Robert Davis Clark had a lifelong interest in his family's history and is the author of several letters which are the source of much of the information we have on several of our lines. He was "prominent" enough to warrent a lengthy biographical sketch in pages 188-190 of the History of Logan County, Illinois, by Judge Lawrence B. Stringer, published in Chicago by the Pioneer Publishing Company in 1911. The biography was made available to us by cousin Cheryl Rothwell...
ROBERT D. CLARK
Robert D. Clark, who has lived retired since 1895, was for many years successfully identified with agricultural interests in Logan county and is now serving as mayor of Mount Pulaski, having been elected to that office in April, 1909. He is numbered among the worthy native sons of this county, his birth having occurred in Laenna township on the 30th of September, 1844.
His father, David W. Clark, who was born in Kentucky on the 30th of September, 1809, came of English ancestry and was descended from Revolutionary stock.1 The family settled in Kentucky at an early day. When David W. Clark was quite young he accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio, where he was reared to manhood on a farm and attended the country schools in the acquirement of an education. After attaining his majority he came to Illinois, arriving in this state just after the deep snow in the winter of 1831 and taking up his abode in Springfield, where he remained for one or two years. On the expiration of that period he went to Athens, Menard county, where he worked at the carpenter's trade for some five or six years. About 1841 he came to Logan county, settling on a farm in Laenna township and devoting his attention to its operation until 1845. In that year he took up his abode at Mount Pulaski, where he worked at his trade for four years, being also interested in a pottery there. In 1849 he returned to Laenna township, making his home on a farm now owned by our subject and there carrying on general agricultural pursuits until 1890. After putting aside the active work of the fields he again established his home in Mount Pulaski and there spent the remainder of his life in honorable retirement, passing away on the 3d of February, 1892. He had prospered in his undertakings and at the time of his death owned three hundred and seventy-five acres of valuable farming land as well as property in Mount Pulaski. The period of his residence in Logan county covered a half century and he was therefore widely and favorably known within its borders.
His political allegiance was given to the republican party and he capably served in the office of county assessor, also holding several minor township positions. Fraternally he was identified with the Masons, while his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Methodist Protestant church.
His wife, who bore the maiden name of Hannah Stought, was born in Greene county, Pennsylvania, on the 27th of December, 1810, her parents being Thomas2 and Sarah (Royal) Stought. Her maternal grandfather, Thomas Royal, was a native of Manchester, England, and served in the Revolutionary war. Her father, Thomas Stought,2 died in Pennsylvania and in 1826 the mother brought her family to Illinois, settling in Sangamon county. She later3 became the wife of Isaac Clark and her demise occurred in Fulton county. Mr. Clark of this review is the fourth in order of birth in a family of six children, the others being as follows: Thomas S., a veteran of the Civil war, who is now a retired agriculturist residing in Olympia, Washington; Margaret A., a widow residing in Riverside, California, who first gave her hand in marriage to George Wolfe and later became the wife of William Upp; Isaac T., likewise a veteran of the Civil war, who is now a poultry dealer of Mount Pulaski; Charles R., who also fought in the Union army and whose demise occurred in Wyoming in January, 1910; and Angeline M., the wife of David B. Wacaser, of Mount Pulaski.
Robert D. Clark was reared on the home farm and obtained his early education in the country schools, while subsequently he continued his studies at Indian Point and later entered the Bloomington Normal School. After completing his own education he began teaching in the country schools (there being ten in his native district) and successfully followed that profession for sixteen years, imparting clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired. He was married February 3, 1873, and then began farming the home place, while subsequently he purchased and located upon another tract of land in Laenna township. In 1895 he abandoned general agricultural pursuits and came to Mount Pulaski, erecting a beautiful home on the corner of Green and Lafayette streets, where he has since resided. He met with success in his farming operations and still owns several hundred acres of rich and productive land in Logan county and elsewhere.
On the 3d of February, 1873, Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Kate Edmonds, an adopted daughter of Alexander and Hestor Edmonds, of Mount Pulaski. Her parents were Christopher and Dorothy Bousche. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have one daughter, Minnie L., who is now the wife of Edward O. Mayer, a general merchant, by whom she has two children, Norman C. and Robert W.
Politically Mr. Clark is an advocate of the republican party, believing that its principles are most conducive to good government. He has held several minor township offices and also served as supervisor of Laenna township. In April, 1909, he was elected mayor of Mount Pulaski and his course as chief executive of the city has won uniform approval and commendation. His fraternal relations are with the Masons, while his wife is a devoted member of the Christian church. He has remained a resident of Logan county from his birth to the present time and is widely recognized as one of its most substantial, respected and representative citizens.
Robert D. Clark's obituary was provided by another cousin, Lyle Black. It appeared in 125 Yesteryears of Mount Pulaski, Illinois, 1836-1961, Times News, Mt. Pulaski, IL Souvenir Edition, SIL-TENNIAL EDITION, July 13, 1961:
ROBERT D. CLARK,
MAYOR OF CITY
(October 19, 1933)
Robert D. Clark was born on a farm in Laenna Township on Sept. 30, 1844, the son of David W. and Hannah Clark, pioneer settlers of Logan county. He died Oct. 12, 1933, at the age of 89 years.
Mr. Clark was reared on a farm 3½ miles east of Mount Pulaski, where he obtained his early education in the country schools, later attending Illinois Normal University of Normal, Ill. Following the completion of his education, he entered the teaching profession which he followed for 20 years.
On Feb. 3, 1873, Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Kate Edmonds of Mount Pulaski, and to this union was born one daughter, Minnie L., now the wife of E. O. Mayer of Mount Pulaski, and two children who died in infancy.
Besides his daughter, he is survived by two grandons, Norman C. of Chicago and Robert W. of Bethlehem, Penn. Mr. Clark was one of six children, three brothers and two sisters, the last of whom to precede him was Mrs. Angeline Wacaser, who died just a few weeks previous.
At the time of his marriage, he began farming on the home place, east of Mount Pulaski, which he subsequently purchased and he continued farming until 1895, when he retired and came to Mount Pulaski. Here he built a home at the corner of Green and Lafayette Sts., where he continued to make his home until 1928, after which due to failing health, he made his home with his daughter, Mr. And Mrs. E. O. Mayer. His wife preceded him in death in 1921.
Mr. Clark was a highly respected and substantial citizen and gave much of his time toward civic and social betterment of the community. Fraternally, his relations were with the Masonic Order.
During his active career, he held several minor township offices and served as Supervisor of Laenna township. Later, he served as President of the Board of Education of Mt. Pulaski schools and in 1909 was elected Mayor of Mt. Pulaski, and he discharged his duties of his office with such executive ability as to win uniform approval and commendation of his fellow citizens. He was vice-president of the First National Bank of Mt. Pulaski at the time of his death.
Mr. Clark was a resident of Logan county throughout his entire life, and was widely recognized as one of its most substantial, respected and representative citizens.