After its formation in 1856, the Board of State Capitol Commissioners immediately solicited architectural designs for the proposed state capitol building. On August 13, 1856, the commissioners accepted the architectural plans of Reuben Clark, an architect from San Francisco. Unfortunately, construction lasted little more than a week before financial difficulties halted the project. When the commission met again in 1860, they accepted the plans of a different architect, M.F. Butler, but appointed Reuben Clark to the post of Supervising Architect. Clark served in this capacity for five years.
In 1865, approximately a month after the assassination of President Lincoln, the Union League sent a report to the Board of State Capitol Commissioners concerning Clark’s loyalty to the Union. The Union League alleged that Clark made inflammatory statements to state capitol employees regarding Lincoln’s election to a second term in 1864. The League also charged that Clark “knowingly employed and retained outspoken secessionists as workmen on the aforesaid State Capitol building”. Identification Information: F3580:22, Board of State Capitol Commissioners.