Clara Campbell, the Stone House, and The Hulls

Clara Louk & Hezekiah S. Campbell with children, Fay, Maud & Myron
Clara Campbell (right) with first husband Hezekiah and their first three children.

Clara was born in Orleans, New York to Timothy and Eleanor Lauck (Louck) in July 1861. There are multiple spellings of her maiden name. She was the sixth of eight children (United State Census 1865 and New York State Census 1875). There isn’t much about her childhood. Her family moved around New York until she married Hezekiah Campbell in 1878.

The couple was married in Wayland, New York. They had eight children. Based on census records, sometime between 1900 and 1905, Hezekiah left the family (United State Census 1900 and New York census 1905). While in Ogden, Utah, Clara filed for divorce from Hezekiah in 1908 (Deseret Evening News 08/22 1908 Page 8).

After the divorce, Clara and the three youngest children left for Almo, Idaho, where her daughter and son-in-law lived. When living in Almo, Clara filed for 160-acres under the Homestead Act of 1862. Under the Homesteading Act citizens had to improve the land and live on it for five years. After the five years, they were able to file for their patent (land deed). The landowner was required to provide witness statements establishing proof of residence (National Archives 2021).

For a woman to apply for a homestead patent, she had to be the head of the household which meant she was single, widowed, divorced, or deserted. If a woman was married, the husband was considered the head of the household and therefore the only one that can apply for a homestead.

In order to prove-up on her homestead claim, Clara planted barley (which failed), oats, and vegetables. She also constructed a log house with a dirt roof. In 1910, before being issued the final proof on her homestead, Clara remarried (Wedding Marriage License of Clara Campbell and Samuel Banford 1910). When she went to complete her patent her witnesses stated (correctly!) that she was currently married. Per the rules, this made her ineligible to homestead and her patent was denied. Clara then had 30 days to furnish an affidavit showing that she had been unmarried while proving-up on the homestead.

After submitting the affidavit, Clara did eventually receive the final certificate on April 28, 1911. Clara sold her homestead to Job Adams sometime before 1919 and moved to Ogden (Department of Interior Homesteading file of Clara Campbell 1909-1911 and United State Census 1920). Clara lived with her husband in Ogden until her death in 1929. She died from complications of diabetes (Death Certificate of Clara Campbell 1929).
Tracy House Ruins in City of Rocks
Ruins of the Tracy Hull House

City of Rocks

The Stone House, also known as the Tracy or Hull House, is located in Circle Creek Basin within City of Rocks. The house was built in 1904 by the Tracy family and then John Hull purchased it in 1909. John, his wife Jennie Maud (Clara's daughter) and their extended family, friends, and staff worked the ranch for nine years.

Following the Hulls, the house passed through a few different families in the valley. The Elwell -Nicholson family are the most recent owners of the ranch. The ruins you see today within the reserve, are the result of vandals burning the house in the 1960's.
1924 HULL, Maudie Mae (b 1918) age 6 with sister Clara Hull age 4 in family Vaudeville act
1924 HULL, Maudie Mae (b 1918) age 6 with sister Clara Hull age 4 in family Vaudeville act; Kaye Starr Thompson Heninger

Jennie Maud Campbell married John Henry Hull when she was 19 and they quickly moved to Almo. John had two boys from his first marriage and Jennie Maud treated them like her own. Her and John had four more children while they were living in the Stone House.

John was a musician as well as a rancher. He started a band with other folks in Almo and they would play for special events like the Fourth of July. Other times they would set up on the porch of the Stone House and play there.

Ranching in City of Rocks was difficult. Unpredictable weather and water availability made life hard on the family. By 1916, they were done. John sold the ranch and bought a Model T Ford. The entire family piled in and they moved to California. In a drastic change from their ranching past, the family ended up becoming popular on the vaudeville scene!

Ranching the Measure of our Creation – A Grand Experience: Vol VI by Kaye Starr Thompson

Last updated: September 22, 2023

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Mailing Address:

City of Rocks National Reserve
P.O. Box 169

Almo, ID 83312



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