Simon John Clarke

 

Not much is known about Simon John Clarke's actual career in the NWMP other than the fact that he joined in 1876 and was stationed at both Fort Macleod and Fort Calgary.

After leaving the force he settled in Calgary and was involved in both business and politics in the community. He was an alderman on two occasions; in 1884 and for the period of 1905 - 1907. While he was an alderman in the 1880's, Clarke was embroiled in a power struggle between the supporters of two rival mayoralty contenders, George Murdoch and James Riley. The Riley faction was supported by the controversial (and some say dictatorial) magistrate, Jeremiah Travis.

At one point, on orders from Travis, the police raided Clarke's Saloon and arrested him for illegally selling alcohol. Judge Travis sentenced Clarke to a jail term even though the evidence was in Clarke's favour. During the trial, the Editor of the Calgary Herald (who supported Clarke) was jailed for contempt of court. Eventually, Travis was removed from the bench following protests by the citizens of Calgary.

Clarke owned the Castle Mountain Billiard Hall and Saloon on 8th Ave. and 2nd St. S.E. and the Queen's Hotel (built on the same site) and later became the superintendent of Banff National Park.

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