Clarkson, J. bt.jpg
Induction Category & YearProfessional 1982
Home TownTucker County, WV
BirthNovember 22, 1866
Tucker County, WV

   James (Al) Clarkson
Champion of Excellence

 James Albert Clarkson was a horse breeder, cattleman, and developer of the 4-state area of the corners of South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota.

Clarkson came to what is now South Dakota in 1888, stopping in the Whitewood and Fruitdale areas. He worked as a ranch hand in Fruitdale and St. Onge until he bought some cattle and horses. With a few cattle and a purchased squatter's right, he built a ranch in the Cave Hills country. <p>Al Clarkson, as he was known, ranched in and around the Cave Hills. On May 15, 1909, he married Lelia Ashburn. The couple had 4 children. <p>Prior to WWI, Al was one of the west's largest horse ranchers. After the war and the decline in the use of horses due to farm mechanization, he ran cattle and sheep on the open range until the homesteaders arrived. <p>Clarkson often helped young men get a start by letting them run some cattle with his own herds while they worked for wages, either for him or for someone else. <p>Seeing the need for a bank to serve the area, Al and his brother founded the Buffalo State bank.

Home Town (Tucker County, WV)
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