History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Samuel M. Clark
SAMUEL M. CLARK was born in Van Buren County, Iowa, on the 11th of October, 1842. He was educated at the Des Moines Valley College at West Point, in Lee County, and began the study of law when eighteen years of age in the office of Judge George G. Wright and was admitted to the bar at Keokuk in 1864. Immediately thereafter he became associate editor with J. B. Howell of the Gate City, the leading Republican daily of southeastern Iowa. This proved to be his life work for which he rapidly developed remarkable talent and in a few years became one of the ablest and most versatile editorial writers in the State. He was a studious reader of literary and scientific works, an independent and philosophic thinker, his editorials often ranking as finished essays on the subject treated. Few men in Iowa had a wider acquaintance with the notable people of his native State and no one warmer or more abiding friendships. It was one of the greatest pleasures of his busy life to serve his friends. He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1872, '76 and '80, was seldom absent from the State Conventions of his party and was the author of many of the platforms for a quarter of a century. For a period of fourteen years he was president of the school board of Keokuk and for eight years was postmaster of that city. In 1889 he was appointed by the President Commissioner of the Paris Exposition. In 1894 he was elected to the popular branch of Congress on the Republican ticket and at the close of his first term was reëlected, serving four years. Death came to him in the meridian of his useful and noble life on the 11th of August, 1900.