George Clark

George and Alice A. (Farnham) Clark

George Clark, one of the public-spirited and progressive men of Franklin township whose labors have been of material and substantial value to the community in the line of general progress, is known throughout Allamakee county as the owner of the Forest Mills, wherein he manufactures graham and rye flour and all kinds of feed. He is, moreover, the owner of two fine farms, his holdings aggregating six hundred acres of land, and he is classed with the most prosperous and progressive farmers and stock-raisers of the community in which he resides. He was born in this township, three miles east of Forest Mills, January 5, 1858, and is a son of Belfield Carter and Mary (Powell) Clark, the former a native of Tennessee, born in 1830, and the latter of Indiana, born in 1831. The father moved to Illinois when he was a young man and located at Woodstock, Illinois, whence in 1849 he moved to Iowa, entering land in Franklin township, Allamakee county, among the earliest pioneers. Frontier conditions prevailed everywhere, a wilderness of prairie and timber lands stretched for miles on all sides, and wild game abounded in the forests. The tract which Belfield Carter Clark acquired was entirely unimproved and a dense growth of timber had to be cleared away before the work of cultivation could be begun. With characteristic energy and determination he set himself to this work and it was finally accomplished, the farm gradually developing into one of the finest in this section of the state. The father continued to make his home upon it until 1887 and then moved to the vicinity of Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, where he resided for about one year. At the end of that time he returned to Iowa for a visit and here died in 1888. During his residence in this state he held various important local offices, serving his township with credit and distinction and making his name known and honored as a progressive and public-spirited citizen. His wife survives him and now makes her home in Waukon, this county. She and her husband were the parents of six children, of whom the subject of this review is the third in order of birth.

George Clark acquired his education in the district schools of his native township and from his childhood was familiar with the best and most practical agricultural methods, having gained this knowledge through personal experience upon the homestead. At the age of twenty he purchased land in Franklin township and turned his attention to farming, continuing upon that property for about ten years. At the end of that time he disposed of his holdings and moved into Waukon, where until September, 1908, he engaged in bridge building and general contracting. Upon that date he returned to Franklin township and purchased what is known all over Allamakee county as the Forest Mills. In them he has installed modern equipment and he has given a great deal of attention to their operation since that time, manufacturing all kinds of graham and rye flour and also feed. In addition he operates a sawmill in the vicinity, both being old-established enterprises in this section of the state. The sawmill was erected here in the year 1854 and the gristmill built as an addition to it in 1868. Mr. Clark has kept them in good repair and modern in equipment and accessories and under his able management they are both valuable business concerns, yielding heavy profits annually. In addition to this enterprise Mr. Clark owns also six hundred acres of land in Allamakee county and operates this as two farms, both being well improved, well managed and productive properties. He is interested in other business enterprises and is justly accounted one of the active, progressive and substantial men in this section of the state.

On the 26th of September, 1880, Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Alice A. Farnham, who was born in Wisconsin on the 6th of May, 1860, a daughter of Daniel I. and Elizabeth (Farington) Farnham, the former a native of New Brunswick. The parents came to Iowa about the year 1870 and located at Luana, Clayton county, where they resided for many years. The father is now living retired and he and his wife make their home with the subject of this review. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have become the parents of three children. Floyd I., born January 11, 1884, married Miss Alice Winters, a native of this county, and he resides upon his father’s farm in Franklin township. Dora Isabelle, born August 3, 1888, is a teacher in the Waukon high school and resides at home. Gordon Lynn, born August 18, 1893, is also residing at home.

Fraternally Mr. Clark is affiliated with the Masonic lodge at Waukon and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has been honored by his fellow citizens by election to various positions of trust and responsibility although he never seeks public office. In analyzing his life record it will be seen that persistent, earnest work has constituted the foundation upon which he has built his prosperity and his diligence may well serve as an example for others to emulate.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Linda Earnheart

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