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The Family File

Timothy Baldwin Clark: Second son of Ezra T. Clark and Mary Stevenson

Compiled in 2003 by Irene Neilson Jeppsen (great granddaughter) from the writings of his daughters, Mamie, Ellen, and Lera Clark

It was during their second year at Winter Quarters that Ezra T. Clark and Mary Stevenson welcomed their second child, Timothy Baldwin, on 21 Nov 1847. They named their newborn son after his grandfather Clark.

The Clarks had originally intended to make the trek to Salt Lake with the pioneers of 1847. But responding to the request of Brigham Young, Ezra and his family remained for another winter. He saw to the harvesting of the crops and the spring planting in 1848 that would provide food for the people who were still coming from the east to gather with the Saints. Thus the Clark family arrived in Utah in the summer of 1848 and eventually made their home in Farmington.

Timothy often signed his name T. B. Clark but according to his daughter, Ellen Henderson, "nearly everybody called him Timmy."

Being the second son in a large family "he was only able to attend school one or two days a week," noted his daughter Mamie (Mary Elizabeth) Barrus. During those early years, he hauled his father's hay to Salt Lake City to livery stables." Thus the only school Timmy attended was taught in the home of his future mother-in-law, Lucy W. Rice. There he mastered the three Rs learning to read and write and work complex problems. Reading and studying would always be an important part of his life.

Ellen said, "If father had been a grandson instead of the next to oldest in the family, he probably would have been sent to Harvard. He could have been a teacher" or a lawyer.

Ezra left to serve a mission in 1856 in England. Out of necessity nine-year-old Timmy took on more responsibilities. A good worker he was a big help to his mother

The business of the farm was marketing hay. Ezra had a big stack yard for the hay that was taken to Salt Lake City and sold during the winter, noted his youngest daughter Lera Maughan.

The hay was cut with a scythe and raked into windrows with pitchforks. Ellen said, "Uncle Joseph, who was seven years younger than father, told me that father considered the process too slow and made a hay rake long before any were available." They used his invention for several years.

In 1864 as his older brother Ezra James prepared to depart for England on a mission he was called into the Army. Timothy persuaded his parents to let him take the Army job and at seventeen he became a soldier in the Black Hawk Indian War traveling through central Utah. When a decision was finally made to give pensions to the Indian War veterans, Ellen said his back pay amounted to "something over $1400." He used his pension to help some of his children.

On 23 Nov 1867 Timothy Baldwin Clark and Lucy Augusta Rice were married in Salt Lake City at the Endowment House. That happy day was followed by constant money struggles to provide for a large and growing family and the tragic, untimely deaths of three of their first five children. Eight children, seven girls and one boy lived to maturity.

After their marriage Timmy tried various ventures to provide for his large family from farming to selling salt, coal and lumber to making vinegar. In the "Utah Directory and Gazetteer for 1879-80" he is listed as a merchant. T

he salt he sold came from the Great Salt Lake. Known for his attention to detail, Timothy contrived a way to build low-walled salt-water ponds on the lakeshore to enclose the water so it could evaporate. It left salt crystals, which he harvested, packed in small bags, and sold for household use such as making ice cream.

He also sold coal for home heating. "People would come to buy, but many of them expected it to be charged. Father did not find it easy to do the collection part of the transaction, and frequently he had to borrow the cash to pay for the new car of coal," Ellen wrote years later.

"One man said, 'I told you not to let that family of mine have any more coal, for I'll not pay the bill.' Father said, 'Even if you are willing to have your family freeze, that's no sign that I have to refuse them coal,'" Ellen remembered. His kindheartedness and the fact he was unable to collect from people who were unwilling to pay brought his coal business to an end.

Timmy also raised and sold honey. The north half of the family lot had rows and rows of beehives. People paid him five cents for a pint of honey and a few cents more for a pound of comb honey. He saved the wax from the honeycombs, melted it, and sold it in cakes, said his youngest daughter Lera.

Another business venture involved making vinegar from honey-sweetened water. It was sold for ten cents a quart.

In the early 1890s Lucy traveled throughout Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Nevada selling a machine used to draft patterns for clothing. Timmy stayed home with the children while she was gone. During that time, six-year-old Ellen was needed at home to help care for her younger brother and sister, George and Lera.

Thus Ellen missed the first years of her schooling. Her father saw to it that she didn't fall behind. She wrote, "He taught me the three Rs so that at eight the teacher put me with children, who had been in school during the two years" she had remained at home.

Timothy had many interests. He liked to read and kept clippings from newspapers and magazines. He wrote about things that interested him. Ellen noted in her unfinished biography that he had shelves of his work, and when he died "much of his life's work was destroyed" as no one had room to keep it.

He was interested in community affairs and an advocate for civic improvement. He served many years as county road supervisor and was also the coroner for a time.

His propensity to call attention to things that he deemed wrong or needing improvement angered some people and embarrassed his family, Ellen said. However, there were positive results to his interest in civic improvement. "His articles in newspapers resulted in elimination of spitting on the sidewalks" and "cross ventilation in our over heated church."

Said Ellen, "He was not afraid to stand up and be counted. When he saw anything that he considered wrong, he did something about it. A resident of Farmington said to me, 'See my grandson there. I asked my son to name him Timmy. Your father came into my shop more than once while men and boys were standing in front of lewd pictures, which were tacked to the wall. He went straight up to the lewd pictures, tore them down, and threw them on the fire. It wasn't very funny. But I came to see myself, and I changed my ways. Now, I'm what I am instead of just riff-raff."

Timothy could discuss religion or politics with anyone. Once while a tramp, who had cut wood for food, was eating his meal Ellen remembered, him saying, "Ill get into your heaven without your baptism." To that Timmy replied, "Can you get into a theatre without a ticket? Baptism is the ticket."

Although Ezra Clark was inclined to do most everything on a large scale, Mamie said, "my father and Uncle Charles were two [of the children] that were not capable of big business deals."

Timothy's younger brother Joseph remembered Timmy as being kind to everyone. "He seemed to have unlimited confidence in the capacity of people's integrity," Ellen said, and "people loved him."

Timothy's wife Lucy was a staunch Republican. He was a Democrat. With her natural tendencies to leadership, financial ability, and farsightedness, she might have been more suited to life in the 21st century rather than in pioneer Utah. Their differences created problems, and in 1904 Lucy and Timmy were divorced. He spent his last years living in Salt Lake City.

Timothy Baldwin Clark died 14 Feb 1924 at the age of 77. He was buried in the Farmington Cemetery near his three children who had died so young. Lucy followed him in death four years later and was laid to rest beside her Timmy.