Joseph CLARK. This prosperous and intelligent farmer, living on his
homestead on section 27, Saratoga township, Marshall county, was born in
Berkeley county, West Virginia, four miles form Martinsburg, July 25, 1844,
and at the age of eleven years accompanied his parents, William and Jane
(HARPER) CLARK, to Illinois. After a year’s residence in Whitefield
township, Marshall county, in 1856 they removed to Saratoga township, where
they located upon land three quarters of a mile from the present home of our
The father there secured forty acres of land, for which he paid two hundred and fifty dollars down and went in debt fifty dollars. Seven years previous to coming to this state, he had lived in Ohio, from whence he drove to Marshall county, and on his arrival had four hundred and fifty dollars. He thought forty acres was all the land he could ever use, but he later added another forty acre tract for which he paid two thousand dollars. There he made his home until his death in 1878, at the age of sixty-six years, and his widow lived upon the same place until she, too, was called to her final rest in August, 1892, at the advanced age of ninety years. They had four children – Mary, who remained with her mother and is now living in Henry, Illinois; Robert, a farmer of York county, Nebraska; Joseph, of this review; and Thomas, the bridge tender at Henry.
The early life of Joseph CLARK was passed upon the home farm, and after reaching his majority, he began threshing, but still remained a member of the parental household. His first purchase of land consisted of eighty acres in the eastern part of Saratoga township, where he continued to live for seven years, when he came to his present place, which was formerly the old homestead of Thomas DOYLE, his father-in-law. He now has one hundred and sixty acres, on which he has made many valuable and useful improvements. Starting out in life for himself at the age of twenty years, he was able to pay for about half of his first eighty acre tract, the cost price of which was thirty-six hundred dollars, and he had the place cleared and under a high state of cultivation at the end of seven years. For his present farm he paid seventy-one dollars per acre for one hundred and twenty acres of the amount, and fifty dollars per acre for the other forty acres. His wife had received five hundred dollars cash as her part of the estate. Besides general farming, he is also engaged to some extent in the breeding of heavy draft horses.
On the 29th of October, 1875, Mr. CLARK was united in marriage with Miss Matilda DOYLE, who was born in Saratoga township, on the first farm owned by her father in Illinois. They are highly esteemed and respected members of the society which surrounds them, and enjoy the confidence and regard of all who know them. As an enterprising and progressive farmer, Mr. CLARK has no superior in Saratoga township. Politically he is a stalwart republican, but no office-seeker; and socially is a member of Sparland lodge No. 441, F. & A. M., with which he has been connected for eight years, and for two years has belonged to the Eastern Star. He attends the meetings of the lodges quite regularly, and takes a commendable interest in their work.
Extracted April 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.
Joseph CLARK dates his residence in Illinois from 1854 and has lived in Saratoga township, Marshall county, for fifty-one years. Few of its residents have longer remained within its borders and none has made a more creditable record as an honorable and upright farmer. He was born in Berkeley county, West Virginia, about four miles from Martinsburg, on the 25th of July, 1844, and was a lad of eleven years when he left Ohio and came with his parents, William and Jane (HARPER) CLARK, to Illinois. Seven years before they had removed from West Virginia, to Ohio, where they lived until they started for Illinois, driving across the country. They resided in Whitefield township, Marshall county, for a year and in 1856 removed to Saratoga township, settling upon a farm about three quarters of a mile from the present home of Joseph CLARK. The father there secured forty acres of land, for which lie paid fifty dollars down and went in debt fifty dollars. Later he added another forty acres to his farm and paid for that tract two thousand dollars. He continued to make his home thereon until his death, which occurred in 1878 when he was sixty-six years of age, while his wife passed away on that farm in August, 1892, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. They had four children: Mary, who is now living in Henry, Illinois; Robert, a farmer of York county, Nebraska; Joseph; and Thomas, who was the bridge tender at Henry, but is now deceased.
Joseph CLARK was reared to farm life, spending the days of his boyhood and youth in his parents' home. After reaching his majority he began threshing but still remained a member of his father's household. Ambitious to own a farm of his own, he saved his earnings and at length made purchase of eighty acres of land in the eastern part of Saratoga township, whereon he resided for seven years, when he removed to his present place of residence, which was formerly the old homestead of his father-in-law, Thomas DOYLE. He now has one hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he has made many valuable and useful improvements. In fact his is one of the best farms of the locality, equipped with all modern accessories and conveniences.
On the 29th of October, 1874, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. CLARK to Miss Matilda DOYLE, who was born in Saratoga township on the first farm owned by her father in Illinois and has spent her entire life here. This marriage has been blessed with a most interesting and beautiful little daughter, who was born in Saratoga township on the 31st of May, 1897, and to whom they gave the name of Jennie Eliza CLARK. The day of her birth was a most bitterly cold one, memorable in the history of the county as a day on which all of the fruit was killed owing to the excessive frost. The little daughter is a very bright, intelligent girl, now in the fifth grade in the Doyle school. She is the light and life of the household, of cheerful, joyous disposition and obedient nature, never having to be told the second time to do anything. In addition to her school work she is receiving instruction in piano music and she is always among the best in her classes at school.
Mr. and Mrs. CLARK occupy an enviable social position and have a very large circle of friends. Politically he is a stalwart republican but without aspiration for office. Fraternally he is connected with Sparland lodge, No. 441, A. F. & A. M., and both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star. He takes great interest in the work of the craft and is one of its exemplary representatives.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.