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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


REV. WILLIAM SUMMERFIELD CLARK. The earlier years of the subject of this notice indicated that his life would be spent largely in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but an inscrutable Providence, seemed to direct otherwise, and on account of failing health he was obliged to abandon a work which lay very near his heart. Then turning his attention to agricultural pursuits as the best means of building up a constitution never extremely robust, he established himself on section 24, township 13, range 12, Scott County, where he has developed a fine farm and is living amidst the quiet enjoyment of rural life. Not far from this property is his father's old homestead, where he was born Oct. 22, 1837.

Edward J. Clark, the father of our subject, was born in Washington County, West Virginia, whence he migrated to this region as early as 1834 and took up a tract of land in Manchester Precinct from which he removed in 1837 to that which now constitutes the old homestead. There he spent the remainder of his life, passing away Jan. 30, 1889. The mother, Mrs. Sarah (Smith) Clark, was also a native of Washington County, in the Old Dominion, and the parental household included seven children, viz: Mary C., now Mrs. Peter Clark; William, our subject; Margaret, Mrs. Van Tyle; Virginia, Mrs. Hughes; Lucintha, Isabelle and Lizzie, Mrs. Smith.

The subject of this notice pursued his first studies at the old-fashioned school-house in his native township and embraced every opportunity for the acquisition of useful knowledge. He was a quiet and serious youth and identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church at the early age of eighteen years. Eleven years later, in 1866, he became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Conference and labored as an itinerant for a period of thirteen years. He was then superannuated and, greatly to his regret, retired from the ministry.

The Clark homestead comprises 131 acres of choice farming land and is largely devoted to stock-raising. It was purchased by our subject in 1852, and here he has since lived. He was married March 20, 1860, to Miss Tabitha A. Akers, daughter of Thomas Akers of this county, and of this union there were born five children, four of whom are living, namely: William F., Luella F., Oscar M. and Charles W. William married Miss Bell Helmick and lives in DeKalb County, Mo.; Luella is the wife of R. J. Ash, of Manchester this county, and is the mother of one child, an infant daughter. Mr. Clark during the progress of the late Civil War enlisted in Company G, 91st Illinois Infantry, and was in the service nine months, during which time he assisted in the repulse of Morgan in his attach upon the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, at Elizabethtown, Ky. He was taken prisoner and paroled and soon afterward received his honorable discharge on account of disability. He has always been a Republican, politically, and socially belongs to the G. A. R. He is a man of more than ordinary intelligence, a deep thinker and an extensive reader, and the many friends who watched his early career predicted for him many honors from the Church of his choice, in whose behalf he was willing to spend his time and strength. His impulses have been those of a good man in the broadest sense of the term, and he has exercised a healthful influence upon all by whom he has been surrounded.

1889 Index
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