William R. Clark William R. Clark – was a farmer and dealer in fresh meats in Bentonville, Arkansas. He was born in that city on November 7, 1846, in the “Old Eagle Hotel”. He is the son of James W. and Jane M. (Dickson) Clark. James W. Clark was born in Giles County, Tennessee, in 1825, was of Scotch descent, and a saddle and harness maker by trade. In 1842, Mr. Clark traveled from Tennessee to Ft. Smith by steamship. From there he walked to the Bentonville area by using foot trails. He located in Bentonville and commenced working at his trade in Bentonville, establishing the first business of its kind in town. He was married about 1844, and soon after commenced keeping hotel. In 1849 he erected a hotel known as Clark Hotel (better known as Eagle Hotel) and operated it until the time of his death in 1879. Gen. Sigel made this hotel his headquarters previous to and during the Civil War Battle of Pea Ridge. Mr. Clark was an honest man, and was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years. James W. Clark donated six acres of land for the public school building of Bentonville, and upon this property the building did stand. He was very charitable in all his acts. His wife was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, in 1828, and a daughter of Maj. John B. Dickson. She is the mother of nine children.
William R. Clark was educated in Bentonville and after reaching his majority commenced gardening, raising fruit and vegetables. He was at Eureka Springs two years. He afterward turned his attention to farming and followed this until 1884, when he commenced the butcher business. He continued this occupation until May, 1884, when he sold out. Mr. Clark then returned to raising small vegetables again. He was the owner of 10 acres adjoining Bentonville, also seventy acres a short distance from town, and eighty acres near Royar. He was in the army for two years (Confederate) in Capt. C. C. Water's company and saw action at Fayetteville, Cabin Creek, and Prairie Grove. In 1866, he married Miss Martha Elzey, daughter of Benjamin Elzey, and a native of Benton County, Arkansas. Together they had eight children. Mr. Clark was a Democrat in politics and was a marshall of Bentonville for several years. He was a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows, and he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Clark died at his home April 16, 1927, at the age of 80. He is buried in the Bentonville Cemetery.