Bowling Green, MO

The historic James Beauchamp Clark House in Missouri is a museum with restoration to be completed by 2023

CJ Coombs
James Beauchamp Clark House.MustardsMom, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The historic James Beauchamp Clark House has also been referred to as Honey Shuck and "Champ" Clark House. It's now a historic house museum located at 207 East Champ Clark Drive in Bowling Green, Missouri. This house has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

When they moved to the house in 1898, Champ and his wife, Genevieve, named it Honey Shuck,… for the seed-pods of the locust trees in the yard. (Source.)

Bowling Green is the seat of Pike County. According to the 2020 census, the population of Bowling Green was 3,967.

Brief history

The Clark House is located on the east side of Bowling Green. It's a two-story house consisting of a wood-frame structure currently undergoing some external renovation.

The house was built by Ezra Kirkland in 1888. The interior reflects the time when the Clarks lived in the home. The Clarks bought the home in 1898. It's unknown which architect designed this farmhouse-like residence.

There is a stream to the west of the house. At one point the family had a rose garden where another house now stands. A low iron front fence and gate rest in the front yard.

After Clark's ownership of the home, the house was converted into an apartment house. Later, it was acquired by a local non-profit organization and restored as a museum.
'Champ' Clark was a U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives.Fred Hartsook, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

'Champ' Clark

James Beauchamp Clark (b. Mar. 7, 1850, d. Mar. 2, 1921) graduated from Bethany College in 1873, and in 1875, he graduated from Cincinnati Law School. He was city attorney from 1878 to 1881 and prosecuting attorney of Pike County from 1885 to 1889.

On December 14, 1881, Clark married Genevieve Bennett Clark and they had two children, Joel Bennet Clark and Genevieve Clark Thomson. Their son was a Missouri U.S. Senator from 1933 to 1945. Their daughter was a suffragette. She was also a Louisiana House of Representatives candidate.

He was an attorney and a congressman from Missouri’s Ninth District, and from 1911 to 1919, he presided as a Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives.

Clark was from Kentucky. He developed a law practice in Bowling Breen, Missouri. In 1892, he was elected to the House. He lost the seat in 1895, but son it back in 1896. In 1904, he was the chairman of the Democratic National Convention. In 1908, he was the House Minority Leader and after the 1910 elections, he became Speaker of the House. In 1912, he wasn't successful in his attempt to win the presidential nomination. Woodrow Wilson became the Democratic nominee.

While Clark supported Wilson's progressive agenda, he opposed the United States becoming involved with World War I. There were several Democrats who lost the 1920 House elections and Clark was one of them. Two days before he would have left office, he passed away.

Brief tidbits on family history

Clark's parents were John Hampton Clark and Aletha Beauchamp. Interestingly, on his maternal side, his first cousin twice removed was Jereboam Orville Beauchamp, also an attorney who was convicted of murdering Kentucky legislator, Solomon P. Sharp.

Clark is also a direct descendent of John Beauchamp (b. 1585, d. 1655) on his mother's side. Beauchamp, a merchant in London and member of the Plymouth Company, apparently was wealthy enough to help financially support the Mayflower's journey to America.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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