BARZILLA WORTH CLARK was born in Hadley, Indiana, on December 22, 1880. After moving with his family to Idaho in 1885, Clark attended the public schools of Idaho Falls. However, he returned to Indiana to finish high school and attend the Rose Polytechnic Institute. When he injured a lung in track practice, Clark withdrew from school and returned home. He became a licensed engineer in 1905, establishing several water and irrigation developments around Idaho Falls. Clark entered politics in 1908, serving as Idaho Falls’ councilman, a position he held for four years. He also served as mayor of Idaho Falls from 1913 to 1905 and again from 1926 to 1936. In 1936, he won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor of Idaho. During his tenure, a judicious pardon and parole system was installed, junior college districts were established, a state tuberculosis hospital was authorized, and the department of public welfare was restructured. Also, a fish and game bill, a bank code revision, a six-week divorce statute, and legislation that controlled the manufacturing, sale and distribution of narcotics were all sanctioned. After an unsuccessful reelection bid, Clark left office on January 2, 1939, and retired from politics. Governor Barzilla W. Clark, who authored the book Bonneville County in the Making, died on September 21, 1943. He was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls.
Idaho State Historical Society Gubernatorial Manuscript and Archive Collections:
- Clark, Barzilla Worth photographs, 1890-1920. Manuscript Collection. MS0166.
- Clark, Barzilla Worth papers, 1931-1938. Manuscript Collection. MS0166.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.