Biography - William J Clark

WILLIAM J. CLARK. To the city-bred man or woman who from childhood has heard of the remarkable progress of the Central States and has been constantly reading of the wonderful improvements made by various pioneers whose names wander promiscuously through the alphabet from A to X Y Z. it seems almost incredible that as late as 1871 large tracts of prairie land were taken up. the land being at that time in a perfectly wild and uncultivated state. While the progress of our country and especially the improvements in its agricultural districts are unquestionable, the fact also remains that the country is one of such magnificent distances thai Uere are yet opportunities for bright and energetic young men to experience pioneer life, although not. perhaps, in the sense in which the settlers of the '30s and '40s experienced it, with its privations, makeshifts and entire absence of congenial society.
Our subject located on his present farm on sections 21, 28 and 29, of Flat Branch Township, in 1871. It comprises one hundred and sixty acres, and at the time of his purchase was in a crude, undeveloped, uncultivated state, its most luxurious product being that enemy of the farmers — field daisies, with a multitude of other prairie flowers. Before securing this farm he had improved one on section 21, having come to the township and county in 1854, with his father. The latter purchased and improved a new farm, upon which he died.
Our subject was born in Warren County, Ohio, on the 29th of October, 1836. He is a son of William R. Clark, who was born in Hamilton County. His early training was that of a farmer lad. and when he reached manhood, like a majority of young men. he took the most important Step of his life, that of marriage, his wife's maiden name being Miss Nancy Berger. They were married about 1830. The lady is a native of Virginia although of German parentage and ancestry. She had come to Ohio with her father and mother when quite young and was reared in Warren County.
The original of our sketch, with ten brothers and sisters, came by the overland route with his parents to Illinois in 1854. Their home during the journey hither was in the old-time prairie schooner, and it was after a long and tedious journey that they landed here. They began making their home in the new State on section 21, where the father and mother both afterward died, the former passing away in September, 1889, at the age of eighty-seven years. He was a Democrat in polities and a hearty co-worker in all progressive causes. His wife died four years before her husband, at the age of seventy-nine years.
Our subject is one of a pair of twins. He became of age after coming to this township, and was here married to Ann E. Scott, his marriage taking place in December, 1864. The lady was born in Knox County, Ind., February 1, 1835. She is a daughter of Charles and Sarah (Weidner) Scott, natives of Indiana and Virginia respectively. They met and married in Indiana, where they spent the whole of their married lives. Mr. Scott died in 1844, at the age of fifty-six. Mrs. Scott survived her husband by a good many years, passing away in 1877. She was born in 1796. Both she and her husband were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mrs. Clark is one of a large family of eleven children. She was reared to womanhood in her county, and there enjoyed very good educational advantages, finishing her school course at Lebanon, Ind. She is the mother of but one child, Charles S., who was graduated at the Valparaiso (Ind.) Normal School, and was later connected with the county offices, holding successively positions in the County Clerk's office, that of County Treasurer and also with the Circuit Clerk. He is now engaged as the operator of a farm, in which he is very successful.
Mr. Clark has for some years past devoted himself chiefly to the raising of horses, mainly roadsters, and has acquired quite a reputation throughout the county for breeding fine animals. Mrs. Clark is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Clark and son are Democrats in politics.

Extracted 07 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 196-197.

Templates in Time