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The Family File

Autobiography Of Edward B. Clark
Early Childhood


I, Edward Barrett Clark, like Nephi of the Book of Mormon, was born of "goodly parents," Ezra Thompson Clark and Mary Stevenson Clark. This happened on April 7, 1839 in the old home now owned by me at Farmington, Davis County, Utah. I was the first of our family to be born there. Aunt Paulina Lyman was in attendance as mid-wife. I don't remember much about it, but I suppose they heard from me, as I was a pretty fiery youngster, for as I remember a little later, I had red hair, a freckled face, and plenty of temper. Aunt Paulina once told me that as I grew older, I was a pretty baby. Perhaps that accounts for my looks now, for I have heard it said, "pretty babies make homely grownups."

One of my earliest recollections is lying under the table and trying to pound a hole into the floor with my head. I had plenty of spunk they tell me, and I have not lost it yet. It has taken much effort to bring it under control. My parents were patient with me, however, as were also the other members of the family.

I can remember as a small chap, going to Salt Lake City and to many other places. I remember the ward meeting house before it was completed. I was perhaps then only three years old. I also remember going with my father to meetings. Some of them may have been the "School of the Prophets" in the old Social Hall on State Street. I remember the old home of Squire Wells on the lot where the Templeton Building now stands. I remember as a little chap standing in front of the old Globe Bakery just south of the Deseret News Building on Main Street. I had a bunch of firecrackers in my pocket. Some city guys touched a match to them, but before they started popping, I threw them on the sidewalk, as the boys scampered down the street. I had a real Fourth of July celebration all to myself.

I suppose that because of my red hair, freckled face and hot temper, and the fact that I was teased by so many; my father often sympathized with me, with kind words and gentle treatment. I have always felt a debt of gratitude to him for this. He frequently took me with him to Salt Lake City and elsewhere.

My father was always good me, and my mother was an angel. Much I owe to her for guiding me away from temptation and sin. I remember her telling me how wrong it was to use profane language. My father was a noble example also. I have never heard him take the name of God in vain; neither did he allow his hired men to swear. I heard him tell a man that he never allowed anyone to damn anything he had asked God to bless. Father and mother were anxious about the religious training of their children. A number of younger children were sent to Provo to attend the Brigham Young Academy.

I commenced going to school when I was quite young. I now have a reward given me by John S. Gleason and dated 1867. I cannot remember all my early teachers but some of them were: John S Gleason, Sarah Harrod, Hilda Kimball, a Miss Bebee, Jacob Miller, James T. Smith, Jos. E. Robinson and L. H. Kennard.

My first recorded blessing was given me by Philamon Merrill, June 5, 1860. Perhaps I was blessed by my father, when I was eight days old, as was the custom with my own children, giving them a father's blessing when eight days old.

The next ceremony, and the first one I remember, was being baptized by Truman Leonard, April 21, 1967. As I remember, the ordinance was performed in Big Creek, just north of the Joseph S. Clark home. I was confirmed a member of the Church on the same day.

As a boy, I used to attend the general conferences in Salt Lake City with the family. We traveled by wagon, then by carriage. We used to stay at Uncle Edward Stevenson's in the 14th Ward. I remember as a boy, driving my mother and some other ladies to the city. At a dinner I was the only male present. They asked me to bless the food and I was nearly frightened to death. Perhaps my parents were a little neglectful about having us children take part in blessing the food and in family prayers.

As a boy, I learned to milk cows at the age of six years. I commenced on a little red cow known as Stub and Twist. Later I took more pride in tending the horses and riding them to the pasture. One of my early remembrances is riding a mule to the field. I expected him to wade the creek but instead he jumped it, and I fell off. I sprained my wrist and arm and was taken to Jonathan Smith, who pulled on my hand and I heard the wrist bones go back into place. Because of this bad fall and a later one I was left with two rather large wrists.

Returning to the subject of cattle, I remember one fall, a cow and a calf came in from the range quite late. My father told me that if I would take good care of them until spring, I might have the heifer calf. I kept track of her and he progeny, and soon had quite a herd. It is surprising how stock will increase in a few years.

Another of my early recollections was of my brother Ezra James, the oldest son of my mother's large family. He was always very considerate of me. One day when but a little chap I fell off a wagon. He picked me up and was so kind to me that I never forgot him. These are but a few incidents that I can remember about him. One was the commotion in the home when he left by wagon to cross the plains en route to England on a mission. That must have been about 1865. He was in England three years. He had crossed the ocean on his way home with a company of immigrants. While helping them load their bags and trunks at New York, he suffered sunstroke. He died on the train and was buried in New York State. After the railroad was completed in 1869, father went back and brought the body home for burial in the Farmington Cemetery.






Edward B. Clark Autobiography

<Autobiography Main>< Introduction>< Early Childhood> < Boyhood> < Young Manhood> < Genealogy> < Summary of Church Activities> < Priesthood Activities> < Missionary Work> < Civic Service> < Positions in Civic Affairs> < Farming> < Water> < Traveling Experiences> < Children Born to Edward B. Clark> < Incidents in the Life of Wealthy Richards Clark> < Testimony By Mrs. Wealthy Richards Clark> < Incidents in the Life and Labors of Alice Randall Clark>< A Message to The Ezra T. Clark Association> < Faith Promotion Incidents of Edward B. Clark> < Another Faith Promoting Incident> < Another Case of Remarkable Healing> < Activities of My Family---My Great Achievement> < My Testimony> < Appendix>