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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN CLARK

Benjamin Franklin Clark, of Conway, ex-member of the New Hampshire Legislature, was born in Townsend, Mass., June 25, 1843, son of Benjamin and Maria (Choate) Clark. His grandfather, Ebenezer Clark, son of Ebenezer, born in New Ipswich, NH, November 8, 1774, was engaged in farming during the active period of his life. He married Mary Sampson, who was born December 22, 1784; and the reared a large family.

 
 Benjamin Clark was born in Lexington, Mass., in 1811; and he died in Lunenburg, same State, October 2, 1859. In early manhood he was employed in teaming. Later he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. On November 4, 1839, he married Maria Choate, a native of Lawsville, Pa., and whose death occurred in Boston, March 6, 1883. She was a daughter of Constantine and Abigail (Choate) Choate, of Enfield, NH. Benjamin and Maria Clark were the parents of three children: Ellen Maria, who was born December 2, 1840; Benjamin F., whose name appears at the beginning of this sketch; and Clara Jane, who was born in Townsend, Mass., February 13, 1846. Ellen Maria married her first husband Joseph H. Pierson, who was killed at the battle of Antietam during the Civil War. Of that union there is one son, Henry Pierson. For her second husband she married George S. Pitts,  of Conway, by whom she had two sons and one daughter. The sons are: George Franklin Pitts, now of Helena, Mont., who married Mollie Oliver; and Carl Pitts, whose wife’s first name is Agnes, and who resides in Boston. Clara Jane Clark married Judge Henry N. Blake, who was appointed Chief Justice of Montana under the territorial government, and was elected to that office when that Territory became a State.


Having acquired a common-school education in Lowell and Lunenburg, Benjamin Franklin Clark entered upon an apprenticeship at the machinist’s trade in Fitchburg, Mass. The breaking out of the Civil War in 1861 found him ready to take arms in defense of the Union; and in June of that year he enlisted as a private in Company B, Fifteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Simonds and Colonel Devons. The Fifteenth was sent to the Upper Potomac. It subsequently participated in the battle of Ball’s Bluff, and in the spring of 1862 joined in McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign, taking part in all of the important operations, including the battle of Fair Oaks the Seven Days’ Fight, and second battle of Bull Run. It was later attached to the Army of the Potomac, with which it was present at South Mountain and Antietam. At Antietam Mr. Clark received a severe gunshot wound, which destroyed the sight of one eye, and necessarily caused his discharge from the army. Shortly after his return home, he resumed his trade in the shops wherein he had begun his apprenticeship. Entering the employ of the United States government as a machinist at the Charlestown navy yard in 1865, he was subsequently made foreman of the machine shop, remaining there some eight years. About the year 1873-74 he became an employee of the B. F. Sturtevant Company, of Boston, which for many years have carried on extensive manufacturing establishments at Jamaica Plain, Mass., and at Conway, NH. For a number of years he has held the responsible position of superintendent of the Conway factory.


 Mr. Clark is quite prominently identified with local financial matters, and is president of the Conway Savings Bank. He is also a well-known figure in public affairs, holding at the present time the office of County Commissioner, to which he has several times been re-elected. As a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1891-93) he served upon a number of important committees. Politically, he is a Republican. He is a member of Mount Washington Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of North Conway; of St. Jerard Commandery, Knights Templar, of Littleton, N.H.; and a comrade of Custer Post, No. 47, Grand Army of the Republic, of Conway. The family attends the Methodist Episcopal Church.


 On July 19, 1866, Mr. Clark married Annie M. Morton, daughter of Captain Robert W. and Abigail Morton, of Greenland, N. H. She died November 6, 1891, leaving three children, namely; Mabel Maria, born in Boston, October 4, 1869, who married Dr. F. D. Lawson, of New York City; Charlotte Abigail, born in Conway, March 21, 1876, residing at home; and Benjamin Franklin, Jr., born in Conway, July 29, 1879, now a student at Columbia University. Mr. Clark was again married September 18, 1894, to Sarah E. Russell, of Malden Mass.

from: American Series of Popular Biographies 
          New Hampshire Edition

             

 

                                                                                                                  

       

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