March 14, 1909 – Former Woods Superintendent Byron Clark passed away from kidney disease at his home in Mendocino.
Born in Ellsworth, Maine, in 1855, Byron arrived in Mendocino in 1874. The following year, his brother John joined him. According to the Beacon, Byron “went to work at once on Big River, and showed such vigor and intelligence in his work that two years later, when he had attained his majority [his 21st birthday], he was put in charge of a camp by Daniel Milliken, the wood’s boss. By his application and consideration, he gained and held the esteem of the men and was thereby enabled to turn out work so satisfactorily, both as to quality and quantity, that his advance was continued under Superintendents Dollard and Nichols.”
When Nichols left the Woods Superintendent position, Byron was put in charge of the Mendocino Lumber Company’s logging operations. Later, he left the lumber company and partnered with Charles Perkins, operating logging camps that employed 100 or more men. According to Francis Jackson, Byron “also is credited with laying the first iron rail on the river.”
Byron was held in high esteem by his employees. “His simple, unassuming manner, frank, outspoken style, backed by a truly sympathetic nature, was perhaps the only explanation of his subtle hold on the affections of the men who worked under him. He asked of them nothing he was not willing to do, and they experienced no hardship he did not voluntarily share. And there was no limit to which they would not go for him.”
Byron was survived by his wife Oleva, and children Leonora and Russell. He was a member of both the Odd Fellows and Masonic fraternal orders and was buried in Rose Memorial Park Cemetery in Fort Bragg.
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