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The Family File

Autobiography Of Edward B. Clark
Genealogy of Ezra T. Clark


And now a few words regarding my ancestry:

My father, Ezra Thompson Clark, was born at Lawrenceville, Lawrence County (the book incorrectly lists DuPage County), Illinois not far from Chicago. His father, Timothy Baldwin Clark, and mother Mary Keeler, or Polly as she was called, owned a farm in DuPage County. It was said of Timothy Baldwin Clark that he built the first frame house on Clark Street in Chicago and that Clark Street was named for him. These two, Timothy and Mary, were the parents of a large family. They were Sally, (Myra), Laura, Rhoda, David Keeler, Barrett Bass, William Oglesby, John Wesley, Homer Baldwin, Ezra T., Mary Ann and Isaac.

My remembrance of what I have heard my parents say of Timothy Baldwin Clark is that he was kindhearted, generous and of a religious mind. He was a deacon in the Methodist Church and maintained a religious atmosphere in the home. He entertained the Mormon Elders, and the Prophet Joseph Smith was often in the home. He and his wife and a number of the children joined the church. He, as well as some of his sons, served in some of the Indian Wars. I believe David Keeler died from wounds and exposure thus incurred. I do not believe that he or Barrett Bass ever received the gospel. Barrett maintained a home a few miles out from Chicago, and owned a store. I remember that he bought a lot of old fashioned shoes and other goods and brought them out to Utah to my father's home, thinking that the Mormons out here in the west would accept most anything. Barrett made one or more trips to Utah, but I don't think he was every much inclined towards the Mormons. He was a tall, well built man of temperate habits. I remember also Uncle Home Clark with his big Ha Ha laugh. He went to California during the gold excitement in the early 50's, as did also Uncle William O. The same was true of Uncle John Cooper, and Aunt Rhoda, who was a strong, straight woman of pleasant personality. They drifted away and joined the Reorganized Church in California, as did many others of our church, because they could not endure the persecutions and hardships encountered in Utah.

Mary Doughtery, my father's sister, and her family lived in Farmington for a while. They lived in the old Jos. Walker home across the road south and west from the old Social Hall. I remember Ezra and Levi and a sister Julia Doughtery. Ezra was fitted out by my father with a team and wagon for a mission to settle on the Muddy River in Nevada. But I believe he later went to California.

Only the fittest survived in Mormonism. Thanks to God, Ezra T. Clark was one of the fittest, and endured to the end of his momentous life. He was blessed temporally and spiritually in following the counsel of Brigham Young. I supposed that he also had inducements like the others to go west after gold.

My father frequently entertained his relatives and helped them out on their way. But he, as advised by Brigham Young, remained at home in Utah. Ezra T. Clark thought a great deal of his relatives, and they are a fine family, but his first duty was to his church. He looked upon Uncle William O. as a father. It was he who as a prominent Elder performed the marriage ceremony uniting my father and mother, and I think baptized him, as he did a number of prominent people in the church. Among them are Reuben Miller of Mill Creek and Green Taylor of Harrisville, both of whom became prominent and useful members in the church.

Yes, the man who baptized them sought after the honors of men, and the wealth of the world, and I suppose he obtained both. But they were not lasting. He was quite prominent in the days of Nauvoo, as a preacher and organizer in the church. It was said of him that he was in line for an apostleship, had he remained true to the Prophet and the Church. However, he was offended, lost his zeal, and changed to the cause of temperance in California. He was presented with a gold-headed cane bearing the inscription, "Grand Worthy Patriarch of the Sons of Temperance of the State of California." He traveled around the world, lecturing in the cause of temperance. No doubt he did a great deal of good, but that is but one of the principles of the restored gospel. He obtained the fleeting honors of men. As men of the world god, he was an honored man. As to his temporal wealth, he lost that and died poor and away from the church. He was a frequent visitor to Utah and our home. He always maintained that he was a member of our church. He died in California at the age of 93 years.

Three sons and a daughter of David Keeler Clark were George W., William D., Ezra and Cordelia Clark Robinson. David Keeler Clark in an early day located in Missouri. The country was new and they located in a good farming community. A town grew up named Appleton City. They were highly respected farmers and cattle raisers. George W. was president of a bank. A peculiar characteristic of nearly all of the Clarks, was that they abstained from liquor, tobacco and profanity.

We have little knowledge of our ancestors back of Timothy B. Clark, who was born in Connecticut, May 15, 1773, and died Nov. 29, 1848. Timothy B. Clark was the son of John Clark. John was born Oct. 1, 1732 at Milford, Conn. He helped to establish New Milford, Conn. John Clark, Sr. was the son of Samuel, who was the son of George. George Clark was a landholder in Herdfordshire, England. The exact date of his coming to America is not known, but records show that he was on the committee, which purchased land from the Indians on which to found the present city of New Milford, Connecticut. George Clark was born in 1610 in England and died in August 1690. His wife was Sarah. We have not learned just where he was born, but he located in Milford, Conn. About 1640.

The wife of Timothy B. Clark, Mary (Polly) Keeler, was born at Milford, Conn. February 1786. John Clark married Elizabeth Rogers, born February 1741. John Clark, Sr. was born Sept. 15, 1695 and married Billings Baldwin. He died about 1740. Samuel Clark, father of John Sr., was born October 1645 at Milford, Conn.

Ezra Thompson Clark was born in Lawrenceville, DuPage (should be Lawrence), Ill. November 23, 1823. When quite young he moved with the family to Lee County, Iowa, then the family moved into Missouri where many of the Saints were gathering to build up the center stake. Timothy's family located near Independence, Mo., to the Southeast, in a very productive area, but soon were mobbed out.

Ezra T. as a young man received many valuable experiences in stock raising, which he followed later, and very successfully in Utah and Idaho. He also learned much about trading. It is said of him that when he made up his mind to go west with the Saints he had only two ponies. But by trading he became possessed of a team and a wagon, with which to move to Winter Quarters.

Ezra James Clark was born near Nauvoo, Ill. March 30, 1846 just before the family moved westward. The Saints were now determined to seek a place where they might live unmolested and be out of reach of their enemies.

Ezra T. and his wife, Mary, who was born at Gilbralter on August 29, 1825 and died November 24, 1911, located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, there being cottonwood and other kinds of trees there on the river bottom, from which to obtain timber for building a cabin. Here they remained during the winter of 1846 and the year of 1847. It was here that their second son, Timothy Baldwin, was born on November 21, 1847.

While located at Winter Quarters, Ezra T. made a trip back to Nauvoo and brought mother's widowed sister, Elizabeth, to Winter Quarters that she might accompany them across the plains to Utah. By trading around he secured for them an outfit to travel in.

While crossing the plains westward in a wagon company, mother walking beside father, accidentally fell in front of a wagon wheel. Acting with lightning speed, father by super-human strength grasped the wheel and eased it over her body, and thus prevented her from being seriously injured.

Father and his father arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1848. In order to find feed for his oxen and timber for building and to burn, he with others of the company turned their faces northward and located in the mouth of North Canyon, south and east of Bountiful. Here he remained two winters and it was here that Mary Elizabeth was born.

In the spring of 1849 father drove up to Farmington, finding what he thought was a good location for a home and a farm. He got permission from Jos. L. Robinson, the first bishop of Farmington, which then continued north to the Weber River, to make a claim to 20 or 30 acres. Bishop Robinson, being a very close friend, had reserved for him a 20-acre tract next to his own site. Ezra's experience and observation gave him some idea of the nature and value of cropland. So by permission he chose another location. He built a cabin under the hill, and a little north of where the O. S. L. depot now stands. There were perhaps two reasons why he built under the hill. First, it placed him near a stream of water, and second, the hill provided protection against the east winds. The hill at that time was quite abrupt. Later he dug a well on the top of the hill east of the station, and moved his cabin up on the hill. He added two more rooms to it, thus making three log cabins in a row. It was here that Joseph and Hyrum, my brothers, were born. Later upon receiving a call to go to England on a mission, he received permission to build a home before going. He bought adobes and built a 1- story house, which is part of the present home. It was here that Edward B. and the rest of the family were born. This house was quite comfortable for the times.

Ezra T. Clark always kept open house for his family and for strangers as well. Church authorities were often at his house. I remember as a little boy getting up one morning during an east wind, and seeing barrels of molasses, grindstones and large boulders hanging by ropes over the house to keep the east wind from blowing the roof off. At that time George A. Smith, councilor to Brigham Young was staying at the house. As the family increased, father needed more room and so built a rock addition to the west end of the house. Later he added a rock wing on the east.

In the meantime he built a large barn with a basement underneath for the protection of his horses and cows. The barn was built of large square timbers-some sawed square from timbers obtained up in the canyon where saw mills had been built, while others were hewn by hand. The barn was so built that a team and a wagon could be driven into it. Thus part of the barn often proved a blessing to people coming to conference where they had to find protection from the storms. Thus too, the barn was so built as to furnish a threshing floor for flaying and treading out grain. This of course was before threshing machines were brought into this part of the country. As a little boy I can see the barn filled over head with grain to be threshed out by horses treading on it.

I was one of a large family of boys, ten in number, with only one girl in the home. But just across the street lived Aunt Susan, father's second wife. She had four girls, Annie, Sarah, Alice and Laura and five boys, Seymour, Eugene, Nathan, John and Horace. We all worked together on the farm. Seymour, the oldest, had a fall from the ceiling of an old house and hurt his head. It seemed to affect his mentality. Though a good boy and bright, as he grew older his mind seemed affected and grew worse and worse. Later he became unmanageable and had to be taken to a mental hospital, where he died. The other boys were good workers.

The following is a copy from notes written by Timothy B. Clark as told to him by his mother, Mary Stevenson Clark, wife of Ezra Thompson Clark.

Farmington, Utah
Thursday, Feb. 20, 1908

This morning mother received a letter from Brother Edward B. Clark at Council Bluffs. He had visited Winter Quarters, etc. Mother gave me this information.

Father and mother (Ezra T. Clark and Mary S. Clark) were married at Uncle Edward Stevenson's home five miles west of Nauvoo by Uncle William O. Clark on the eighteenth of May, 1845. They lived nearly one year in a log house rented from Uncle John Cooper, about seven miles west of Nauvoo, and about one mile southwest of Charleston, Iowa (Lee County) where Ezra James was born the 30th of March 1846.

In June 1846 they started west with one wagon drawn by three yoke of cattle; also one cow that was giving milk. The cow was driven with other stock owned by others of the train. Apostle Amasa M. Lyman was captain. Aunt Paulina was along and Aunt Nancy, and several of the Porters. They also had a coop of four hens and one rooster attached to the back of the wagon box. The chickens were turned loose each evening for exercise.

Mother thinks it is about 200 miles from Nauvoo to Council Bluffs where there is quite a settlement, but she doesn't remember of there being any houses through the then wilderness of 200 miles.

July 15, 1846, they crossed the Missouri River on the ferryboat at Council Bluffs and camped about of a mile south of the ferry in Winter Quarters, which is now Florence, Nebraska (then Indian territory).

She didn't remember whether they had a tent or not, but father soon built a log house with logs obtained in Missouri. Their home was about four rods west of the riverbank. About mile southwest and on the side of a hill was the cemetery. Uncle Edward camped by us and built his house only a few yards west of ours. Their oldest child, Nephi, was born the day or day after we arrived in Winter Quarters. I, Timothy B., was born there on Sunday, November 21, 1847. They went to Utah in 1848 with the company that left after the pioneers started, and Benjamin Johnson and family occupied their Winter Quarters cabin. The town streets extended west from the river. She didn't remember of their being north and south streets.

She says they received a letter stating that sister Elizabeth's husband, Job Bailey, had died near Charleston and father went back and settled up her business and brought her to Winter Quarters. He drove his ox team back and brought her and the two children---Bathany and Lizzie. He must have got an ox team of hers as Uncle James Stevenson drove it across the plains, leaving Winter Quarters-both families coming in Apostle Amasa M. Lyman's company. They left Winter Quarters in June 1848, arriving in Salt Lake City on October 12, 1848. Aunt Elizabeth married Uncle Norwood about a year later.

About two days after arriving in Salt Lake we came to North Canyon and camped for a few days in a covered wagon box set on the ground, while father and Uncle Levi Doughtery built a cabin. Then they built Uncle Levi's house. Meanwhile Aunt Mary Dougherty was living in the Salt Lake City Fort with Uncle Edward. Alice Doughtery was born there only a few days after the family arrived in Salt Lake.

The house roofs were made of willows and dirt, and split and hewn logs for the floors. The weather being cold during the latter part of October and no stoves obtainable and mother's youngest child being less than one year old and the other less than two, she says she would take a bake kettle full of live coals from a big wood fire and set it inside the covered wagon to keep the children warm.

Father took up that part of the old farm west of our O. S. L. Depot and on Clark Lane to the spring of 1849 and intended to reside on a lot he took up in Salt Lake City, 2 blocks west of the Deseret News or old Council House corner. He rented the farm to a man who build a cabin on it in 1849. This man went back on his contract and father and mother and his little family moved on the farm on April 3, 1850.

Sister Mary Elizabeth was born at North Canyon, November 25, 1849. Mother says father was always glad that this man backed out, thus changing father's plans from residing in the city.

She says they did not plant a garden at North Canyon but that father fenced and cultivated about or 1/8 of an acre north and northwest of the Winter Quarters cabin.

Jacob Secrist and wife and one child occupied a home about four or five rods straight north of theirs at Winter Quarters and Aunt Paulina lived about 100 yards south of our home.






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>