Clark Family Visit Brings Back Memories In Van Horn

VAN HORN (Lisa Morton, Van Horn Advocate) — Members of the Clark family, tied to the historical Clark Hotel, spent some time visiting in Van Horn recently. Cousins Steve Clark and Marshall Formby spent summers in town in their childhood. During their visit, they toured the town and land they still own in the city. They said the visit rekindled familiar and fond memories of the hotel that they both hold near and dear to their hearts. During their visits as children in the 1960’s, Mable Clark ran the hotel, allowing her grandchildren free reign of the premises. The grandchildren would interact with the many hotel patrons and visitors to the area, as well as with the “regulars,” – retired gentlemen that played dominos daily, and railroad crews that were housed there. The Clark Hotel was the original venue for the Pioneer Days Celebration, which later became Van Horn’s Frontier Days, an annual event now celebrated in June, This year’s festivities are scheduled for Saturday. The Clark family has been extremely generous to Van Horn, donating land for the Van Horn Cemetery, the Hospital, and most recently, the area designated by the CCAISD for a softball field, with the only request being that the field is named after the Clark Family. The building now houses a museum in what is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Van Horn. When Culberson County was first created, the Clark Hotel served as the first courthouse as well as serving as a hotel for nearly 40 years. The Museum Association purchased the Hotel in 1979 in order to preserve a bit of the town’s history. The Clark cousins’ visit also took them to Red Rock Ranch, where Darice McVay generously gave them a tour. “I remember picnicking at Red Rock Ranch when I was about 6 or 7. I was awestruck by the beauty of the property”, said Steve Clark. A then Valentine resident and frequent visitor to the Clark Hotel was pioneer Jewel Babb. The cousins fondly remember their grandmother bringing Jewel a plate of food in the lobby when she visited. An example of the many acts of kindness and hospitality always exhibited by the Clarks.

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