Rear Admiral Clark was born in Bradford, Vermont, on August 10, 1843. He was appointed Acting Midshipman in 1860 by Honorable IS Merrill of Vermont. Promoted to Acting Ensign on October 1, 1963, he advanced in rank as follows: Master, May 10, 1866; Lieutenant, February 21, 1867, Lieutenant Commander, March 12, 1868; Commander, November 15, 1881; and captain, June 12, 1896. He was appointed Rear Admiral to rank from June 16, 1902, and was retired August 10, 1905.
After being commissioned Ensign, Rear Admiral Clark had consecutive duty at sea aboard the Ossipee, Vanderbilt, and Suwanee, during which time, in the Civil War, he served in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron under Farragut. He commanded a forward division on the Ossipee during the Battle of Mobile Bay and the bombardment of Fort Morgan.
He reported on October 12, 1868, to the Receiving Ship at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he served until March 31, 1869, and from April of that year until July 9, 1870, he served in the Seminole the Receiving Ship at New York, and the Dictator. Following a tour of duty at the Naval Academy from September 1870 until February 1874, he proceeded to Asiatic station, to serve until February 8, 1877.
In 1877 and 1878 he had shore duty at the Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts, with torpedo instruction from June 1, 1870. He then reported to USS New Hampshire, and from April 30 to August 4, 1883, had torpedo service. Duty aboard the Ranger preceded that of Inspector of the Ninth LH District from February 19, 1887, until April 30, 1891. The next year he had duty at the Navy Yard, Mare Island, California. Thereafter he served successively aboard the Mohican, the R.S Independence and the Monterey, until March 1898.
As Captain of the battleship Oregon in 1898, Rear Admiral (then Captain) Clark took her from the Pacific Coast to Cuba in time to take a leading part in the destruction of the Spanish Fleet. Relieve of command of the Oregon on July 12, 1898, he became Chief of Staff Eastern Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet. On August 6 he reported to the USS St. Louis, and following hospitalization and leave reported to the Navy Yard, league Island, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for duty. He served as Captain of the Yard, from March 1, 1899, until September 16, 1901.
Rear Admiral Clark served as Governor of the Naval Home from September 17, 1901 to July 1, 1904, during which period he was commissioned Naval Representative to the Conation of King Edward VII on March 20, 1902. He was appointed Rear Admiral on June 6, 1902, and advanced seven numbers in rank for “eminent and conspicuous services in battle.”
Rear Admiral Clark was transferred to the Retired List of the Navy on August 10, 1905. He died on October 1, 1922, at Long Beach, California.
A destroyer USS Clark, DD-361, was named to honor Rear Admiral Clark.