Friday, November 20, 2015

A Visit To the Clark Family

Lydia Callin Clark's
family tree
Charles Lincoln Clark (1866 – 1937) was the 5th son (and 6th child) of Alexander W Clark (1827 – 1889) and Almira A. Clark (1837 – 1913). While his parents bore the same surname, there is no indication that they were related.

Alexander Clark was born in Pennsylvania about 1827, the son of James and Mary Clark. With names as common as "James" and "Mary" (let alone the ubiquitous "Clark"), it's hard to say for certain which records we can rely on to tell us their story. According to their Find a Grave entries, James Clark was born in Pennsylvania in 1780, and Mary Loughbridge was also born in Pennsylvania in 1783.

Find a Grave information is provided by other researchers, so until I can confirm those birth dates and places with independent records, I don't know for certain that James isn't one of the many people named James Clark who came to Pennsylvania or New York from England and Ireland during that time. But for now, the fact that they were buried in the Mansfield (Ohio) Cemetery is the most concrete claim I can make.

We can estimate that James brought his family to Ohio some time during the 1830s, or at least between Alexander's 1827 birth and James's 1840 appearance in Madison Township, Richland county, on the 1840 Census. James died in 1846, so the 1850 Census has Mary listed in the Madison Township household of a younger James Clark (28 years old, presumably her son), with two girls: Jane (b. 1823) and Sarah (b. 1826); these are likely her daughters. Alexander appears in another household in Madison Township with Mary (b. 1825, I am guessing his sister) and a Peter Went (b. 1825 - no known relation). Since the 1850 Census does not tell us the relationships of any of these people to each other, it is very hard to say for certain whether these are Alexander's siblings.

Charles Lincoln Clark
c. 1889, student at OH Normal
But, we do have an Ohio marriage record from 1854 joining Alexander to Almira A. Clark. She was born in Ohio in 1837 to George and Elizabeth (Hager) Clark. George was born in Pennsylvania in 1791 and settled his family in Plymouth, Richland county, Ohio in the mid-1820s, some time between the birth of his sons: James P. in PA in 1823 and Edward in Ohio in 1828. Edward's biography1 suggests that George was a shoemaker as well as a farmer. George and Elizabeth survived to 1861 and 1867, respectively, so we have more information about their family from the 1850 and 1860 Census records.

None of this rules out the possibility that George Clark and James Clark might have been brothers, assuming the information we have indicating that they were both born in Pennsylvania is correct. If they were, that would make Alexander and Almira first cousins - but without any information about either George's or James's parents, that would be pure speculation.

From here, we are on more certain footing.

After marrying, Alexander and Almira relocated to Huron county, and they lived in Richmond Township for a number of years. Between 1856 and 1872, they had at least 7 sons and 1 daughter, including the aforementioned Charles Lincoln Clark, who was born in 1866. Alexander registered for the Civil War draft in 1863, but does not appear to have been enlisted. Charles went to school at Oberlin then Ohio Northern and taught school for a while.

Lydia Minerva Callin
about 1885

On 8 August 1889, Charles married Lydia Minerva Callin, the third daughter of William Callin and Ellen Channing. Lydia was born 8 February 1869 in Richmond Township. Sadly, Charles's father, Alexander, died just a few weeks before their wedding, on 21 July 1889. Almira came to live with Charles and Lydia in their home in New Haven, and she was listed in their house in the 1900 and 1910 Census counts.

Charles settled his family on a "very nice farm" as his daughter Mildred would later relate to her nieces and nephews. Charles supported the family with farming, mostly, and they raised specialized cattle. He also served as a postal clerk and worked for a time as a carpenter.

He and Lydia had six children - one on each odd-numbered year from 1891 to 1899, plus a tiny bonus (Mildred) in 1906. They were a well read family; family activities involved reading the bible out loud together. The table was always set with nice linen and dinners were formal, and of course they didn't drink.

1. Boyd Harold Clark (1891 – 1979) married Lelah C Reed (1892 – 1969) about 1912, and took up farming in Huron county.

After their daughters were raised and out on their own, probably around 1958, Boyd and Lelah retired from farming and moved down to Lakeland, Polk county, Florida. Boyd ran "Clark's Awning Service" there in 1959 and 60.

When Lelah died in 1969, and Boyd ten years later, they were brought back to New Haven, Ohio, and buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery.

a. Irene L Clark (1913-2006) married Harry Dickinson (1911-1971) in the late 1930s. She was working as a waitress in 1940, and Harry as a service manager in an auto repair shop. They were living in Harry's hometown of Lorain, Ohio. After Harry died, Irene moved to Mount Vernon, where she died at 92 years of age.

b. Kathryn Florine Clark (1914 – 2002) married Willard O. Baxter (1914 – 2006) in the late 1930s. Willard was a farmer and lifelong resident of Willard, Ohio.

They had a daughter who is still living, and two sons: David Eugene Baxter (1938 – 1994) and Frederic Alan "Fred" Baxter (1942 – 2004). According to Willard's obituary, he was survived by "15 grandchildren, many great grandchildren"; it went on to say that he was preceded in death by "two grandchildren, Greg Baxter and Christine Baxter; two great grandchildren, Tyler Bores and Chase Baxter." Fred's obituary only claimed 3 children and 3 step-children for him, so there are still many Baxter descendants among David's and his sister's children still out there to find, someday!

c. Trinna Louise Clark (1919 – 2003) married Robert Dale Vogel (1919 – 1990) some time in the early 1940s. We know their families knew each other socially from a 1936 newspaper item about a summer boat ride featuring a number of Trinna's aunts and uncles, as well as the Vogels (and son). In the 1980s the couple relocated from their long time home in New Haven to Newark, in Licking county, where Robert died in 1990.
Raymon and Evelyn (Clark)
Wheeler, 1914

2. Evelyn M Clark (1893 – 1940) married Raymon Allen Wheeler (1894 – 1979) on 17 May 1919, ten days after his honorable discharge from the Army. He served in the American Expeditionary Forces as a Musician 3rd Class after enlisting in August 1918. Raymon worked as a car salesman, and Evelyn kept house. In 1930 the family was living with Raymon's mother, Mary; they were still living at her house on Pearl street in 1940, when Evelyn died at only 47 years of age.

a. Mary Louise Wheeler (1922 – 2005) was a rarity among the other World War II veterans in the family, earning a commission in the U.S. Army. Her headstone identifies her as a 2nd Lieutenant. After the war, she married James Myron Jump (1923 – 1989) on 15 April 1946. James also served in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

3. Ethel May Clark (1895 – 1972) was remembered by her granddaughter as being tall, thin, and refined. People in town would remark to the younger members of the family, as a trolley driver did to Ethel's daughter in one story,  "those Clark girls were the town beauties." Ethel's great sorrow was she didn't go to college like her sisters and brothers (she was ill and missed 11th grade). But then she married Robert Volka Smith (1894 – 1978) on 24 January 1917.

Bob was a Methodist, and in contrast to the Presbyterian Clark family, that made him more "earthy." He is remembered as the most enigmatic member of the family; a magnificent tinker, outdoors man, the closest thing to a person who could be called "his own man" today. He was beloved by all of his grandchildren, told them old stories and when they visited Ohio, they recalled visiting farms of "really old people" ... one of whom had a father who fought in the Civil War.

Bob owned an electrical shop downtown, which he ran for more than 20 years. He called it the 'blueroom', and he kept his civil war relics there, such as a McClellan saddle, and cavalry boots. He kept hounds and pigeons in that shack and single-handedly stopped the development of the downtown by refusing to sell his "blueroom" shack to developers. (Ethel never went in, of course... it was dirty!)

Together, they raised three daughters:

a. Betty Jeanette Smith (1917 – 1999) was a 1936 graduate New Haven High School and graduate of Kent State University. She married Richard Allen Helman (1918 – 2003) after his enlistment ended with World War II. They had two daughters in the 1950s, and as of Betty's death in 1999, they had six grandchildren.

b. Ruth Josephine Smith (1921 – 2009) married Albert John "Bugs" Reed (1921-1978), and they had five children together: three sons and two daughters, all still living. Later, she married Addison Hawley (1922-2010) and lived with him in Prescott, Arizona, until her death in 2009.

c. Roberta Ann Smith (1922 – 2008) was a 1944 graduate of Miami University, graduating with highest honors. She went on to receive a teaching degree in English and a Masters Degree in Gerontology from University of Southern California. She became a high school English teacher who developed, implemented and directed the program for older adults in the LA Unified School system.

Roberta married Richard William O'Neill (1922 – 1999) on 23 February 1946. Dick served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific in World War II, and worked for the National Cash Register Company for 35 years. He and Roberta lived in Los Angeles for 20 of those years, raising their son and four daughters, all of whom are still living either in California or Ohio.

4, Charles Raymond Clark (1897 – 1966) married Florence B Wilson (1898 – 1936) between 1920 and 1924. Florence was an art teacher in the public schools, and a member of the Board of Education. Sadly, Florence died at the early age of 38 years a week after an operation. When Raymond remarried, before 1940, he wed a girl named Marion who was eighteen years his junior (b. 1916).

a. Ruth Elaine Clark (1924 – 2011) married in 1941, and her husband survives her today, as do their son and four daughters. Her married name was King, and she died in Plant City, Hillsborough county, Florida. Three of her daughters still reside there. When she died, she left behind "11 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren."

b. Lyla Lou Clark (1926 – 2009) married Roy Edward Duffy (1924 – 2003) in Willard, Ohio, on 5 July 1946. They had one son who died in infancy: Thomas Michael Duffy (1950). Their three surviving sons were all born before 1960.

5. Edith M Clark (1899 – 1972) was a teacher who moved out to the Los Angeles area in the early 1930s. She taught for many years, and served as head of the Los Angeles City College. In the 1950s she moved to Palm Springs, near her sister, Mildred, where she died in 1972.

6. Mildred Jeannette Clark (1906 – 1994) was, like her elder sister, a lifelong professional educator, serving as school principal in Ohio district schools by the 1960s. She married Charles B. Crouch (1903 – 1971) who served as superintendent of the Hamilton county schools in Cincinnati for 14 years, until 1962, when he accepted a job with a west coast university. They seem not to have had children of their own, and Charles died in Palm Springs, California in 1971. Mildred died in Prescott, Arizona in 1994.

All six of Charles and Lydia's children grew up with their grandmother in the home. Almira lived until 1913, not long after Charles moved the family into Willard, and she was buried in Maple Grove cemetery in New Haven with Alexander.

Lydia kept a diary and she remained very close to the other Callin girls and her relatives. They had regular reunions, and even kept a log book of who came and from where. She deeply mourned the loss of her sister Anna, who died in 1908; the log book reportedly stops after 1910.

Roberta Smith, their granddaughter, recalled visiting Charles and Lydia quite often while growing up. She described them as very proper and formal; children simply did not misbehave there. According to one family anecdote passed down to Roberta, the daughters (of Charles and Lydia) were never allowed to go near the barn as animal 'activities' were not for their other words, animal husbandry.

One day  in 1937, Charles was struck by a car while checking his mailbox, and later died of his injuries. Lydia recorded her sadness in her diary, describing the loss of ''her Charlie" as "another sad day in the many sad days of my life." Lydia died a few years later on 7 January 1943 in Willard.

Found on

1 Edward Clark biographical sketch, pg. 455, History of Monona County, Iowa (1890) (Google Books)

Photos posted with permission of Ancestry user meganoneill10.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again, Tad for all you hard work. I've read all of it over many times. But I should add one little note to any of Charles L's kin reading this...the Clarks (Almira and Alexander) were cousins. The Clark kin settled near each other and married within their clan as was the custom , that from the Clark genealogy. I also have reason to believe Almira was Alexander's 2nd mother wrote 1/2 sister on Mertila's (Charles' sister's) photo and Almira was so much younger than he.