John Joseph Earnest Clarke came to Canada from Ireland in 1907. He worked for the CPR in Winnipeg and Calgary and in 1910 married Ileen Leechman, who was also from Ireland. The Clarke family came to Grande Prairie in 1911. The couple made their home with only a few other buildings in the area, and rows of white survey stakes. In March 1917, their son Harold was born. He was the first white child to be born in Grande Prairie. A group of Cree natives came to the house soon after the birth, and presented the Clarkes with this pair of baby moccasins.