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February 5, 2010

Oroville Mercury circa 1920’s to 1930
Clark, Grandson Of Indian Chief Heads War Vets
Through the selection of John A. Clark as its commander, the local Spanish-American War Veterans, bear the distinction of having as their leader a man who is the direct descendant of an Indian chief. Clark’s mother, Kit-Yohema, Little Flower, was the daughter of Chief Buchi, who ruled the Concow tribe at the time of the gold rush. At than time, it is estimated, the tribe numbered 7,000 and the tribal name still clings to that area of Butte County where Clark resides.

Born At Frenchtown
Clark was born at Frenchtown, a canvas mining town of the Concow district January 21, 1868. Only the old cellars and a few piled up rocks remain of the town that at the time of Clark’s birth had a population of about five hundred people. Clark’s father, who came with the gold seekers, engaged there in the butcher and cattle business under the firm name of Clark and Cannon. Cannon was one of the early members of the California assembly.

Mined Most of Life
Reared in a mining atmosphere Clark has mined most of his life though his third grade graduation certificate entitled him to teach two months of teaching in the government Indian school at Covelo, Mendocino county, ended when news of a gold strike in Humboldt county reached him. He went to the strike at New River and from there into Trinity county where, in 1887 he found evidence of a mine that in 1910 was re-discovered and proved very rich.

Enlisted in War
In 1895 Clark found the Clark Placer Mine, near Concow, which he worked for twelve years, gaining $38,000 from his find. It was while his workers in this mine were producing half an ounce of gold daily to the man that the call for volunteers was issued in the Spanish-American war. Clark walked eight miles from his mine to Yankee Hill, hired a buggy and was brought to Oroville where he took a train for San Francisco, the nearest point of enlistment. He served during the war in Company G, 8th Infantry. In 1910 he took up the study of law but after two years again resumed mining as the work he liked best. The Surcease Mine at Big Bend was one of his finds.

Saw Service Again
In 1916 Clark again saw military service when I Company, of Oroville, was called for Mexican border patrol duty. “Too many gray hairs,” as Clark puts it, kept him from the Butte county exemption board, and a worker with the Red Cross. Clark has constantly worked for the advancement of the Concow district where his grand-father was chief. For thirty-five years he has been a member of the board of school trustees, serving much of that time as clerk of the board and working for advancement of the school. He was also the first president of the Yankee Hill Improvement Club formed for advancement of the interests of that district.

Now Raising Walnuts
He is a member of the Improved Order of Redmen, Winoka Tribe No. 152, Chico. He is a charter member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1747, of Oroville. After mining nearly half a century he has decided to devote time to walnut culture. He has 30 acres of walnut trees on his 100-acre ranch at Yankee Hill.

Oroville Mercury Register
December 9, 1944
Doris Hefner Raised To Yeoman in Navy
Wave Doris M. Hefner of Oroville has been advanced from Seaman 2/c to Yeoman 3/c. The petty officer rating was given Yeoman Hefner after she had completed all progress tests, examinations and other qualifications preparatory to the rating. Her recommendation for advancement filed by the rating board read in part; “From the time the above was assigned to the Training Division, she has displayed the utmost initiative and vigor in performance of all assigned duty. In keeping with these attributes she is highly recommended for advancement to the rate of Yeoman 2/c.” Yeoman Hefner is the niece of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Hefner of Pomona Avenue.


Stu’s Notes: I want to thank Joann Bond again for all of the information she gave me about John Clark. We can only hope to accomplish in life what he did. Serving his country, in time of need, at the “drop of a hat.” Mining Gold, which was so vital to help make America a great country and being instrumental in forming various groups. There was not any date or logo on the above news clipping of John Clark. But it had the look and style of a Mercury or Register, some time in the 20’s. John Clark’s, father, Alfred Burr Clark, had English and Scotch-Irish parents. Read more about this family in my History column.