Israel Justus Clark

Israel Justus Clark

Israel Justus Clark passed away Sep. 13, 1905 in Vernal, Uintah County Utah, USA
He was born Dec. 25, 1821 in Dansville, New York, USA
He was the Son of Eli Clark and Mary Tiffany Smallage

Israel Justice was truly a pioneer, an outstanding colonizer and builder, a great missionary to the Lamanite assisting in the settling of Fort Lemhi in the Salmon River country of Idaho in the early 1850's. He was an Indian interpreter and an Indian War veteran. He worked with the Nez Perce, Blackfoot and the Shoshone of the Northwest. He was also great friends of the Indians of the Northern Utah and Utes of the Uintah Reservations. He could speak their language perfectly.

He was amongst some of the original pioneers of Logan Utah, camping on the Little Logan River in 1859. They moved to Clarkston, Utah in 1867 and was the first bishop of this ward, Clarkston was named in his honor. They returned to Logan in 1871. He was called on a second mission October 11, 1875, laboring with the Lamanites in the vicinity in Corrinne, Utah, then a part of an Indian Reservation.

He settled in the Ashley Valley (Vernal Ut) in the Fall of 1877 with his family. When the Uintah Stake was organized in 1886, he was chosen as the first high councilman. On May the 29th, 1905 he was ordained a patriarch. His carpenter trade was put to good use in Ashley Valley, as he made most of the coffins there. The first was for Mrs. Joseph Black, the first person to die in Ashley Valley, and the first to be buried in Vernal Memorial Park.

Israel had a wonderful personality. He was 6 ft. tall and walked straight as an arrow. His hair was auburn in color when he was young, but turned white early in life. His keen blue eyes could look an Indian down, yet twinkled when talking to a child. His voice was clear as a bell and could be heard a long distance.

He was blind for a number of years before he died and is recalled with gratefulness by the members of the Clarkston Ward, Vernal and Ashley Valley. He was an organizer and a spiritual leader, he has left us many inspiring testimonies. He was truly a pioneer who battled and overcame opposing forces. He gave freely of all he possessed to his fellow men and left us a rich heritage.
He is buried in the Vernal Memorial Park.

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