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George W. Clark (1841-1918)

Judge, Texas Court of Appeals, 1879-1880

George W. Clark was born July 18, 1841 in Eutaw, Alabama, the youngest of seven boys in a family with nine children. He attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, graduating in 1861. Following his graduation he enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army, was promoted to third lieutenant, and participated in several battles including the battle of Gettysburg. Clark was wounded twice, two of his brothers were killed in action, and another brother lost an arm in battle. He ended his military service as a lieutenant colonel.

Following the war, Clark returned home and studied law under his father. He was a justice of the peace from 1865 to 1867, and was licensed to practice law in 1866. The following year he visited Texas, and by year's end he moved permanently to the Lone Star State. He lived briefly in Weatherford before settling in Waco by the end of 1868.

Clark became a friend of Richard Coke, lived with Coke's family in the spring of 1872, and when Coke was elected governor, Clark served briefly as acting secretary of state. Coke appointed Clark attorney general in 1874, and in 1876 appointed him to the commission to revise Texas laws. Clark was married in 1874; the couple had two children.

Gov. Oran Roberts appointed Clark to the Texas Court of Appeals in November 1879 to fill the vacancy left following the death of M.D. Ector. Clark served on the court until October 1880, when he resigned to resume his law practice in Waco.

Following his court service, Clark became a leading railroad attorney. In 1887 he chaired a successful campaign to defeat a state constitutional amendment for prohibition. In 1892 he ran unsuccessfully for governor against James Hogg, who was running for reelection. Clark again returned to his Waco law practice, but began to suffer from failing eyesight. He died following an illness on March 28, 1918, at the age of seventy-six.


Doug Johnson. Clark, George W., Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001).