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Posted: 11 Nov 2008 12:06AM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Clark,Crowell,Nickerson
ROBERT P. CLARK. This prominent business man is president and manager of the Bowers Southern Dredging Company, a corporation which has unexcelled facilities for the prosecution of its intricate and extensive
works, and which has been awarded and has successfully
carried out many of the largest contracts for
river and harbor improvements and general dredging
and kindred work in the south, its range of operations
not being confined to Texas, but covering all the Atlantic,
Cuban, Mexican and Gulf coasts and their tributaries,
rivers and harbors. Mr. Clark is likewise an
officer in several other similar corporations, operating
on the Atlantic Coast, and during a residence at Gal-
veston for more than thirty years has long been one
of the city's foremost men of affairs.
Born on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, July 14, 1859,
Robert P. Clark comes almost naturally by his profession
in connection with the sea. His parents were
Elisha and Olive (Nickerson) Clark, the former a
native of Massachusetts and a ship captain who died in
1864. Any boy who is reared on Cape Cod has a
youth compounded of the culture supplied by books
and schools and of the environment and experiences of
the sea and all the activities that transpire along shore.
Robert P. Clark when a boy of ten years, began his
experience as a seafarer, and did not abandon that
life until he was twenty. However, in the meantime
he had attended school for several terms, in addition
to his preliminary training. In 1880 Mr. Clark came
to Galveston and was employed in the stevedore business
conducted by Charles Clarke. After seven years
he was taken into the firm under the name of Charles
Clarke & Company. In 1888 the firm began taking
government contracts for jetty construction and also
in a small way began operating as dredging contractors.
That was sometime before the organization of
the Bowers Southern Dredging Company. In 1891 the
partners reorganized that business and established a
separate department for dredging with Mr. R. P. Clark
in charge. That was the business on which they continued
up to 1899, in which year was organized the
Bowers Southern Dredging Company. In 1905 Mr.
Clark sold his interest in the firm of Charles Clarke &
Company and secured the majority control in the Bowers
Southern Dredging Company, with which corporation
he has since been most closely identified.
The Bowers Southern Dredging Company incorporated
in I899, with a capital of six hundred thousand
dollars, at that time organized with the following
officers and directors: Charles Clarke, president;
Robert P. Clark, vice president and manager; Browning
Crowell, secretary and treasurer; and Charles
Clarke, Jr., and Alphonse Bowers, as additional directors.
Since then several changes have taken place in
the corporate management and membership, and in
1913 the organization presents the following board of
executives and directors; Robert P. Clark, president;
Charles L. Crandall, vice president; George C. Angier,
secretary; Browning K. Crowell, treasurer; and John
Sealy and Charles Clarke, as additional directors.
The largest dredging concern in the south, the
Bowers Southern Dredging Company operates under
the Bowers patents, and has the exclusive right over
these patents in the Gulf of Mexico and the tributaries
of waters. The field of its operation is confined exclusively
to dredging and supplemental work thereto.
The company has taken and executed many government
contracts, and with its vast investments of capital
in machinery, boats and other facilities, army of
skilled labor, and its splendid business organization it
easily stands in a class by itself and examples of its
work may be found at different points at the Gulf of
Mexico. Some of the larger contracts that may be mentioned
include work in the following rivers and harbors: —
The dredging of the channel between Galveston
and Houston TEXAS in 1904, this channel being dredged to
a depth of eighteen and a half feet and from one
hundred to one hundred and sixty feet bottom width,
and for a distance of about sixty miles. Dredging the
channel in Galveston Harbor three and a half miles long and five hundred fifty feet in the bottom width; the Sabine and Netches Canal; the Port Arthur Canal; the Atchafalaya Ship Canal; the channel through the Southwest Pass on the Mississippi River; the ship channel at the mouth of the Pascagoula River; the Mobile Bay Ship Channel; Mobile Harbor; Tampa Bay Harbor; the Turtle Cove Channel in Texas; the Inter- coastal Canal, between Arkansas and Matagorda Bay; the Brazos-Santiago Harbor; the Inland Waterway from Pamlico Sound to Beaufort Inlet in North Carolina; the grade-raising canal at Galveston; dredging operations in Calcasieu in Louisiana, in Bayou Plaquemine, Louisinia; Bayou Netches and Grand Lake, Louisiana; and the Texas City Channel. This company have also undertaken and in some cases successfully completed extended operations in Cuba, dredging the harbors of Havana, Cardehas, Isabella de Sagua, Carbarien, Nuevilas Guatamo, Santiago de Cuba, and Esperanza. Robert P. Clark is vice president of the Furst-Clark Dredging Company of Baltimore, Maryland, and the vice president of the Furst-Clark Construction Company of Baltimore. These companies have contracts in two of the largest and most conspicuous enterprises on the Atlantic Coast at the present time, including the excavation of what is known as the Cape Cod Canal, the completion of which will enable ships to pass from New York to Boston without rounding the dangerous Cape Cod, and also contracts for canals in the Everglades of Florida. Mr. Clark is second vice president of the Degnon Cape Cod Canal Construction Company- is a director in the American Indemnity Company of Galveston TEXAS; and a member of the firm of D. M. Picton & Company, contractors of river and harbor improvements, of Galveston. Mr. Clark is well known outside of business circles, especially in Masonry. His affiliations are with Harmony Lodge No. 9, A. F. & A. M. ; San Felipe de Austin, Chapter No. 1, R. A. M.; San Felipe de Austin Commandry No. 1, K. T. ; L. M. Oppenheimer Chapter No. 2, Knights of the Rose Croix, A. and S. R.; Texas Consistory No. 1, A. and A. S. R. ; and El Mina Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He also affiliates with Humboldt Lodge No-. 9, Knights of Pythias. In 1882 occurred his marriage with Miss Clara Crowell, daughter of Browning B. Crowell, a former ship captain of Cape Cod. Massachusetts. To their marriage were born seven children : Olive, deceased; Bertha, who married George C. Angier, secretary of the Bowers Southern Dredging Company at Galveston; Robert Jr., superintendent of the plant at Wilmington, North Carolina; Clara; Margaret; Bruce and Albert, twins. The family home is at 1717 Avenue I,Galveston,Texas and Mr. Clark's business offices are in the American National Insurance Building.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
cantorjoeocho 11 Nov 2008 7:06AM GMT 
clp825 5 Jan 2009 4:57AM GMT 
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