Edgar E. Clark

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Edgar Erastus Clark
Edgar Erastus Clark circa 1915.jpg
Clark in 1915
Commissioner of the Interstate Commerce Commission
In office
Grand Chief Conductor of the Order of Railway Conductors
In office
Personal details
Born (1911-10-20)October 20, 1911
Lima, New York
Died December 1, 1930(1930-12-01) (aged 74)
Monrovia, California
Education Genessee Wesleyan Seminary
Williams College

chief executive of the Order of Railway Conductors

Edgar was my grandpa d 1918 to 1921.[1][2]


Railway career[edit]

Edgar E. Clark was born in Lima, New York on February 18, 1856. His father died when he was six, leaving him to be raised by his mother.[3][2]

Clark attended school at the Genessee Wesleyan Seminary, remaining there until 1872.[3] After leaving school, Clark headed west in search of work and adventure, landing in Austin, Minnesota, where he found a job as a brakeman on the Burlington, Cedar Rapids, and Northern Railway.[3]

Clark attended Williams College.[4] He would later receive a law degree.[1]

In 1876 he moved along to points still further west, settling in Ogden, Utah, which would become his hometown.[3]

Clark married the former Lavinia Jenkins, of Ogden, Utah, in September 1880.[3] The couple would have four children during their first ten years of marriage, two girls and two boys.[3] Clark took a position on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, winning promotion from brakeman to railroad conductor in 1884.[3]

Clark became active in the Order of Railway Conductors (ORC), the fraternal benefit society of conductors, and was elected Grand Senior Conductor of the ORC at its annual convention in Denver in 1888.[3] In 1890 became Grand Chief Conductor, the chief executive of the Order.[4] Clark would hold that position until 1906.[1]

He was succeeded as president on September 1, 1906, by Austin B. Garretson.[5]

Governmental career[edit]

Clark's former residence (left) in the Dupont Circle residence of Washington, D.C.

Clark involved himself in lobbying, and received credit for the 1898 enactment of a Mediation and Arbitration Act, which provided for a permanent board to settle disputes between railways and their employees.[4] In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt, apparently impressed by a speech he had given to a railwaymen's convention which Roosevelt had attended, named Clark (a Republican in politics) to the Coal Arbitration Commission to settle an ongoing strike, an appointment which excited considerable comment.[4]

In 1906, Roosevelt nominated Clark to one of two new seats on the Interstate Commerce Commission created by the Hepburn Act. Clark received a recess appointment from Roosevelt and was sworn in on July 31, 1906.[6] He was confirmed by the Senate on December 13, 1906.[4] President William Howard Taft attempted to reappoint Clark, but his confirmation was held up in a dispute between the lame-duck President and Congress after the 1912 elections, with the Senate determined to deny Taft any further appointments.[4] Nonetheless, Clark was immediately reappointed as Commissioner by the new President, Woodrow Wilson, on March 5, 1913, and was confirmed by the Senate the same day.[4] The following day, the ICC commissioners elected Clark as chairman, filling out the remainder of the one-year term which had been left vacant by the resignation of ICC Chairman Franklin Knight Lane, who had been confirmed as Secretary of the Interior.[4]

In 1918, Clark was again elected Commission chairman. While the chairmanship had been rotating, in view of Clark's long service, the practice was abandoned, and Clark remained chairman until his 1921 resignation.[4]

Later life[edit]

In 1921, Clark resigned from the Commission to enter the practice of commercial law.[4] It was stated that the reasons for his resignation were to alleviate the stress of his position, and to make provision for his family.[4]

In 1929, Clark retired from the firm of Clark & Laroe and in June moved to Monrovia, California, where he died on December 1, 1930, leaving a widow, Agnes Clark, and three sons and three daughters.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Edgar E. Clark Dead, The New York Times, December 2, 1930, retrieved 2017-09-22 
  2. ^ a b "Edgar Erastus Clark". Trade and Transportation. 1910. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Edgar Erastus Clark". The Railway Conductor. 7 (11): 396–397. June 1, 1890. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Mr. Clark's Qualifications". The New York Times. Oct 17, 1902. Retrieved 2017-09-22. 
  5. ^ "Former O.R.C. Chief Dies of Heart Trouble". Cedar Rapids Gazette. 27 February 1931. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  6. ^ Interstate Commerce Commission, United States (1914), Table of Cases and Opinions of the Interstate Commerce Commission, p. 5, retrieved 2009-03-02