Fayette County Cultural Trust - Explore Fayette County Pennsylvania
 
 
William Andrews Clark
 
 
Born in a log cabin in Connellsville, Pennsylvania,  January 8, 1839, of Scotch-Irish and French Huguenot immigrants, Clark stood 5 feet 8½, with fastidiously tended whiskers, unruly red hair, and cold blue eyes. A contemporary wrote, "There is craft in his stereotyped smile and icicles in his handshake. He is about as magnetic as last year's bird's nest."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Huguette Clark, 15, walks with her father, William A. Clark, senator and copper king. He was the second richest American — or first, neck and neck with Rockefeller.
 
 
 
 
 
Where did such wealth come from? It started with hard work, ingenuity and unfettered ambition. One of these miners in 1863 in Bannack, Mont., would, by the end of the century, own banks, railroads, timber, newspapers, sugar, coffee, oil, gold, silver, copper — seemingly unending veins of copper. He's on the right, William Andrews Clark.
 
After two years panning for gold, Clark turned to selling goods he hauled by wagon through the Rockies. He bought eggs at 20 cents a dozen, marketing them for $3 a dozen to miners for a brandy eggnog called Tom and Jerry. He took a year back East to study geology at Columbia University, then returned to Montana, to Butte's "Richest Hill on Earth."
 
 
 

 Clark made his greatest fortune in the Southwest. His United Verde copper mine, in Jerome, Ariz., yielded a profit of $400,000 a month, or in today's dollars, $10 million a month.

Clark arrived in Jerome, Arizona  in 1888 and soon purchased the United Verde Copper Company, which was to become one of the richest copper mines in the world. With the relocation of the copper smelter down the hill to Bitter Creek, Clark established Clarkdale, a company owned town, which provided housing, a park, a business district, a hospital, and schools for his employees.
 
Today most of this company town survives, complete with 386 buildings which qualify for the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1926-27,  the Clark Memorial Clubhouse was built as a memorial to William A. Clark. Fitzhugh and Byron were the architects who drew up the plans for this magnificent building and construction was overseen by his sons and grandson. Today this building may be rented for special occasions and the men's lounge is used for town council meetings twice a month.




The trading post of Las Vegas was a stop on his rail line. Here he speaks to a crowd in Las Vegas from his Pullman car in 1905. Las Vegas today is in Clark County, named for him.  Cl
 
 

An aide said, "We'll put the old man in the Senate, or the poorhouse." Clark was elected in 1899, but $1,000 bills turned up in envelopes. He had to resign. Clark said publicly, "I propose to leave to my children a legacy, worth more than gold, that of an unblemished name." Privately he said, "I never bought a man who wasn't for sale."
 
 
 
 
Clark's men tried one more audacity: On the day he resigned, they tricked the governor into traveling outside Montana. His lieutenant filled the vacancy — with Clark! When the governor returned, again Clark was out. Finally, he was elected in 1901. Though he retired after one term, for the rest of his life he insisted on being "Senator Clark."
 
 
 
 
 
Clark's first wife, Kate L. Stauffer,  also from Connellsville, Pennsylvania, died in 1893, leaving him four grown children. In 1904, while in the Senate, Clark announced that he had taken a second wife in France three years earlier, and that the couple already had a 2-year-old daughter. At the time of the supposed marriage, he was 62, and wife Anna was 23. No proof of the wedding date has been found.
 
His new wife, Anna Eugenia La Chapelle, had been Clark's ward. She came to him as a teenager for support. Clark sent her from Butte to boarding school, then to Paris, where she studied the harp. He visited by steamship. They had two daughters: Andrée, born in 1902 in Spain, and Huguette in 1906 in Paris, where they lived with Anna.
 
 
"THEY'RE MARRIED AND HAVE A BABY," thundered Daly's opposition paper. All this was news to Clark's children from his first marriage, who were older than his young wife. One older daughter wrote that, while she was "greatly grieved and dreadfully disappointed, we must all stand by our dear father."
 
 
 
 
After he left the Senate, Clark moved his young wife and daughters into this Beaux-Arts house he built at Fifth Avenue and 77th Street in New York. It had 121 rooms, four art galleries, Turkish baths, a vaulted rotunda 36 feet high, and its own railroad line to bring in coal. All for a family of four. It was known as "Clark's Folly."
 
 
 
Clark spent as much as $7 million on the house, about three times what it would later cost to build Yankee Stadium. The mansion's treasures included this Louis XVI salon, a marble statue of Eve by Rodin, oak ceilings from Sherwood Forest, and the grandest American collection of European paintings, lace and tapestries.
 
 
 
Clark's wife was rarely seen in public. He wrote of Anna, "Mrs. Clark did not care for social distinction, nor the obligations that would entail upon my public life." In 1912, former Senator Clark, 73, and Anna, 34, walked in the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue with Andrée, 9. Huguette, not pictured, was just 5, starting her collection of dolls from France.
 
 
 
The Clark family traveled often to Paris. A ship's registry from 1914 sets birth dates for the family: William Andrews Clark, age 75, Connellsville, Pa., Jan. 8, 1839; Anna E., age 36, Calumet, Mich., March 10, 1878; Andrée, age 12, Spain, Aug. 13, 1902; and Huguette, age 8, Paris, June 9, 1906. At home, they had 10 servants and a French chef.
 
 
Clark and daughters visit Columbia Gardens, which he built in Butte. It was about 1917. Andrée (left) would be about 15, and Huguette 11. Clark was 78. In 1919, a week before her 17th birthday, Andrée died of meningitis. "When her sister died, it left a hole in her life," said Huguette's great-half-nephew through the first marriage, Ian Devine.
 
 
 
 
 
William Andrews Clark died in his house on Fifth Avenue on March 2, 1925, at age 86, with his wife and children by his side. He lay in honor in his own gallery, as his paintings looked down. President Coolidge sent flowers. Clark's will called for a "decent and Christian burial in accordance with my condition in life, without undue pomp or ceremony."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Indiana Gazette (Indiana, Pennsylvania ) 03 March 1925 -

Funeral for “Copper King”        

William Andres Clark, Native of Connellsville, Dies in New York.       

     New York, March 3 – Funeral services will be held on Thursday for William Andrews Clark, “copper king” and former United States Senator from Montana who died from pneumonia in his Fifth Avenue home.  The ex-Senator was 86 years old.    
     William A. Clark, Jr. and William A. Clark, 3, are coming here from Los Angeles to attend the service.    
     At his bedside when the Senator passed away were his wife and her daughter Huguett, Charles W. Clark of San Francisco, Mrs. Lewis Rutherford and Mrs. Manius Rebrabant.      
     Senator Clark was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.  He worked his way through Mount Pleasant, Iowa law school.  He never took up law but moved to Missouri and taught school.     
     After prospecting for gold in Colorado, Clark moved to Montana where he wrestled a fortune from the Rockies.    
       Senator Clark’s first wife was Kate L. Stauffer, of Connellsville, Pennsylvania.  After her death the Senator married his ward, Annie E. Laschapelle.     
     Senator Clark’s Fifth Avenue home was one of New York’s show places.  The stone came from the Clark quarries in Maine; its wood work was turned in the Ravenswood plants on Long Island, owned by the Senator; the bronze was brought from the Senator’s own foundries.
 
 
 
He was entombed, along with his first wife and Andrée, in this mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. His neighbors now are Woolworth, Macy, Pulitzer — all better remembered. Clark left $350,000 to a Clark orphans home; $100,000 each to Clark kindergarten and Clarkdale, Ariz.; $25,000 to Clark women's home; $2,500 to his butler.
 
 
 
 
Clark had promised his daughters from his first marriage that Anna would not inherit the New York City mansion. It was sold in 1927 for less than half what it cost to build, and was torn down for apartments. Many other houses on Millionaire's Row fell, including the Astor and Vanderbilt palaces. The Gilded Age had passed.
 
 
 
Clark had promised his daughters from his first marriage that Anna would not inherit the New York City mansion. It was sold in 1927 for less than half what it cost to build, and was torn down for apartments. Many other houses on Millionaire's Row fell, including the Astor and Vanderbilt palaces. The Gilded Age had passed.