Architectural Styles / Designated Landmark
Secor Clarke House
318 Pratt Street
Landmark Designation: 1999
Construction Date: 1891
Architectural Style: Second
This home was constructed in 1891 for Judge
Franklin Pearce Secor and his family. Martin Barb, a local contractor
and brick maker, built the two story home the same year that Secor, lawyer,
judge and civic leader, was elected to the Colorado Legislature.
Secor was born in Racine, Wisconsin in 1852. Raised on a farm, he attached
Wisconsin Normal School and then Michigan State University. After five years
as a teacher and school principal in Wisconsin, he came to Longmont in 1881
where he studied law and joined the law firm of Byron L. Carr. Carr, a Chicago-Colorado
Colonist, was later elected Colorado Attorney General at which time Franklin
Secor became Assistant Attorney General. Secor was subsequently elected a
Boulder County Judge and in 1891 was elected as a Republican to the Eight
In 1898 Secor and his family moved to Chicago for several years and sold
their home to successful local farmer, George Clark.
In 1898 Clark moved his wife and family into the house after years of economic
struggles were behind him and he had been for some time a successful local
farmer. Born in Shropshire England in 1849, Clark left his father's farm at
the age of 21 and sailed to America. He spent two years working on a farm
in Connecticut where he met and married Margaret Thurrott. Soon the couple
headed west and, in 1873 they and their infant daughter, Alma, moved to the
two-year old town of Longmont in the Colorado Territory.
Arriving in "close circumstances, Mr. Clark took any work he could find
as a general laborer and the couple lived first in the Sigley Hotel on Main
Street and later in two tiny houses on Coffman and Pratt Streets. After a
couple of years, Clark had saved enough to buy stock and equipment and lease
a tract of farmland Northeast of town. The family moved to the country and
into a three-room log cabin on the farm. In the years that followed, Clark's
diligence and innovative farming methods paid dividends. Soon the "Clark
Farm" was a productive 320-acre concern, and the family built a substantial
frame house (which still stands on Ninth Avenue just east of the YMCA). Two
more children were born on the farm, Ethel in 1882 and son, Lynn in 1887.
George continued to farm and invest and acquired other farmland and real estate
holdings in town as well. In 1898 he added the house at 318 Pratt Street to
In 1911, George died of typhoid fever and his son, Lynn assumed responsibility
for managing the family farms and business interests. Lynn's mother remarried
and continued to live in the home until her death in 1939.
Lynn continued to manage the family farm and other business interest in addition
to his regular duties as a rural mail carrier. In 1946 he married Helen Noble
Stapp, who worked for both the local school district and the Longmont National
After Lynn's retirement, he and Helen traveled extensively, but always returned
to the home on Pratt Street.
After Lynn's death in 1962, Helen created the Lynn W. Clark Memorial Scholarship
that provides yearly assistance to a selected graduate of Longmont High School.
Among Helen's many charitable gifts were generous annual donations to the
City of Longmont for the improvement and maintenance of Clark Centennial Park
which is located on part of the Clark Family Farm which Lynn loved so much.
In 1986, Helen deed the Clark home to the St. Vrain Historical Society, retaining
a life estate in the residence and continuing to reside there until her death
in 1993. The Historical Society presently rents the home as a single-family