Cal. Stark was the nom-de-plume used by Caroline May Bruggeman Stark. She was born in Alton, Illinois and had sufficient musical training to be employed as a sheet music demonstrator in the Boston Department Store in St. Louis, Missouri where she met her future husband, William P. Stark, the son of the ragtime publisher, John Stark
. Her best known composition was undoubtedly They Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dawg Aroun'
(1912) which she wrote using the Cy Perkins
as a pseudonym. The song, lyrics Webb M. Oungst, was used initially as the official campaign song for Missouri's Presidential Candidate, James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark. Subject to many legal proceedings the song was widely used and was adopted by the Second Missouri Infantry as their marching song. It was even proposed as a state song for Missouri. Cal. Stark was eventually acknowledged as the composer of the work after an appeals court decision.
Of ragtime interest is her Comus
(1904). She died in Kirkwood, Missouri.