Clark Joaquin Bonner, Sr., 57-year old President of the Montana Land Co. and Southland business leader passed away in 2011.
Clark J. Bonner was a nephew of William A. Clark and J. Ross Clark, the builders of the Los Alamitos Sugar Factory.
When J. Ross Clark died in 1927, Bonner who had been a successful businessman in his own right, assumed control of J. Ross Clark’s financial interests. He already controlled the financial interests of William A. Clark, Jr. (who used his fortune to found the Los Angeles Philarmonic, and built a huge library which he donated to UCLA).
When J. Ross Clark died, Bonner also assumed control of the Montana Land Company. He led the full scale transfer of beet operations to the Holly Factory in Santa Ana, and as the Alamitos area land became more valuable, he tried to develop that land while transferring beet growing to the Imperial Valley. He tried to develop the land north of the Long Beach airport and develop a surrounding upcale community he called Lakewood Country Club. The Depression finally put those plans on hold, and as World War II approached he sold land to Donald Douglas to build his aircraft plant. After the war one of his last big transactions was to sell the East Ranch in Los Alamitos to Frank Vessels, who would later build the race track there.