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John Clark was born November 13, 1828 in Gunthorpe, Norfolk County England, the son of James and Phoebe (Newton) Clark.

John came to America when he was 7 years old with his parents and four sisters, Margaret, Elizabeth, Martha, and Emily. The family sailed from Yarmouth, England in the spring of 1835 on the ship "Brunswick". With stops in Quebec and Montreal they made their way to New York and probably arrived there sometime in July.

For the first three years the Clarks lived in Genesee County NY where his father, James, worked  for a General Wadsworth. After he had saved enough money the family moved west to Illinois, settling in the town of Kishwaukee in Winnebago County. The town's name was later changed to New Milford.

About 1845. John's grandparents, James and Elizabeth (Scheft) Clark, along with two uncles, Samuel and Robert Clark with their families and two cousins, Jonathon and James Clark, also immigrated to the US joining them in  Illinois. On August 17, 1847 John's father purchased 80 acres of farm land in Seward, township, about 3 1/2 miles from Rockford, IL. In September of that same year he purchased an additional 40 acres adjoining the 80. He built a log home at first then later a larger home as the family grew. John's uncles, Samuel and Robert Clark, also purchased farms nearby and his grandparents lived with his uncle Robert and his wife Susan. His cousins, Jonathan and James Clark, eventually purchased farms of their own.

James and Phoebe Clark were the parents of 11 children:  

Margaret Clark who married 1. Nelson Bates and 2. Wm Withers
John Clark who married Esther Palmer
Elizabeth Clark who married 1. Aurial Butts and 2. Henry Hibbard
Martha Clark, Died young unmarried
Emily Clark, Died young unmarried
Robert W. Clark who married Mary Locke
James Newton Clark who married Eunice Coolidge
Isaac B. Clark who died in the Civil War, unmarried.
Franklin M. Clark who married Eliza Coolidge (sister of Eunice Coolidge)
Newell D. Clark who married Salome Anderson 
Doane O. Clark who married Kathleen Broadie 

John Clark was married to Esther Palmer in Winnebago County, IL on December 26, 1852. John was a blacksmith by trade. He also repaired and manufactured carriages on his farm in Seward.  Their five children, Ella, Walter, Frederick, Luther, and Charles were all born in Seward, Il. Esther (Palmer) had moved to Seward in 1849 with her father, Roswell, and step-mother Anna (Parker) Palmer and brothers and sisters, from Norwich, CT.  Roswell Palmer was married 3 times and the father of 15 children from his three marriages.  He died in Seward Illinois in 1860 and is buried at the Twelve Mile Grove Cemetery.

In 1868 John and Esther were persuaded to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota where Esther's half-sister, Abbie Palmer Woodward, and her husband, Jasper, had previously moved.  John opened a blacksmith and carriage making shop again, which he operated until his death.  John died on Sept 11, 1902 and Esther died January 2, 1911. 

Submitted by Claudia Schuman