Harvey L. Clark

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For other people with the same name, see Harvey Clark.
Harvey L. Clark
Harvey L. Clark.jpg
Participant at the Champoeg Meetings
In office
Constituency Tualatin Plains
Chaplain of the Provisional Legislature of Oregon
In office
Personal details
Born October 7, 1807
Chester, Vermont
Died March 24, 1858(1858-03-24) (aged 50)
Forest Grove, Oregon
Spouse(s) Emiline

Harvey L. Clark (October 7, 1807 – March 24, 1858) was an educator, missionary, and settler of what became Forest Grove, Oregon, United States. A native of Vermont, he moved to Oregon Country where he participated at the Champoeg Meetings and helped to found Tualatin Academy that later became Pacific University. Clark also worked for the Methodist Mission and was a chaplain for the Provisional Legislature of Oregon in 1845.

Early life[edit]

Harvey Clark was born in Chester, Vermont, on October 7, 1807.[1] In Vermont he married Emeline, and they would have three children.[1] In 1840, Clark, with his wife, moved to Oregon Country as a missionary to the Native Americans.[1]


Clark traveled overland to the region, arriving in September 1840.[2] He was an independent missionary, unaffiliated with any missionary organization such as the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.[3] His party included mountain men, Alvin T. Smith, P. B. Littlejohn, and those two’s wives.[2] In Oregon, Clark first taught at the Methodist Mission’s first location at Mission Bottom on the French Prairie in the Willamette Valley.[1] He then moved to West Tuality on the Tualatin Plains, and taught there for the Mission.[1] This location would later become the town of Forest Grove, and Clark would take a land claim at the location.[1] In 1843, he was one of several participants from the Tualatin Valley that participated in the Champoeg Meetings.[1] At the May 2, 1843 meeting, Clark voted for the creation of the Provisional Government of Oregon, which passed by a 52 to 50 margin.[1]

In 1844, Clark established a Congregational church in Forest Grove and another in Oregon City.[1] The following year he served as one of several chaplains to the Provisional Legislature of Oregon.[4] Clark made his land claim in 1846 for about 480 acres (1.9 km2).[5]

Pacific University[edit]

In 1842, Clark and his wife started a school for Native Americans at Glencoe in what is now Hillsboro to the east of Forest Grove.[6] A few years later Tabitha Brown arrived in Forest Grove and joined the Clarks in operating a home for orphans.[6] In 1848, George H. Atkinson arrived and began working with Clark to create a college in Oregon, which was chartered by the Oregon Territorial Legislature in 1849 as Tualatin Academy.[6] Clark donated 20 acres (81,000 m2) to the school that year, and deeded another 200 acres (0.81 km2).[5] Tualatin Academy would grow with the addition of a college, Pacific University in 1854, while the academy would be closed in 1915.[6] Marsh Hall at the school is situated where the three original land claims of the town’s founders met, including Clark’s.[5]

Later years[edit]

In 1849, he taught for a short time at the Clackamas County Female Seminary.[1][7] Clark would also sell 150 acres (0.61 km2) of his land claim and donate the proceeds to the school he helped to found.[8] The Reverend Harvey L. Clark died on March 24, 1858 at the age of 50 in Forest Grove.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956. pp. 54-55.
  2. ^ a b Gray, William Henry. 1870. A history of Oregon, 1792-1849, drawn from personal observation and authentic information. Portland, Or: Harris & Holman. pp. 188-190.
  3. ^ The End of the Missions. End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
  4. ^ Oregon Legislative Assembly (4th Pre-Provisional) 1845 Meetings. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Historic Landmarks Board: History. City of Forest Grove. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d History of Pacific University. Pacific University. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
  7. ^ Bain, Read (1920). "Educational Plans and Efforts by Methodists in Oregon to 1860". Oregon Historical Quarterly. Oregon Historical Society. 21. 
  8. ^ a b Bancroft, Hubert Howe. 1882. The works of Hubert Howe Bancroft. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Co. pp. 33-34.

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