Dr. Eugene Clark Library

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History

Over a Century of Service to the Community

Dr. Eugene Clark Library

The History 

This Unique and historically significant building was built with a $10,000 bequest from Dr. Eugene Clark. Dr. Clark was a native of New Orleans, and his father died on the battlefield during the Civil War when Dr. Clark was only three. Mr. Clark's life-long friend E.H. Purcell was with him as he lay dying and Mr. Clark requested that Purcell take care of his wife and son. Three years later Mrs. Clark lay on deathbed. She entrusted the care of her young son to her dearest friend Miss H.M. Young. Miss Young raised the boy as if he were her own and Mr. Purcell watched over the progress of the young boy as he grew.

The Young Clark was a great satisfaction to both Miss Young and Mr. Purcell. He graduated from Tulane Medical School with the highest honors and did his residency at Charity Hospital. He graduated in May of 1883 and came to Lockhart.

He entered practice with Dr. Lancaster, but Lancaster soon abandoned his practice, leaving the 21 year old Clark to handle the practice alone. He Practiced medicine for 13 years in Lockhart and during this time a mutual love between Dr. Clark and the town grew.

While practicing in San Antonio, Dr. Clark became very ill. He went to New York for surgery. On his way to New York he came through Lockhart to see his old friends. In New York his condition was pronounced incurable and he left to return to the only home he had known in New Orleans. On his deathbed, with Mr. Purcell and Miss Young by his side, he dictated a will specifying that the citizens of Lockhart should have a library and lyceum. His will left $10,000 to the people of Lockhart, of which $6,000 was to be used for construction, $1,000 to buy books and the remainder was to be put in a trust to maintain the building and purchase new books.