Elias Clark

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 522-523, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Elias Clark, a prosperous retired farmer and an esteemed pioneer citizen of Cooperstown, Illinois, was born in Virginia in 1808.
  His parents were Josiah and Jane (Adams) Clark, both natives of the Old Dominion. The latter was a daughter of John Adams, a native of Maryland, who removed to Virginia in an early day, but who later returned to his native State. By this marriage there were ten children, six sons and four daughters. The devoted wife and mother died in middle life, and was buried on the old farm in Virginia. The father afterward married again, his second wife being Lucy Menifee, a native of Pennsylvania, who belonged to a large and prominent family in that State. By this marriage there were also ten children, eight sons and two daughters, most of whom are still living and reside in Ohio.
  The subject of this sketch spent his boyhood on the home farm in Virginia, and had but few educational advantages, having attended the subscription schools but for a short time. He was trained to drive four and five horses by one line, riding one of the wheel horses, and in this manner made many long trips to Washington, District of Columbia, Fredericksburg and Falmouth, on the Potomac. He made one trip to Baltimore, a distance of 100 miles, with ten barrels of flour, and returned with merchandise. He counts these as among his happiest days, when, in company with other teamsters, he would camp out in his wagon at night.
  In 1835, he and his father and family moved from Virginia to Ohio with a covered wagon and a team of horses, the party numbering thirteen persons. His father and family settled on eighty acres of timbered land, the timber being mostly chestnut and dogwood. Here they resided until the venerable man died. He was well into the nineties at the time of his death, about 1850.
  In the fall of 1851, Mr. Clark sold his Ohio farm and removed to Illinois which was then the frontier of civilization. He was accompanied by his wife and eight children, six sons and two daughters. The long journey was made overland with two lumber wagons and two double teams of horses, and was rendered exceedingly tedious on account of bad weather and miserable roads, in addition to which his children were taken sick with the ague. He inquired on the way for a healthy location, and was directed to Adams county, Illinois. Before reaching there he rented a house east of Mt. Sterling, where he and his family remained until the following spring. He then rented the farms of two brothers, Henry and Mike Huffman, who were going to California. He was to reap the wheat, which was then half grown, and this helped him to a good start, as he realized therefrom 250 bushels as his share. This was a windfall to him, as he had little or no means, and it secured for him bread and seed for the following year. One of his sons worked in a tanyard and earned the price of two cows, which then cost $10. His other son took a job of clearing timber from some land, and drew the wood to market. Thus all put their shoulder to the wheel until brighter days dawned upon them.
  Mr. Clark afterward rented an old farm of 160 acres, which was a part of his present place. He lived there two years, when he built a good brick house on his own farm, his house having an excellent cellar under the whole of it. He paid $1,000 for 160 acres, and most of it was wild and covered with brush. He now has 140 acres of this under good cultivation, while twenty acres are of timber, which is planted with blue grass, which makes good pasture. He has fertilized his land with clover, and grows about forty acres each of corn and wheat, realizing as high as forty bushels of wheat to an acre, and sixty and seventy bushels of corn. He has ceased, for some years, from active labors on his place, although still enjoying fair health.
  His first wife died, aged nearly seventy years, and is buried on the farm. They had seven children, three of whom are living: Joseph W., died May 31, 1859, leaving a wife and three children; Elias died in Ohio, when an infant, in January, 1842; Jonah was stabbed at Cooperstown, Virginia, when twenty-one years of age, and died November 29, 1859; Moses was a volunteer in the Civil war, and died March 7, 1871, aged twenty-eight years; Martin, also a volunteer in the late war, passed through the conflict in safety to return home and meet with an accident by which he lost a leg in a threshing machine. He is now farming on his father's land. This son and two daughters are the only living children. One daughter, Tabitha, now Mrs. George Kendrick, lives on a farm near Mt. Sterling, and has four children; Massy J., the other daughter, is the wife of George Hollis, a prosperous farmer, who lives in Gibson City, this State; they have eight sons.
  Mr. Clark's present wife, with whom he has lived ten years, was the widow of William Lozden. Her maiden name was Eliza Curlew, and she was born in Kentucky, in 1835, and was reared on the frontier in Missouri, when the aborigines were plentiful. She had seven children by her former marriage, four sons and three daughters.
  Politically, Mr. Clark has been a Democrat until recently, and now votes independently, regardless of politics. Religiously, his faith for twenty-five years has been that of the Methodist Church, to which he renders much valuable assistance.
  These are a few of the most prominent events of an eminently busy and useful life, which is deservedly crowned with prosperity and the esteem of his fellow-men.

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