Wait Clarke
(March 26, 1798 - )

WAIT CLARKE was born in the town of Exeter, Kent county, R.I., the 26th day of March, 
1798.  He is a son of JOHN and MARY (WAIT) CLARKE, natives of Rhode Island.  They 
moved into Brookfield in 1810, in the month of October, and settled on lot 16, where they 
resided many years, finally moving to Clarkville, where they died, the former in 1852, aged 
77 years, and the latter some years later, aged 84 years.  They had a family of twelve 
children, eight of whom grew up.  Their names were as follows: JAMES (now dead), WAIT, 
ANSTIS, SARAH, WILLIAM (now dead), MARY ANN (now dead), SILAS and MERCY.  
The parents of these children were farmers, in humble circumstances, and unable to give 
them any but a common school education. 
    WAIT worked at home on the farm, attending school during the winters, until 1819, in 
which year, the 28th of January, he was united in marriage with MERCY MINER, of 
Brookfield.  She was born Oct. 8, 1728, and died Oct. 30, 1826. 
    WAIT after his marriage continued to work at home, assisting his father in the 
management of the farm, until 1823, when he leased a farm near North Brookfield and 
worked it two years.  He then went back to his father's, having bought a portion of the old 
homestead farm, and worked it and the balance of the farm on shares.  Here he remained 
until  March, 1935, then he removed to Clarkville, where he has resided up to the present 
time.  Soon after his settlement in Clarkville, he entered into co-partnership with BENJAMIN 
GROTON and they carried on the harnass-making business in connection with the 
manufacture of boots and shoes eighteen years.  Since 1853 he has been engaged in the 
real estate business, settling up estates and performing the duties of the various offices to 
which he has been elected.  During his long residence in the town of Brookfield he has 
been honored by his fellow citizens to an extent most flattering to himself, and that shows he 
has had in the highest degree their confidence and esteem.  In 1827 he was elected Justice 
of the Peace, and that office he has held sixteen years.  He has been Assessor six years 
and Supervisor six years.  He was appointed County Superintendent of the Poor, and that 
office he held six years.  In 1836 he was elected to the Legislature, and took his seat in 1837. 
    Having something of a martial spirit in his early life, he joined a militia company in his town, 
and was at different times ensign,, lieutenant and captain of the same many years. 
    In 1853 Mr. CLARKE was appointed by JOHN A. (afterwards General,) DIX, agent of the 
John I. Morgan estate, in Oneida, Herkimer, Madison and Chenango counties, and the duties 
of that office he performed until the 14th of January, 1880, to the entire satisfaction of all 
concerned, and is at present engaged as appraiser of the lands of said estate.  Mr. CLARKE 
united with the Baptist church in North Brookfield, and was a member of the same twenty 
years before he moved to Clarkville, and after his removal to the latter place he united with 
the church there.  In 1851 he was elected deacon of the church, and still holds the office. 
    In politics,, Mr. C., is a Democrat, and his first vote was cast for candidates of that party. 
    By his first wife, Mr. CLARKE had seven children, three of whom died in infancy.  Those 
who reached maturity were as follows: ELBERT W., born Feb. 23, 1821, married LOUISA 
STEELE, of Sardinia, Erie county, N. Y., Sept. 5, 1841.  He was a minister in the Baptist 
church.  He died June 21, 1856.  HARRIET, born Jan. 20, 1823 married NELSON HOXIE, of 
Brookfield; MARYETTE, born Sept. 8, 1827, married ADIN BROWN, of Brookfield.  She 
died Dec. 27, 1847.  ELIZA S., born Oct. 27, 1829, married ADIN BROWN, Sept. 8, 1848. 
    In 1847, August 19, Mr. CLARKE married BERSHEBA D. BECKWITH, widow of SAMUEL 
BECKWITH, of the town of Exeter, Otsego county, N. Y.  She was born Aug. 7, 1811, in 
Newshoreham, R. I.  Her parents were JOSIAH and ANNE (DODGE) MOTT.  They were also 
natives of Newshoreham.  The former was born April 30, 1786, and died July 5, 1825.  The 
mother was born Dec. 17, 1784, and died March 24,1879, aged 93 years.  Mrs. CLARKE 
is a member of the Baptist church in Clarkville, and has been 32 years. 
     By his last wife, Mr. CLARKE has no children. 
 
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 528. 
Transcribed by Sandy Goodspeed

Date: Saturday, July 31, 1999 11:12 AM

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