Charles Badger Clark

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Charles Badger Clark (January 1, 1883 – September 26, 1957) was an American poet.[1][2][3][4]


Charles Badger Clark was born on January 1, 1883 in Albia, Iowa.[1][5] His family moved to Dakota Territory, where his father served as a Methodist preacher in Huron, Mitchell, Deadwood and Hot Springs.[1][2][3] He dropped out of Dakota Wesleyan University after he clashed with one of its founders, C.B. Clark.[1][5] He travelled to Cuba, returned to Deadwood, South Dakota, where he contracted tuberculosis, then moved to Tombstone, Arizona to assuage his illness with the dry weather.[1][3][4][5] He returned again to South Dakota in 1910 to take care of his ailing father.[1][2][3][4] There, he contracted tuberculosis.[3] In 1925, he moved to a cabin in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where he lived for thirty years.[1][2][4][5][6]

In 1937, he was named the Poet Laureate of South Dakota by Governor Leslie Jensen.[2][7] His work was published in Sunset Magazine, Pacific Monthly, Arizona Highways, Colliers, Century Magazine, the Rotarian, and Scribner's.[7]

He died on September 26, 1957.[3]

His poem entitled 'Lead by America' was performed by the Fred Waring Chorus in 1957.[5] In 1969, Bob Dylan recorded 'Spanish is the Loving Tongue'.[3] In America by Heart, Sarah Palin quotes his poem entitled 'A Cowboy's Prayer' as one of the prayers she likes to say.[8]


  • Grass-Grown Tales (1917)
  • Sun and Saddle Leather (1919)
  • Spike (1925)
  • When Hot Springs Was a Pup (1927)
  • God of the Open
  • Sky Lines and Wood Smoke (1935)
  • The Story of Custer City, S.D. (1941)
  • Boot and Bylines (posthumous, 1978)
  • Singleton (posthumous, 1978)


  • Jessi Y. Sundstrom: Badger Clark, Cowboy Poet with Universal Appeal, Custer, S.D., 2004


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Badger Clark Memorial Society, biography
  2. ^ a b c d e Dakota Wesleyan University biography
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Black Hills Visitor Magazine biography
  4. ^ a b c d Marsha Trimble, 'Who is Badger Clark?', in True West Magazine, 08/25/2009 [1]
  5. ^ a b c d e South Dakota Public Broadcasting biography
  6. ^ Badger Hole
  7. ^ a b Badger Clark Memorial Society, homepage
  8. ^ Sarah Palin, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010, pp. 230-231

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