In the September 14, 1911 edition of the Idaho Statesman, there was an article about a rock found by the son of M.D. Yeaman, who was described as a pioneer farmer. Yeaman’s son allegedly found the rock while plowing a field near the headwaters of the South Fork of the Snake River. A scar made by the plow can be seen on the rock. Carved into the sandstone was “Clark 1805.”
In 1805, there were not a lot of people named Clark trekking around what would become Idaho. Speculation grew that William Clark had carved his name into the rock. To historians, the location of the stone seemed too far south for it to have been genuine. Clark documented his travels well, and those documents don’t seem to place him on the South Fork of the Snake. Mr. Yeaman had a theory about that. He thought the stone might have been traded by Indians and found its way to the banks of the Snake.
To confuse things a bit further, the Statesman received a letter a few days later saying a second stone existed. The article is reproduced below.
The story of the rock, or rocks, seemed to die after that. There was a mention of it in the May 1997 issue of We Proceeded On, the official publication of the Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation.
Thanks to Idaho State Historical Society Curator of Collections Sarah Phillips, I can show you a picture of the Clark Rock. She located the rock in their collection and sent me the photo below.