Barzilla W. Clark

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Barzilla Clark
Barzilla W. Clark (Idaho Governor).jpg
Idaho Falls Post-Register, 1943.
16th Governor of Idaho
In office
January 4, 1937 – January 2, 1939
LieutenantCharles C. Gossett
Preceded byC. Ben Ross
Succeeded byC. A. Bottolfsen
Personal details
Barzilla Worth Clark

(1880-12-22)December 22, 1880
Hendricks County, Indiana
DiedSeptember 21, 1943(1943-09-21) (aged 62)
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Resting placeRose Hill Cemetery,
Idaho Falls, Idaho
NationalityUnited States
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ethel Salome Peck Clark
(m. 1905–1943, his death)
Children1 son, 3 daughters
ResidenceIdaho Falls
ProfessionCivil engineer

Barzilla Worth Clark (December 22, 1880 – September 21, 1943) was an American politician from Idaho. He served as the 16th Governor of Idaho (1937–1939), mayor of Idaho Falls, and was a member of the Idaho Democratic Party.[1]

Early years[edit]

Born in Hadley, Indiana, Clark made the journey to eastern Idaho by narrow-gauge railroad in 1885 with his family to Eagle Rock (now Idaho Falls). He attended Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana, but cut short his education due to a lung injury during track and field practice.[2] He returned to Idaho and engaged in farming, mining, and cattle raising. On October 26, 1905, he married Ethel Salome Peck,[3] and they had four children.


Clark became a licensed engineer in 1905 and worked as a civil engineer. His reservoir on the Blackfoot River was purchased by the government and his plan for impounding Lost River was merged into Mackay Dam.[4] After two terms as councilman, he served as mayor of Idaho Falls from 1913 to 1915 and again from 1926 to 1936. During this term, the city built the Municipal Hydroelectric Plant No. 1.[5]

Clark's interest turned to Idaho mines until he was again elected mayor of Idaho Falls in 1927 and served in that office until his inauguration as governor on January 4, 1937.[6][7][8] During his two-year term, a state tuberculosis hospital was authorized, a judicious pardon and parole system was installed, and junior college districts were installed.

Clark lost the Democratic primary for a second term to his predecessor, C. Ben Ross,[9] who ran for U.S. Senator in 1936 against longtime incumbent William Borah, but lost. Ross lost the general election in 1938 to C. A. Bottolfsen; Clark left office on January 2, 1939, and returned to Idaho Falls and his private interests. He chose not to run in 1940 to reclaim the office,[10] which was won by his younger brother Chase Clark (1883–1966). Chase was the father-in-law of Frank Church (1924–84), a four-term U.S. Senator (1957–81) and presidential candidate in 1976. In turn, Bottolfsen defeated Chase in 1942.


Clark died of complications of lung cancer at age 62 in Idaho Falls in 1943;[11][12] he is interred at Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Barzilla W. Clark". National Governors Association. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Barzilla W. Clark". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Barzilla W. Clark". University of Idaho Library. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Barzilla W. Clark". University of Idaho Library. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Clark becomes Idaho governor". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. November 7, 1936. p. 3.
  7. ^ "Idaho revamps state regime". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 3, 1937. p. 5.
  8. ^ "Barzilla Clark just plain man". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. April 25, 1937. p. 11.
  9. ^ "Loyal New Deal senator loses primary race". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. August 11, 1938. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Barzilla Clark is not to run". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. April 11, 1940. p. 10.
  11. ^ "Ex-Governor Clark succumbs". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. September 22, 1943. p. 1.
  12. ^ "Regard to memory of ex-Governor B. Clark paid at Idaho Falls". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. September 25, 1943. p. 8.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
C. Ben Ross
Democratic Party nominee, Governor of Idaho
1936 (won)
Succeeded by
C. Ben Ross
Political offices
Preceded by
C. Ben Ross
Governor of Idaho
January 4, 1937 – January 2, 1939
Succeeded by
C. A. Bottolfsen