Written by Randolph Clark
~ Book Review by Virginia Hale ~
I have completed reading Randolph Clark’s book entitled Reminiscences, which was published in 1916. Following are highlights from this most interesting book, which can be obtained from the Hood County Library.
Randolph and his brother Addison Clark were Civil War veterans. Randolph wrote that Confederate soldiers rendezvoused at the site of AddRan College in Thorp Spring in order to convalesce from exhaustion and chronic ailments. The frontier soldiers would go to Thorp Spring and camp. They drank the sulphur water, bathed in the creek, fished, ate wild meat, and got well.
Addison and Randolph both served as officers in the Civil War. Little is mentioned of their actual experiences. However, it did help galvanize their compassion for man. The Clark family clearly saw Addison as the visionary. Addison’s father (Joe) and brother always accepted his leadership. Addison believed there was no finer calling than the Christian education and molding of young people.
Pleasant Thorp actually had people go to Fort Worth to court the Clark Brothers to move the location of Clark’s private school in Fort Worth to Thorp Spring. Mr. Thorp had large financial interests in Thorp Spring and knew a school would enhance property values and benefit the area. According to Randolph’s book, AddRan College was named by Addison in memory of his son AddRan. Addison believed, “This would be an inspiration to labor to make the name stand for something worthy,” wrote Randolph. AddRan died at age three of diphtheria in Fort Worth about 1872. A marble slab in the Pioneer Cemetery at Fort Worth is inscribed “AddRan.”
The Clark families gave deeply of their personal resources to the cause of Christian education. Addison Clark and Randolph Clark both sold their personal residences in Fort Worth in order to make payments for the college. Later Mrs. Randolph Clark sold 320 acres of her land in Collin County and her childhood home in Bonham for the survival of AddRan College. Joe A. Clark had not given money to the building of the college, but he had given his time and labor, and for years he went without any compensation. Addison Clark was the Founder and President of AddRan College. Randolph Clark was the Vice-President of AddRan College. Joe A. Clark was the Business Manager of AddRan College
Addison Clark had a special relationship with the Granbury Christian Church. Addison loved the congregation, and they loved and supported him. J. C. Mason conducted his funeral at the beloved church in 1911. Addison Clark was considered among the Disciples of Christ the greatest teacher and preacher in Texas of his time.