Samuel C. Black founded Black and Clark Funeral Home under the name of S.C. Black Undertaking in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas in 1914 and C. J. Clark didn't begin to work for his uncle until 13 years later in 1927.
When World War I was declared in 1917, Clark started on a series of jobs that little by little, heightened his professionalism in the trade he had chosen. He was conscious of the need to support his mother and younger brother and sisters so he side-stepped the temptation to go West and North to high paying jobs in the steel plants and railroad companies and stayed in Texas to perfect his trade, a more secure move. With only a limited education, C.J. Clark accepted a job with the Crawford Undertaking Company and attended the Crawford Gunter Embalming School. While continuing his embalming training at night, in 1920 he worked for Sears & Roebuck Company.
C. J. Clark
In 1924, C.J. Clark was hired at Dallas Coffin Company. That same year, Clark's uncle opened his funeral home in North Dallas. Eleven years later, Clark quit the Dallas Coffin Company and joined his uncle full time.
In 1935, C.J. Clark became partners with Samuel Black and the first Black & Clark Funeral Home was built.
Samuel Black died in 1939 and in 1945, C.J. Clark purchased his uncle's share of the partnership from Mrs. Black and became sole owner.
Under the leadership of C.J. Clark, a dynasty was born. C.J. Clark's philosophy of doing business was simple; provide the community with courtesy, kindness, integrity and above all honesty. With this philosophy in mind, Black & Clark became one of the leading funeral homes in the Dallas area. In 1968, C.J. Clark opened an impressive modern facility in Oak Cliff located at 2517 E. Illinois. Black & Clark now had two locations to service the community (in both the northern and southern sectors of town).
While attending Mary Allen College, Otis Clark, son of C.J. Clark, was drafted during World War II and received an honorable discharge. Upon returning home, he attended Prairie View University and majored in Business.
In 1948, he joined the family business. He attended the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and received his Funeral Director's License in 1960.
After working in every capacity of the business, Otis Clark was made Manager in 1982. Keeping with tradition, Gary Clark, Otis Clark's son, joined the family business in 1978 and became a licensed Funeral Director in 1988.
C.J. Clark died in 1983 leaving Otis Clark in charge of running the business. Otis Clark ran the family business with a staff of 14, the oldest employee having over 46 years of service. Otis Clark died April 3, 1999.
On February 28, 2006, Black and Clark was purchased by Linda Mitchell. Minority shareholders include Emanuel Pruitt, Gary Clark, and Johnny Wilson.