Strong Clarke
|Lewis Strong Clarke, Sr.|
November 7, 1837|
|Died||July 5, 1906
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans|
|Spouse(s)||Lillian Keener Lyons Clarke (married 1888-1906, his death)|
Lewis Strong Clarke, Jr.
|Parents||Oliver and Elizabeth Strong Clarke|
Lewis Strong Clarke, Sr. (November 7, 1837–July 5, 1906), was the owner of a sugar plantation in St. Mary Parish and a leader of the Republican Party in Louisiana in the latter part of the 19th century.
Clarke was born in Southampton in Hampshire County in west central Massachusetts, a son of Oliver Clarke and the former Elizabeth Strong. In infancy, he moved with his family to Springfield in Clark County in western Ohio, where he was subsequently educated in public schools. After working for a time as a produce dealer in Cincinnati, Ohio, Clarke and his friend, George Steele, purchased a sugar plantation on Bayou Teche near Patterson, Louisiana. This area is now part of Bayou Vista in St. Mary Parish in south Louisiana. Clarke and Steele named the plantation "Lagonda" after Lagonda Creek in Springfield, Ohio.
In 1878, George Steele and Oliver Clarke, Lewis Clarke's younger brother, died in a yellow-fever epidemic. With his partner gone, Lewis Clarke became sole owner and operator of Lagonda. In the late 1880s, as part of his sugar-refining operation, Clarke established one of the first effusion plants in Louisiana.
On February 28, 1888, at the age of 50, Clarke married 23-year-old Lillian Keener Lyons (born 1865), daughter of Dr. Johnson J. Lyons and the former Frances Augusta Equen. Their six children were Lewis Strong Clarke, Jr. (born 1889), George Steele Clarke (born 1890), Elizabeth Clarke (born 1891), Walter Lyons Clarke (born 1894), Oliver Lyons Clarke (born 1897), and Frank Delmas Clarke (born 1900).
Clarke became active in politics in 1894 through a faction of moderate Louisiana Republicans sometimes called the "New Party." In 1896, Clarke managed the gubernatorial campaign of John Newton Pharr, the Republican nominee who received 43 percent of the vote against the incumbent Democrat Murphy James Foster, Sr., who won a second term in office.
Clarke was the Louisiana Republican national committeeman from 1900-1904. He died in New Orleans and was interred at Lafayette Cemetery I. He was thereafter re-interred at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.
- "Clarke, Lewis Strong". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.com). Retrieved December 21, 2010.
- A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography uses material from these sources in its article on Clarke: Alcée Fortier, Louisiana, III (1914); New Iberia Louisiana Sugar-Bowl, November 7, 1878; New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituary, July 7, 1906; Benjamin W. Dwight, The History of the Descendants of Elder John Strong, II (1871), and Clarke family papers.
- Lillian Galt Martin, Lewis Strong Clarke and His Wife Lillian Keener Lyons and Their Families, Ancestors, and Descendants. New Orleans, Louisiana: Harmony Realty Corp., 1991, 287 pp. ISBN 0-9630271-0-7). JSTOR 4233028.
- Lewis Clarke is unrelated to Clem S. Clarke, a later Louisiana Republican figure and an oilman from Shreveport who was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1948 against the Democrat Russell B. Long, son of Huey Pierce Long, Jr.