Randolph  County,  Indiana

Thomas  H.  Clark

            It has always been the fruitful soil from which have sprung the moral bone and sinew of the country, and the majority of our nation's leading men, great warriors, renowned statesmen and distinguished men of letters were born on the farm and were indebted largely to its early influence for the distinction which they attained; indeed, it seems that the best citizens of all our states, whether noted in any special line of endeavor or not, were tillers of the soil, and the same rule holds good today as in the past. From the farm came the Clarks, one of the honored and representative families of Randolph county.
            Thomas H. Clark, substantial farmer, public servant and man of affairs, was born August 26, 1846, on a farm in Warren county, Ohio, and he is a son of Thomas and Susannah (Cox) Clark, and was one of nine children, he being the only son, and was fourth in order of birth. His sisters are, Ann Eliza, married B. V. M. Brouse, a farmer of Ward township, and died at the age of fifty-one years, leaving seven children: Mary Jane is the widow of William Valentine, who was a farmer near Springfield, Ohio, and she has seven children; Emmeline married Cyrus Sackett, now deceased; she lives near Winchester and has five children, two having died in early life; Sarah Elizabeth is the widow of Thomas Seagraves, who was a farmer, and she had five children; Arabella, deceased, married Henry Hobbick, a farmer in Kansas, and three sons were born to them; Martha, of Muncie, Indiana, is the widow of Colvin Mann, who was a farmer, and five children were born to them; Margaret, widow of Robert Reynolds, lives at Winchester, by whom she had four children; she later married Daniel Keys and to them four children were born: Hannah, deceased, was the wife of Robert McCracken, also deceased he was a farmer and merchant of Green township, and to them three children were born.
            Thomas Clark, father of our subject, was reared on a farm in Warren county, Ohio. About 1840 he came to Indiana and took up a homestead, then returned to Ohio, where he remained seven years, then came back to Indiana and established his future home, and here his death occurred in 1888 at the age of seventy-one years. His farm has remained in the family, our subject now occupying the same. He was a successful farmer and a good and useful man. The paternal grandfather of our subject was Jacob Clark, a native of Pennsylvania, and he came to Indiana about 1844 and took up a farm in Ward township, Randolph county. He was a blacksmith by trade, which he followed in connection with farming. His death occurred in Ohio about 1880 at the advanced age of eighty-four years. The father of our subject had a premonition of his death six months before the final summons came, and made his arrangements accordingly. Our subject's maternal grandmother, Mary Cox, was a native of New Jersey and grandfather Cox was a soldier in the Mexican war. The Clarks originally came from Ireland, where the remote ancestors, of whom but little is known, made their homes for a number of generations. Some of the family emigrated to America in the old Colonial days and settled in Pennsylvania, where we first hear of Thomas Clark, father of Jacob Clark, mentioned above. Jacob Clark first moved to Maryland from his native state, thence to Ohio, where he remained some time before coming on to Indiana. His wife, Patience Snyder, whom he married in Pennsylvania, died within a few years after the family arrived in Randolph county, and a short time afterwards Mr. Clark returned to his old home in Warren county, Ohio, and there spent the rest of his life.
            Thomas H. Clark, of this review, grew to manhood on the old home farm in Ward township, this county, and there worked when a boy during crop seasons, and he received a good practical education in the local schools. He was a mere boy when the war between the states began, but he proved his courage by enlisting in Company G, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, December 25, 1863, and he proved to be a faithful and gallant soldier, serving until honorably discharged August 31, 1865. He was with the Army of the Ohio most of the time and took part in a number of engagements, including the many battles and skirmishes of the memorable Atlanta campaign under General Sherman, fought at Franklin and Nashville under General Thomas, also in numerous minor engagements, passing through all without receiving any serious injury. In the battle of Atlanta he was struck between the shoulders by a spent ball, and, at another time, a bullet struck his cartridge box, saving his life thereby. After the war he returned home and purchased a farm in White River township, Randolph county, where he resided two years, and in 1868 purchased a part of a valuable farm in section 30, Ward township, later adding to the same until he owned two hundred and fifty-three acres of very productive land, his finely improved and well kept farm lying about five miles from Winchester. On it stands a commodious dwelling and substantial outbuildings and here he carries on general farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, ranking with the leading agriculturists of the county. Through his thrift and industry he has accumulated a handsome competency and is a stockholder and director in the State Bank at Ridgeville. He has always been a lover of good livestock and has devoted considerable attention to raising the same. He formerly also owned an interest in an establishment for the manufacture of drain tile. He is one of our worthiest and most conspicuous examples of a self-made man. Politically, he is a Republican and has long been active and influential in local party affairs. He was one of the commissioners of Randolph
county for six years, filling the office in a manner entirely creditable to himself and to all concerned. He is president of the Orphans' Home Board, and has done much for the promotion of this commendable work. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He belongs to and liberally supports the Christian church. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
            Mr. Clark has been three times married, first, to Barbara Hobbick, in 1866. She was a native of Pennsylvania, but came with her family to Randolph county, locating in Ward township, when but a child. Her death occurred March 25, 1873, leaving two children, Ida A., born August 15, 1867, married Edward Mickey, who died July, 1913, at Saratoga, and to them two children were born, Ivan and Paul; Elmer E., born October 12, 1872, married Gertrude Thomas, and is a farmer of Randolph county; to them seven children have been born. Mr. Clark's second marriage occurred in 1875, when he espoused Mrs. Jane Reitenour, daughter of James Hale of Randolph county, and to this union two children were born, Clarissa S., who married Ora Collins, a farmer of Ward township, and to them seven children have been born; and James T., who married Estey Michael, is farming in Ward township. The second wife of our subject died in 1898. By her previous marriage she had one child, William H. Reitenour. On December 24, 1898, our subject married his last wife, Emma Keener, daughter of a farmer of White River township. Her parents were both deceased at the time of her marriage.
            Mr. Clark is a gentleman in whom the utmost confidence is reposed by all who know him owing to his long life of honest dealings with the people of Randolph county, and he is liked by all classes.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson

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