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Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company

Page 564

SAMUEL S. CLARK, a retired merchant living in Bunker Hill, is numbered among the honored pioneers of that city, of December, 1840, his residence there covering a period of more than half a century. He came to Macoupin County from the Empire State, where he had sojourned for a few years after leaving Massachusetts, the State of his nativity. He was born in New Braintree, Worcester County, December 4, 1806, and is descended from one of the early New England families. His father, James Clark, was born in the town of Mansfield, Conn., and learned the trade of cabinetmaker. Throughout the greater part of his life he engaged in the furniture business, but after his emigration to the West followed farming. In 1840 he accompanied our subject to Macoupin County, and secured a piece of open prairie land north of Bunker Hill, where he developed and improved a farm, making it his home for sixteen years, when in 1856 he went to the city, where his last days were spent. He passed away in 1858, at the age of seventy-five. He was a successful business man, and took a prominent part in all public affairs. His first wife was in her maidenhood Mary Shumway, a Massachusetts lady, who came of a good family. She died in 1839, while they were living in New York City, being then fifty-six years of age. She left four children, but two have since died - Mary, who became the wife of S. J. Bacon, and died in New York City; and Nancy, who became the wife of Moses True, one of the oldest settlers, and for years one of the most prominent men of Bunker Hill. He is also now deceased. She died in 1875, leaving one son, James C. True, of Wichita, Kan. The surviving members of the family are Samuel S. and James. The latter married Laura Sanford, and is now engaged in the manufacture of cider in St. Louis, Mo. After James Clark came to Illinois, he was a second time married, Mrs. Mary (Spooner) Daniels, of North Brookfield, Mass., becoming his wife. She died in 1863 at the age of seventy-five years. Mr. Clark and his two wives were all devoted members and active workers in the Congregational Church.

We now take up the personal history of our subject, who has so long been prominently connected with the history of Macoupin County. Under the parental roof the days of his boyhood and youth were passed, and he learned the trade which his father had followed. In West Brookfield he led to the marriage altar, in 1838, Miss Jane S. Pritchard, who was born in that place in 1814. They began their domestic life in the East, but after two years, following the course of human emigration which was steadily flowing Westward, they landed in Bunker Hill, and Mr. Clark embarked in the mercantile business. His wife was not long permitted to enjoy her new home, for her death occurred in 1844. She was a most estimable woman and a member of the Congregational Church. Three children were born of her marriage, but all died in childhood.

It was in Jacksonville, Ill., that Mr. Clark led to the marriage altar Miss Phoebe Pierson, who was born in Cedarville, N.J., March 28, 1818, and is a daughter of Dr. Daniel C. And Naomi C. (Nixon) Pierson. They were natives of the same State and were married in Cumberland County. In 1833 they emigrated with their family to Illinois, and for a time lived upon a farm until Dr. Pierson bought out the drug business of a Mr. Ayres, carrying on the store for some years. Later he built a grist mill in Jacksonville, and on selling out, removed to Augusta, Hancock County, Ill.,where he died in 1857, at the age of sixty-five years. He was a prominent man wherever he lived and won many friends. His wife went to Kansas, where she made her home with her son George until her death in 1884, at the age of eighty-four years. The Doctor and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church, and had a large family of children, of whom six are yet living.

Mrs. Clark was carefully reared, and in Jacksonville obtained an excellent education. In an early day she came to Bunker Hill to teach school, being one of the first teachers of the place, and here gave her hand to Mr. Clark. The marriage, however, was celebrated in Jacksonville. This worthy and respected couple are active workers in the Congregational Church, in which for twenty-four years our subject has filled the office of Clark. He has also filled the office of Town Clerk six years, and School Treasurer, having served in the latter position since 1869, and is the present incumbent. In politics he is a stalwart Republican and is a prominent and well-known citizen of the community. In his business life he has formed an extensive acquaintance. Soon after locating in Bunker Hill, Mr. Clark became associated with Maj. P. C. Huggins in the mercantile trade, which connection was continued for four years, when our subject embarked in business on his own account as a general merchant. His courteous treatment and fair dealing soon won hm a liberal patronage, and he became a prosperous citizen of the community. As his financial resources increased, he made judicious investments in real estate, and when he had acquired a handsome property, he laid aside business cares and is now living in the enjoyment of the fruits of former toil. Although in his eighty-fifth year, Mr. Clark is superintending the remodeling of a house.

1891 Index

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