The Man Who Was Scalped and Lived Here in Beulah
Frank was the father of two sons, Raymond Clarke of Beulah and Fred Clarke of Kokomo, Colorado; two daughters, Mrs. Lillian Fauntleroy and Mrs. Lorena Adams of Beulah. He also had two step-sons, Henry and Fred Boggs. His grandchildren included, among others, Shirley McGee, Martha Benesch, Wanda and Radell, Norman and Darrell Clarke of Beulah.
Frank was orphaned at an early age and had no recollection of his parents. Actual facts concerning his first years are obscure. His parents are believed to have fallen victims to an Indian massacre in the days when the white man first ventured into Montana. His parents, according to information Clarke picked up in later years, were members of a wagon train party which was practically wiped out by an Indian attack.
Clarke's first recollections were of a life at Ft. Benton, Montana, an outpost on the northwest frontier in the days of early Indian wars, where he lived with an uncle, Jim Hughes, an Indian Scout under General Custer.
He experienced a story-book adventure with the Indians. He was sent out from the Montana fort with a mule team. He was attacked by a party of Indians and was wounded by a tomahawk blow on the head. Apparently, the Indians decided to spare his life when they discovered his tender age so he was taken to their camp where a squaw nursed him back to health.
How long he was held prisoner was not known even to Clarke, but he said, according to relatives, that it apparently was several weeks. One day, according to his own story, he just walked off and made his way back to Fort Benton.
A long scar from the tomahawk blow on top of his head remained with him all his life.
After a trip to Leadville, Clarke prospected and mined in various parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. With the outbreak of the Indian Uprising in 1886, he became an Indian scout, serving with General George Crook and Nelson A. Miles in Arizona against Geronimo and Natchez until the Apaches were finally subdued.
He was married to Hattie Lillian Myrick Clarke.
He returned to Colorado engaging in various building activities and then turned to prospecting. The last 30 years he lived practically continuously at Beulah, where earlier he had spent considerable time.
An expert carpenter and cabinet maker, Clarke personally built several of the finest summer homes in the Beulah district. Despite his advanced years, his eyesight and ability remained keen so he could turn out cedar chests and cabinets. His cedar chests of native Colorado Cedar had been sent to many parts of the United States and several had been sent to England.
Although he never attended school, he interested himself in many studies. Another accomplishment was that of a violinist. He was fond of and adept at playing many of the old time tunes.
He numbered among his personal acquaintances such notorious figures of the old West as General George Armstrong Custer, Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill and Billy the Kid.
Death ended his career and he died in his sleep at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Lillian Fauntleroy.