L-R, Ralph Clark, Evelyn Clark-Snapp, William Clark, Jr., Billy Clark, circa 1922-23
Ralph and Cora's house in Ada, Kansas.
L-R, Joseph Neely, Evelyn Clark-Snapp, William Clark, Jr., Ralph Clark
Ralph was born on 1 Nov 1900 in Arispe, Kansas, son of William and Mae Clark. In those days, subsistence farming - or growing crops and raising livestock just to feed your own family - was very much the norm in rural Kansas. Although Ralph's grandfather, Billy, was a carpenter, and his father, William Jr., was a stockman, they both worked their own farm which provided everyone with food. Ralph chose carpentering as a trade and was determined to stay away from farming. Then at age 20, he met and married Cora Alice Mack, daughter of Gara Baldic Mack (1862-1923) and Maude Alice Randall (1873-1922) of Arispe, Kansas.
Cora Mack ca. 1923-24
Cora Alice Mack Clark
Although they both tried to escape the farm life, it was extremely difficult because farming kept their family fed. Finally, in 1930, they settled in Ada, Kansas, where Ralph worked throughout the depression years for the state of Kansas, building schools and roads, trimming weeds around street signs, etc. Even in Ada they planted a vegetable garden, grew a field of potatoes, and raised chickens, a cow and pigs, to help supplement the food budget. So they didn't entirely escape farming until they moved to Wichita in 1943. That's when Ralph began working as a crew foreman for Eby's International Construction Co. In 1948, he began his own construction company through which he built many beautiful homes in the Wichita area. After a very short illness, Ralph died at the age of 51. He is buried at the Wichita Park Cemetery and Mausoleum. After fighting cancer for almost a decade, Cora passed away at age 82 on 9 Mar 1983. She is also buried at the Wichita Park Cemetery and Mausoleum, Wichita, Kansas.
[When I first read this story in the 1980's when Aunt Shirley first published her book, I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to leave the country. Having grown up on the beautiful plains of Kansas, and then in the 5th grade, being planted in the middle of a large metroplex - Dallas/Ft. Worth - I couldn't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to live in the country. Of course, as an adult I realize now what hard work farming is; and to try to make a living by it is even harder. So now I can better understand their wanting to join the millions of other middle-class families of the 40's and 50's and live in town. It was a step up for them.]
Ralph and Cora's children
Connie?, Chet, Barbara?, Shirley
LR standing - Chet, Ivan, Shirley LR sitting - Barbara, Connie, Cora, Shirley
LR back - Max, Ivan, Chet, LR front - Barbara, Evelyn, Cora, Connie
LR Standing - Chet, Ivan, Evelyn LR Sitting - Barbara, Connie, Cora, Shirley
LR back - Evelyn, Max, Chet, Connie, Ivan, LR sitting - Shirley, Barbara
Connie, Ivan, Chet
Connie, Barbara, Chet
L-R Ivan, Cora, Barbara, Ralph Clark
Ralph and Cora's Grandchildren
LR - Teresa Clark, Doug Hye holding Laurinda Hye, Darryl Morrison holding Kirby?, older boy bending over? boy with football?, Robert Clark, girl behind Robert?, girl holding doll?, baby on right?, Peggy & Ivan standing