THOMAS J. CLARK was born in Huntsville township, Schuyler county, September 16, 1853. His father, Harrison, was born in Logan county, Kentucky, February 15, 1811, and he was the son of Abner Clark. The father of our subject was reared and married in his native township and resided there until 1833, when he emigrated to Illinois. He was accompanied by his wife and child, and his brother-in-law, Mr. Wilgus, and family. They owned a wagon together, and each one had his own horse, and in this way made an overland journey to Illinois and located in Schuyler county. When he landed here his entire wealth consisted in his interest in the wagon, his horse and $150. He lived at Mount Sterling one year, then entered a tract of Government land in what is now Huntsville township, Schuyler county. He wanted a quarter section of land, but that would have cost more money than he had, consequently he entered eighty acres, and as soon as he obtained the money he entered the remainder of the quarter. As every other settler, he first built a log cabin on the place and commenced to improve his farm. For several years there were no railroads, and he hauled his wheat to Quincy, forty miles away. He commenced very soon to deal in stock, and was very successful both as a stock dealer and a farmer. He continued to purchase land until he had about 500 acres. Here he continued until his death in 1883. His wife was named Lydia Coffman, of Hardin county, Kentucky, born August 3, 1815. Her parents came from Germany, and were early settlers of Kentucky. She died in 1860.
Thomas was educated in Schuyler county, and two years at Lincoln University. In 1875 he went to Sedgwick county, Kansas, purchased a farm twelve miles from Wichita and there engaged in farming for two years, when he went into Wichita and engaged in the grain business. He remained there two years and then went to McPherson, where he engaged in the same business, there built an elevator and shipped the first car load of grain ever shipped from that station. After two years he returned to Illinois and purchased the farm where he now resides in Pea Ridge township. It contains 240 acres, and is one of the finest in the county.
He was married in 1874, to Virginia, daughter of John S. Anderson. She was born in Huntsville township. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have seven children: Helen, Arthur R., Chester L., John H., Paul, Mary A. and Stanley.
Mr. Clark joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church when sixteen years of age, and is an Elder in the church and has officiated both as Superintendent and teacher in the Sunday school. Politically he is a stanch Republican, and is a member of the County Central Committee. In 1890 he was special agent of the Government to make note of the recorded indebtedness of the Twelfth Congressional District. He has served several terms as Secretary of the Mount Sterling Mutual Insurance Company, which office he now holds. Mr. Clark is well read, keeps posted on all general questions, is also a forcible writer, and is one of the prominent men of the township.