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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1150~


William Orlando Clark


The subject of this review, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser and representative citizen of Fayette county, of which he is a native, was born October 1, 1854, on the place in Eden township where he now lives. His parents, James Clark and Frances C. Root, natives of New York, were married at Janesville, Wisconsin, June 11, 1850, and in the fall of 1853 came to Fayette county, Iowa, and settled in Eden township on land which Mr. Clark purchased from the government in September of that year. Later Samuel Clark, father of James, also entered land in this county and continued to live on the same until his death, at the age of sixty-four years. Orlando Clark, a brother of James, came with the latter and the two entered adjoining tracts of land and lived near each other for about eighteen years when the former disposed of his farm and moved to Colorado. Another brother by the name of Hiram, who arrived at the same time, entered land and developed a farm north of Alpha where his son Seth now lives. He married Caroline Broadbent, a sister of his brother Orlando's wife, and spent the remainder of his life on the above farm, dying there a number of years ago, as did also his wife. Samuel Clark, a still younger brother, enlisted at the beginning of the Civil war in Captain Rogers' company as a fifer, but died at Dubuque before going to the front, being about nineteen years old at the time.


There were also three sisters who came west about the time their brothers arrived, namely, Esther, who became the wife of Henry Cushman and lived for some years on the farm now owned by Miles Holton, removing thence to the western part of the state where she and her husband spent the remainder of their days; Sarah married Barlow Pepper, who entered land in Fayette county and cleared a farm, on which their deaths subsequently occurred; Charlotte, the youngest of the number, married Harvey Conklin and with her husband still lives on their farm in Eden township.


James Clark spent the greater part of his life on the home farm in Eden township, and became successful as a tiller of the soil and a raiser of live stock. He served as a justice of the peace when a young man, besides holding various local offices from time to time and for a number of years was one of the influential Republicans in his part of the county. His farm of one hundred and twenty acres adjacent to Crane creek was well improved and by industry, thrift and good management he accumulated a sufficiency of this world's goods to make him independent. Measured by the correct standard, his life was influential for good; he and his wife were members of the Christadelphian church. He always exemplified the principle of the Golden Rule and made the world better by his presence.


On February 24, 1907, his good wife was called to her eternal rest after a mutually happy and prosperous married life of fifty-seven years and on the 3rd of August following he too responded to the summons which soon or late must come to all, their deaths being widely and profoundly mourned by a large circle of sorrowing friends.


The family of James and Frances C. Clark consisted of six children, one of whom died in infancy, one at the age of nine years, the names of those who grew to maturity being Frances C., wife of Charles L. Perkins, of Wellsville, Kansas; Mrs. Lizzie Meyer, of Greenleaf, that state; Mary K., who married Eugene F. Beebe, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and William Orlando, whose name introduces this sketch.


William Orlando Clark was reared to farm labor and early in life took his place in the fields where he was able while still young to do a man's part at almost any kind of labor. Meanwhile, during the winter months, he attended the district school of the neighborhood and on arriving at an age to begin life for himself selected agriculture for his vocation. For some years he cultivated a farm in Eden township not far from the homestead, but when his parents became old and decrepit he took charge of the latter place the better to look after their interests and minister to their comfort. On this place the last twenty-five or thirty years of his life have been spent and after the death of his father he succeeded to the farm, which, under his careful management and effective labors, is now one of the finest and best improved homesteads in the township. It consists of one hundred and twenty acres of very fertile lands, the productiveness of which has been enhanced by proper tillage and judicious rotation of crops, and is also well adapted to stock raising, a branch of farming to which the owner has devoted a great deal of attention.


For some years Mr. Clark has been interested in bees and has quite a large apiary consisting of from seventy-five to one hundred and fifty swarms which yield upon an average of considerably in excess of three thousand pounds of very fine honey, every year, for which there is always a great demand. His success in this industry has induced him to engage in it upon a more extensive scale and he is now preparing to enlarge his apiary and equip it with the latest modern devices for the raising and caring for these wonderful little insects. Mr. Clark keeps in touch with the trend of events and abreast of the times on matters of public and political interest. He votes the Republican ticket, but has never entered the political arena as an office seeker and lends his influence and support to all worthy enterprises for the advancement of the community and the general good of his fellow men. He has never married.


His household is carefully managed by others, although he exercises judicious oversight and looks after his various interests in a manner becoming one who makes the most of life and its opportunities and strives to benefit his kind by every laudable means at his command. His neighbors and friends hold him in very high esteem and it is a compliment worthily bestowed to speak of him as one of the representative men of the community in which he resides.


~transcribed for Fayette IAGenWeb Project


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