by William Clark
My paternal grandfather, Frank Edwin Clark, went up over the Chilkoot in 1897, and settled on the shores of Lake Bennett where he built and sold boats to the prospectors. He was a carpenter by trade. In 1902, he went south where he met and married my grandmother, Lorell Dee Bevan, in 1904, in Portland, Oregon. They returned to Alaska in 1919, and operated a fox farm on Keku Island, just off of Kake which is where he died in January 1926.
Grandma then moved into Juneau with her son, my father William Z. Clark, who was a young boy. He attended school in Juneau. Grandma worked as a waitress at the Gastineau Cafe where she met and married Dave Grant. He was a member of the Juneau Elks Club. After high school, my father worked for the City of Juneau as an electrician. About 1925, he went to Seattle and he finally located my mother-to-be, Emma M. Hopkins. They were married December 17, 1929, and returned to Juneau. Dad went to work as a powerhouse operator up at Salmon Creek. You had to travel by tram to get there and back.
I was born on November 3, 1930, at St. Annís Hospital and my sister, Barbara Clark Willits, was born there also on October 2, 1932. Our family left Juneau in 1935, and moved to my grandmotherís farm in Yale, Washington. Grandma and her husband Dave Grant, farmed 160 acres in various crops. In 1936, we moved to Seattle where my sister and I completed our schooling. After I graduated from Queen Ann High school, I attended the University of Washington for a short time before joining the Navy. After a short term in the service, I returned to Seattle to visit my parents. I then decided I wanted to go to Juneau to see where I was born, so I boarded the Alaska Steamship boat the SS Denali and sailed to Juneau.
My first job was as a waiter in the Bubble Room of the Baranof Hotel. I heard about all the construction work that was going on at the time in Anchorage. This was in the early 50ís and they were building Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Bases. So thatís where I moved and stayed for the next 35 years before retiring and moving to the desert of California so I could play some golf. I met my wife Lois while we were both working at a night club called the Idle Hour Supper Club in Anchorage. We got married on November 15, 1954, in Anchorage and are still married to this day.
About my maternal familyĖJoseph Bevan Hopkins and Margaret Hopkins. They came to Alaska about 1915, when my mother, Emma, was a young girl. They came from St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada, where Mom was born. My grandfather went to work at the Alaska Gastineau Mine in Thane. I can remember my mother telling me about riding her bicycle back and forth to school along the boardwalk between Juneau and Thane.
William Z. Clark (lower right white sweater), Leonard Holmquist (2nd up on left side, lots of hair), Dan Russell (lower front center), others unknown, 1923.