REV. HORACE CLARK.
Fourth Master, 1874
Horace Clark was a native of Charlestown, Massachusetts, where he was born July 7, 1819. He was the son of James and Catherine Aldrich Clark. His father died when he was but two years of age and he was reared by his mother who was a school teacher with unusual literary attainments” and a poet of some note in her day.
An uncle was a sea captain in the merchant marine and much of his boyhood was spent at sea. At the age of fourteen he was captured by Portuguese soldiers at Rio de Janeiro and held as a prisoner to be impressed into service on a Portuguese man-of-war. Fortunately, he was released through the inter- cession of the United States Consul. He completed a voyage around the world before returning to his native land.
At the age of sixteen he moved with his mother to Upper Alton, Illinois. Here he attended Shurtleff College but moved to Georgetown, Kentucky, in 1841 and completed his collegiate education with honors at Georgetown College. He married Miss Martha Davis, the daughter of Rev. G. B. Davis of Bunker Hill, Illinois, in March, 1844. She was a graduate of Monticello Seminary at Upper Alton, Illinois.
After teaching at Georgetown College he was elected principal of Henry Academy at Newcastle, Kentucky, a position he filled for four years. In 1850 he came to Texas to become president of the newly formed La Grange Collegiate Institute. In June of 1851 he became the principal of the Female Department of Baylor University at Independence. He and his wife remained with this institution until 1871, with the exception of 1866-1867. Dr. Clark was a pioneer in the higher education of women and under his leadership the Female Department of Baylor attained a wide reputation.
Upon his removal to Houston he opened Clark’s Academy, a private school for young ladies, which he operated for eight years. While teaching at Baylor he was ordained as a Baptist minister on September 18, 1858, by the Independence Baptist Church. He served the First Baptist Church of Houston for two years as interim pastor in the mid-seventies and the Directory of the City of Houston for 1877 so lists him.
In 1877, without any pre-announcement, even to his own immediate family, and to the surprise and amazement of his friends and family, he went one Sunday to an Episcopal service and was confirmed as an Episcopalian. This action of Clark was a distinct shock to the whole Baptist denomination. Many asked that he give his reasons, but they were never given, either publicly or privately. He made no explanation, even to his own family.
His wife remained a Baptist to her death, but she was devotedly loyal to him. She helped him all that was possible in his new lines of labor.
He was ordained as deacon by the venerable Bishop Alexander Gregg on November 22, 1878, at Christ Church and then served as assistant minister of Christ Church during his diaconate. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gregg on April 20, 1879, in St. David’s Church at Austin. He continued as assistant minister of Christ Church in Houston until January, 1880, when he became the rector of the Church (:if the Good Shepherd at Corpus Christi. He remained at this charge for eighteen years. After the death of his wife in 1896, enfeebled in health and sorrow-stricken, he retired from the active ministry in 1898. His last ten years were spent in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mary K. Culpepper, in Houston.
Horace Clark received his Masonic Degrees about 1848 and undoubtedly in Kentucky but his record has not yet been found. He affiliated with Lafayette Lodge No. 34 at La Grange on January 18, 1851, and then with Milam No. 11 at Independence on November 13, 1852. He was Worshipful Master of Milam Lodge in 1854 and again in 1868. He was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Texas from 1876-77 through 1879, again in 1884-1885 and then in 1901-1902.
He was a Royal Arch Mason and was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 1869-1870. He also served on several Grand Lodge Committees such as the Education Committee in 1855, Foreign Correspondence in 1870 and a special committee on Grand Lodge Dues from Sub- ordinate Lodges in 1870.
He was a man “of medium height, with a figure not denoting great physical strength. He had blue eyes, light hair and complexion, features regular and well formed and of the Grecian mould. The base of his forehead was strongly marked and projecting, which showed at once that he was no ordinary man. His manner was uniformly kind and polite.”
His death occurred on February 23, 1909 at the age of 89.