Chase A. Clark

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Chase A. Clark
Chase A. Clark (Idaho governor).jpg
From 1942's Les Bois, the yearbook of Boise Junior College
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
In office
April 30, 1964 – December 30, 1966
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
In office
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byFredrick Monroe Taylor
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
In office
March 10, 1943 – April 30, 1964
Appointed byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byCharles Cheatham Cavanah
Succeeded byRaymond Clyne McNichols
18th Governor of Idaho
In office
January 6, 1941 – January 4, 1943
LieutenantCharles C. Gossett
Preceded byC. A. Bottolfsen
Succeeded byC. A. Bottolfsen
Personal details
Chase Addison Clark

(1883-08-20)August 20, 1883
Hadley, Indiana
DiedDecember 30, 1966(1966-12-30) (aged 83)
Boise, Idaho
Resting placeRose Hill Cemetery
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Political partyDemocratic
Jean Elizabeth Burnett
(m. 1906)
ChildrenBethine Clark Church
Residence(s)Idaho Falls, Idaho
EducationUniversity of Michigan Law School
read law

Chase Addison Clark (August 21, 1883 – December 30, 1966) was an American jurist who served as the 18th governor of Idaho and was a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho.

Education and career[edit]

Clark was born on August 21, 1883, in Hadley, Indiana, the son of Eunice (Hadley) and Joseph Addison Clark.[1] He arrived in eastern Idaho Territory in 1884. His father engineered an early canal on the Snake River and later became the first Mayor of Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1900.[2] Clark attended the public schools and left Idaho Falls High School at age 15 and then attended school in Terre Haute, Indiana.[3][4] Clark returned to Idaho Falls working as a mercantile clerk, then moved to Mackay, Idaho shortly after its founding and saved money to attend the University of Michigan Law School,[3] but did not graduate but instead read law to enter the bar in 1904.[5][6] He entered private practice in Mackay from 1904 to 1930. He was a Judge Advocate General for the State of Idaho from 1914 to 1915. Clark 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[7] in the United States Army. He was a member of the Idaho House of Representatives from 1913 to 1916.[8] He returned to private practice in Idaho Falls from 1930 to 1940.[8] He served in the Idaho Senate from 1933 to 1936.[citation needed] He was the Mayor of Idaho Falls from 1937 to 1938. He was the Governor of Idaho from 1941 to 1942.[8]

Gubernatorial service[edit]

Clark was elected Governor as a Democrat in 1940,[7] defeating the Republican incumbent, C. A. Bottolfsen.

At a April 1942 War Relocation Administration conference at Salt Lake City to discuss using Japanese-American internees to help with the farm labor shortage, Governor Clark "went so far as to ask that both Issei and Nisei already residing freely in his state be rounded up and placed under supervision."[9] These citizens of Idaho were not covered by the U.S. Government's order to forcefully removing people of Japanese descent from the west coast. Speaking of the Internment of Japanese Americans in May 1942, months after the Pearl Harbor bombing, Clark spoke in a Lions Club meeting stated "Japs live like rats, breed like rats and act like rats. We don't want them ... permanently located in our state."[9]

As the governor was a two-year term, Bottolfsen then defeated Clark to regain the governorship in 1942; both elections had been 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 judicial service[edit]

Clark was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 18, 1943, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Idaho vacated by Judge Charles Cheatham Cavanah.[10] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 5, 1943, and received his commission on March 10, 1943.[11][12] He served as Chief Judge from 1954 to 1964.[8] He assumed senior status on April 30, 1964.[8] His service terminated on December 30, 1966, due to his death.[8]


Clark married Jean Elizabeth Burnett, the 18-year-old daughter of a Mackay merchant,[13] on January 10, 1906.[14]

Clark was a member of a prominent Idaho political family.[citation needed] He was the younger brother of Barzilla W. Clark (1880–1943), who preceded him as governor (1937–1939), and was the father-in-law of Frank Church (1924–1984), a four-term United States Senator (1957–1981) and presidential candidate in 1976.[citation needed] A nephew, David Worth Clark (1902–1955), also represented Idaho in both houses of United States Congress. Clark's daughter, Bethine Clark Church (1923–2013), remained active in Idaho Democratic politics until her death.[citation needed]


Clark suffered a stroke at age 83 in December 1966,[15] and spent his final weeks at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho. He died on December 30,[2][16] and was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls.[17][18][2][16]


  1. ^ "The Political Graveyard: Clark family of Boise and Idaho Falls, Idaho".
  2. ^ a b c d "Chase A. Clark dies". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. December 31, 1966. p. 1.
  3. ^ a b "Governor had humble start". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. January 7, 1941. p. 9.
  4. ^ Merrill D. Beal, Merle W. Wells, History of Idaho (1959), p. 28.
  5. ^ "Chase A. Clark". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  6. ^ Charnock, Richard (March 16, 1964). "Judge recalls satisfaction in half century of service". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. UPI. p. B11.
  7. ^ a b "Chase A. Clark". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Chase Addison Clark at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  9. ^ a b Louis Fiset (Summer 1999). "Thinning, Topping, and Loading: Japanese Americans and Beet Sugar in World War II". The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 90 (3): 123–139. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  10. ^ "Senate confirms Clark for bench". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. March 6, 1943. p. 2.
  11. ^ "Taylor approved as district judge". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. July 20, 1954. p. a3.
  12. ^ "Fred M. Taylor is confirmed". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. July 21, 1954. p. 1.
  13. ^ "Remembering Alex Burnett, Mackay Miner April 22, 1954 and April 29, 1954". Mackay, Idaho Blog. July 28, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "Chase A. Clark". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  15. ^ "Chase Clark seriously ill". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. December 16, 1966. p. 1.
  16. ^ a b "Governor, Judge Chase Clark dies". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 31, 1966. p. 6.
  17. ^ "Idaho Falls' Chase Clark laid to rest". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. January 4, 1967. p. 6.
  18. ^ "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Clark, C to D".

External links[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic Party nominee, United States Senator (Class 3) from Idaho
1928 special (lost)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic Party nominee, Governor of Idaho
1940 (won), 1942 (lost)
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Idaho
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Office established
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
Succeeded by