I was born and raised in a little town in South Dakota, not far from the Minnesota border called Clark, S.D. The town is a part of Woodland Township, named after my great grandfather, Joseph Woodland (1835-1922). Joseph and his friend, John Bailey, moved from Iowa to stake their claims on the virgin Dakota soil – land of opportunity. On July 1, 1878, they became the first settlers in Northeast Dakota Territory. Bailey’s lake is named after Mr. Bailey. My great-grandfather was the first postmaster and first sheriff of Clark in the 1800s; many of my great aunts and uncles helped establish the little farming town.
At the end of this month, I’m going back for a visit, and I’m excited. It’s been way too long. Clark’s all-school reunion will be held and it is a big event. Looks like a lot of people are returning for the once every ten year gala. It’s hard to believe I graduated from there 46 years ago. I began kindergarten in a brand new building at Voss Elementary in 1957, and graduated in the newly built high school in 1969. I enjoyed playing clarinet in band – pictured is myself, Mary Jo Clausen and Diane Gustafson.
I am also excited because on Friday, July 3 from 1-3 pm, there will be a book signing meet and greet at the Clark Flower & Gift Shop in Clark. Might even be interviewed. My sister, B.J. Clausen, will also have her book available for sale. It will be great to see the home place again, see my relatives and friends, and meet up with old classmates. I may even find out a little more history while I’m there.