Chase A. Clark

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Chase A. Clark
Senior Judge
of the U.S. District Court for Idaho
In office
April 30, 1964 – December 30, 1966
Chief Judge
of the U.S. District Court for Idaho
In office
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Fred Taylor
of the U.S. District Court for Idaho
In office
March 10, 1943 – April 30, 1964
Appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Charles Cavanah
Succeeded by Ray McNichols
18th Governor of Idaho
In office
January 6, 1941 – January 4, 1943
Lieutenant Charles C. Gossett
Preceded by C. A. Bottolfsen
Succeeded by C. A. Bottolfsen
Member of the Idaho Senate
In office
Personal details
Born Chase Addison Clark
(1883-08-20)August 20, 1883
Amo, Indiana
Died December 30, 1966(1966-12-30) (aged 83)
Boise, Idaho
Resting place Rose Hill Cemetery
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Nationality United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jean Elizabeth Burnett Clark (1887–1984)
(m. 1906–1966, his death)
Children Jean Bethine Clark Church
Residence Idaho Falls, Boise
Alma mater University of Michigan Law School, read law, 1904
Profession Attorney
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch US Department of the Army Seal.png U.S. Army
Years of service 1916–(1919)
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg  Lieutenant
Battles/wars Border War, World War I

Chase Addison Clark (August 21, 1883 – December 30, 1966) was an attorney, politician, and federal judge in Idaho. He served as the 18th Governor of Idaho from 1941 to 1943, and was a member of the Idaho Democratic Party.[1][2][3]


Born in Amo in Hendricks County, Indiana, Clark arrived in eastern Idaho in 1884 at age one. His father Joseph engineered an early canal on the Snake River and later became the first mayor of Idaho Falls in 1900.[2] He attended the public schools and left Idaho Falls High School at age 15 and then attended school in Terre Haute, Indiana.[4][5]

He returned to Idaho Falls and was a mercantile clerk, then moved to Mackay shortly after its founding and saved money to attend the University of Michigan Law School.[4] He read law but did not graduate, and left after admission to the bar in 1904 at age 21.[6][7] He married Jean Elizabeth Burnett, the 18-year-old daughter of a Mackay merchant,[8] on January 10, 1906.[9]


Clark entered private practice of law in Idaho at Mackay in 1904. He was elected to the legislature in 1912, and was a judge advocate general of the State of Idaho from 1914 to 1915, but left to fight in 1916 in the Border War and then World War I.[2] He served in a machine gun unit and achieved the rank of lieutenant[10] in the U.S. Army. After his return, Clark resumed his private practice in Mackay, and moved back to Idaho Falls in 1930.

Clark returned to politics in the 1930s, serving in the state senate (1933–36) and as mayor of Idaho Falls (1937–38). He was elected governor in 1940,[10] defeating the Republican incumbent, C. A. Bottolfsen. Then a two-year term, Bottolfsen defeated Clark to regain the governorship in 1942; both elections were very close.

Idaho Gubernatorial Elections: Results 1940, 1942
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1940 Chase Clark 120,420 50.48% C. A. Bottolfsen (inc.) 118,117 49.52%
1942 Chase Clark (inc.) 71,826 49.85% C. A. Bottolfsen 72,260 50.15%

Federal judge[edit]

After leaving office in January 1943, Clark was nominated that February by President Franklin Roosevelt to a seat on the U.S. District Court in Idaho, vacated by Charles Cavanah. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 5[11] and received his commission on March 10. With a second seat added in 1954 (Fred Taylor),[12][13] Clark became chief judge of the court for the next decade. At age 80, he assumed senior status on April 30, 1964, and served in that capacity for over two years, until his death in late 1966.

Death and legacy[edit]

Clark was a member of a prominent Idaho political family. He was the younger brother of Barzilla Clark (1880–1943), who preceded him as governor (1937–39), and was the father-in-law of Frank Church (1924–84), a four-term U.S. Senator (1957–81) and presidential candidate in 1976. A nephew, D. Worth Clark (1902–55), also represented Idaho in both houses of Congress. Clark's daughter, Bethine Clark Church (1923–2013), remained active in Idaho Democratic politics until her death.

Clark died at age 83 at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise on December 30, 1966, and is interred at Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls.[14]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "Chase A. Clark dies". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. December 31, 1966. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "Governor, Judge Chase Clark dies". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 31, 1966. p. 6. 
  4. ^ a b "Governor had humble start". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. January 7, 1941. p. 9. 
  5. ^ Merrill D. Beal, Merle W. Wells, History of Idaho (1959), p. 28.
  6. ^ "Chase A. Clark". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Charnock, Richard (March 16, 1964). "Judge recalls satisfaction in half century of service". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. UPI. p. B11. 
  8. ^ "Remembering Alex Burnett, Mackay Miner April 22, 1954 and April 29, 1954". Mackay, Idaho Blog. July 28, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Chase A. Clark". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Chase A. Clark". National Governors Association. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Senate confirms Clark for bench". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. March 6, 1943. p. 2. 
  12. ^ "Taylor approved as district judge". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. July 20, 1954. p. a3. 
  13. ^ "Fred M. Taylor is confirmed". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. July 21, 1954. p. 1. 
  14. ^ "Idaho Falls' Chase Clark laid to rest". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. January 4, 1967. p. 6. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
John F. Nugent
Democratic Party nominee, U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Idaho
1928 special (lost)
Succeeded by
James P. Pope
Preceded by
C. Ben Ross
Democratic Party nominee, Governor of Idaho
1940 (won), 1942 (lost)
Succeeded by
Charles C. Gossett
Political offices
Preceded by
C. A. Bottolfsen
Governor of Idaho
January 6, 1941 – January 4, 1943
Succeeded by
C. A. Bottolfsen
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles Cheatham Cavanah
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
Succeeded by
Raymond Clyne McNichols