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October 7, 2011

Canby Clark wrote to his dad, John A. Clark four days after Pearl Harbor (Dec.7, 1941)
A tile has been purchased for both by Granddaughter of John, JoAnne L. Bond of Willows. This letter came to me from JoAnne.

Dec. 11, 1941
My Dear Father,
Your card came on the morning mail just now so I was about to write to you. This war is rapidly expanding to all the corners of the earth. Just yesterday since you sent the card, a formal declaration of war has been made between all the Axis partners and our country. There seems to be a definite shape to this thing taking place. One that can be made into a complete picture and that plans can be shaped to fit. War today is not merely a man with a rifle, but an entirely different matter. The ramifications of war are so diversified and many. What it is difficult to know just where an individual can be of service to the best advantage. However one thing is paramount; that being, we must bring this to a very successful conclusion come what may even if it takes years to accomplish. You may therefore rest assured that I personally will try to serve my country and yours, ours! faithfully and well to the fullest extent of my ability. Our sacrifices may be great but I believe them righteous and just. Christmas is almost here and we have our shopping practically finished. Lucky, eh! Irene (Canby’s wife) has to attend a card party this afternoon and I have to work so perhaps I had better close this and get under way. We are all well and doing fine. Don is getting along marvelous in school. He, being the honor boy of his class and very, very, proud of the fact. He is getting fat too. Well so long now folks come see us if you care, if not we love you just as much . Love to all Merry Xmas! Canby & family.

Stu’s notes: Canby’s son, Donald, who was born in 1930 and died in 1976 leaving two sons, Michael born in 1951 and Mark born in 1954. Shortly after this letter was written, Canby Clark was killed in an accident, working at a defense plant. He was 41 years old. I have written about his father, John Clark in the past. Canby’s grandmother was Yohema “Katie” Clark who was the daughter of Kit-Yohema, Little Flower who was the daughter of Chief Buchi who ruled the Concow Tribe at the time of the Gold Rush. At that time it was estimated the tribe numbered 7,000 and the tribal name still clings to that area of Butte
County. Canby Clark died a hero of the Maidu, a Hero of Oroville and a Hero of the United State of America. He did not die while in the military so will not be put on our stones for those who died while in the Armed Services of our County. He served in WWI and will be honored on our Veterans Wall. This wall is reserved for any and all Americans that served in our Armed forces since the Revolutionary War. They do not have to be from or connected to Butte County. They just need some one to buy them a tile. I will not be allowed on this wall as the only uniform I ever wore was that of a Boy Scout. But many former Boy Scouts will be on that wall as many Soldiers were Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts etc. The training they received as Scouts was very helpful in the Military life. The Clark name came from Canby’s Grandfather, Alfred Burr Clark who was born in Vermont to William and Alvira Clark of English and Scottish-Irish decent and married Yohema. My friend Al Clark is a great- great grandson of Yohema. My friend and almost neighbor, Rose Waugh is the Great Granddaughter and heir of Yohema and has written a book “Yohema” (Little Flower).

Fifty one years ago today, October 7
th, I went to work on the Oroville Dam, Western Pacific Rail Road Relocation, which led me to a 36 year career building things of Iron all over Northern California as an Ironworker. My career ending with a fall on November 11, 1996, that left me with time on my hands which allowed me to work on the Dam Memorial and the Veterans Memorial. They take so much time.

This coming December 7
th will be the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. We will meet at the Butte Co. Fair grounds, at the flag pole which stands about in the middle of the grounds. I hope more come this year as for over 10 years now the crowd is very small. Let’s show the few survivors that are left that Butte County cares. The Survivors always tell their stories in a heated building after the Ceremony. I am always so proud to stand with these men and they even let me tell the progress of our Memorial for all of Butte County. Last year I got the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee to vote to buy tiles for all the survivors of their club. They will be on the Wall together as their group has been together for so many years. If you haven’t come to one of these I urge you too. You will not be sorry for it. If it rains one inch tonight (Tuesday) the grass will sprout by Monday, go look at our Golden Brown Countryside soon to be green.. Right Rex?