SAMUEL CLARK, who carries on general farming and stock-raising on section 28, Staunton Township, is a representative of one of the early families of the county. He now lives upon a part of the old homestead where almost his entire life has been passed, having been brought to this State when a child of only a few months. He was born in County Dare, Ireland, on the 8th of June, 1842, of which county his parents, William and Eliza (Little) Clark, were also natives. The Clark family is of Scotch-Irish origin and in the neighborhood of his birth the father of our subject grew to manhood and was married. Some years later, with their family, numbering three children, they started for America, crossing the Atlantic in a sailing vessel, which after several weeks reached New York Harbor in safety. They at once came on to Illinois, traveling by water to Alton, and thence across the prairie with teams to Staunton Township, Macoupin County, where Mr. Clark entered eighty acres of land from the Government. The family began life in true pioneer style in a little log cabin which the father had built and the efforts of Mr. Clark and his sons were devoted to clearing and improving the land. He sold after eighteen years and made purchase of one hundred and sixty acres on sections 27 and 28, Staunton Township, part of which is now occupied by our subject. Again he performed the arduous task of converting raw prairie into rich and fertile fields and the pleasant home which he there made continued to be his place of abode until his death, which occurred January 17, 1878, at the very advanced age of ninety-seven years. He had been very successful in his business operations and in the second farm which he developed owned two hundred and forty acres of valuable land. An honest and industrious man, he lived in harmony with his professions as a member of the Presbyterian Church and when called to his final rest many sincere friends mourned his loss. In politics he was a supporter of Republican principles. His wife, who still survives him, is likewise a member of the Presbyterian Church and is living with her younger son at the age of seventy-five years.
The early life of our subject passed uneventfully. As soon as old enough he began work upon the farm and during the summer months labored at home, while in the winter season he attended the district schools of the neighborhood where his education was acquired. Having arrived at years of maturity he began business on his own account and as a helpmate on life's journey chose Miss Eleanor Williamson, their wedding being celebrated in Madison County. The lady was born in County Donegal, Ireland, in 1846, and is a daughter of John and Mary (Gallagher) Williamson, natives of the same country, and both descendants of Protestant families. At length they bade good-by to their native land and in 1857 with their five children crossed the broad ocean to America, landing in Philadelphia, Pa., whence they went to St. Louis, coming on to Macoupin County immediately afterwards. Upon a small farm in Mt. Olive Township they began life in the New World and there Mr. and Mrs. Williamson resided until having become too old to work they went to the home of their children in Olive Township, Madison County, where the father died at the age of eighty-four years. There the mother is still living with her three sons at the age of seventy-five. They united with the Presbyterian Church in early life and are numbered among the respected citizens of this community.
Only one child has been born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Clark , Alice R., who is a bright young maiden. The mother is a member of the Covenanters' Presbyterian Church and to its support Mr. Clark contributes, although he does not belong. In politics he is a Republican and whatever tends to elevate or upbuild the community is sure of his hearty sympathy and co-operation. He is numbered among the practical and progressive farmers of Staunton Township and owns one hundred and twenty acres of good land, a part of the old homestead which he developed from its primitive condition. His pleasant and tasty residence has in the rear good barns and outbuildings and surrounding these are well tilled fields, while an additional forty acres of timber land in Staunton Township is also the property of Mr. Clark.