Clark was born on January 7, 1869 to Oren Andrus and Jeannette Clark in Ashford, Connecticut. He was educated in public school and in 1887 graduated from the Connecticut State Normal School (now Central Connecticut State University). Clark taught at a school in Waterville, Connecticut before becoming Principal of Manchester, Connecticut's grade school. In 1891 he enrolled at Williston Seminary. From there he went to Wesleyan University and graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy in 1895.Following his graduation, Clark worked briefly in Hartford as a reporter for The Hartford Post.From there he moved to Washington, D.C. where he became a telegraph editor for the Washington Times.He followed this by a stint as a Washington correspondent for the New York Commercial Advertiser before joining The Sun's Washington bureau in 1897.Clark remained with The Sun until 1909, adding the roles of Washington correspondent for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1900 and The Globe (Toronto) in 1904.Clark married Lucy Harrison Norvell of Washington D.C. on January 15, 1898.