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1979 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Catherine Taft Clark*

Brownberry Ovens, Inc.

"One's actions should be based on useful activities and modeled on constructive matters."

Catherine Taft Clark was born in 1907 in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Her father died when she was eight. Her mother cleaned houses and took in laundry to support the family. When she was old enough, Clark assisted her mother and worked in the principal's office after school. She graduated as valedictorian of her high school class, moved to Milwaukee to work in a department store, and then married. In 1946, unhappy with the quality of bread products available in the grocery stores, Clark convinced her husband they should mortgage their home so that she could start a bakery. Her products, based on a family recipe, were a huge success, and by 1954 she was in large-scale production with a full-sized plant. In 1972, Clark sold her Brownberry Ovens company to the Peavey Company for $5.5 million. She remained chairman of the board of Brownberry and was the first woman on Peavey's board of directors.

* Deceased