Thursday, March 18, 2010

Great Grandson Of Hendry Namesake Dies

Richard Clark, Great Grandson Of Captain Francis Asbury Hendry Dies At 89

BARTOW, FL. -- Richard Clark, 89, civic leader, developer, and agricultural entrepreneur died March 13, 2010 in an accidental drowning at his home in Bartow. He was born May 31, 1920 in Bartow, the youngest of three sons of the late W. W. and Laura Clark.

Hendry County was named for his great grandfather, Captain Francis Asbury Hendry. The city of LaBelle, the county seat of Hendry county was named for his mother, Laura and her sister, Belle.

His education at Summerlin Institute and studying animal husbandry at the University of Florida equipped him to build on his family's entrepreneurial history--a family remembered in the parts of Florida bearing their names.  His father owned and Operated the Bartow Ice Plant for 50 years.

He took an interest in farming while working in his father's Ice Plant, supplying ice for produce shipping out of Florida. Supported by a mentor who helped him master better ways of growing vegetables, he found early success growing cabbage, which he shipped north by train. His green thumb­and innovation­expanded as he worked with two partners to reclaim a 160-acre tract of land. The first reclamation project ever done on this scale or magnitude, the project was written up in an engineering manual, serving as a valuable resource for hundreds of engineers. Using two bulldozers he purchased, Richard went out ahead of areas where the mining was taking place and hauled topsoil back to his 160 acres of reclaimed land.

He developed more than 800 residential lots and four subdivisions, the largest being the 490-home Richland Manor. His capstone project was Square Lake, an upscale residential community with 120 lots developed on the land he had carefully groomed with rich topsoil and planted with hundreds of trees.

Richard was preceded in death by two sons, Fred Clark and James Milton Clark. He is survived by his wife: Mayme Burdin Clark; Grandchildren: Susan Blenk and husband, Paul Blenk Bartow; Rickie Clark and his wife, Cyndi Clark Highlands Ranch, CO); Cindi Clark Lakeland; Cathy Ferris and husband Chris Ferris Tallahassee; Jim Clark; Allison Mabe Greensboro, NC; Melissa Woodard Savannah, GA; Cathrine and Lilly Pfeiffer Bartow; Great-grandchildren: Adam, Jake, and Taylor Blenk Bartow; Chrissy Clark Highlands Ranch, CO; Jamie and David Clark IL; Sydney and Julia Ferris Tallahassee; Stepchildren: John Burdin Lakeland; Trish Pfeiffer and husband, Bob Pfeiffer Bartow. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:22 PM

    And he was a good friend, always a man of honor, and he kept his word. He was kind and generous, and just loved people. And he believed in me, and took only $100 earnest money to sell me my house. He loved people, and respect was his reward. He is missed by many.