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CLARK, JAMES BENJAMIN (1831–1908). James Benjamin Clark, Civil War soldier, lawyer, and university administrator, was born in Pitt County, North Carolina, in 1831 to William and Louisa Pearce (Lanier) Clark. He attended Franklin College, Tennessee, and in 1851 entered Harvard College, where he graduated in 1855 and enrolled in the law school. In 1857 he was admitted to the bar in Jackson, Mississippi. In the spring of 1861 Clark enlisted in the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A.; he served for the rest of the war and became a captain. Afterward he moved to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, where he edited a newspaper and, on November 11, 1869, married Florence Anderson. On April 9, 1875, Clark moved to Bonham, Texas, where he practiced law for ten years. On the organization of the University of Texas in 1883, Clark became a member of the board of regents. On July 1, 1885, he was named proctor and custodian general of the university, a position he held until his sudden death in Austin on December 6, 1908. Clark Field, the baseball field at the university from 1928 to 1974, was named for him.


Austin Statesman, December 7, 8, 1908. H. L. Bentley and Thomas Pilgrim, Texas Legal Directory for 1876–77 (Austin: Democratic Statesman Office, 1877). Carl John Eckhardt, One Hundred Faithful to the University of Texas at Austin (197-?). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Marie Giles


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Marie Giles, "CLARK, JAMES BENJAMIN," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed April 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.