Harvey Clark

Harvey and Martha (Jones) Clark & children

A native of Allamakee county, Harvey Clark devotes his attention to the cultivation of a valuable farm of one hundred and twenty-seven acres located near Postville. He has been successful in his pursuits, as he has always employed thorough and up-to-date methods and has industriously and energetically worked on the improvement of his property. He was born in Franklin township, October 30, 1861, and is a son of Belfield Carter and Mary (Powell) Clark, the father being generally known as Carter Clark. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, June 11, 1832, and in the fall of 1849 became one of the pioneers of Iowa, first locating in Franklin township, this county. He was married in Allamakee county to Miss Mary Powell, who was born in Elkhart county, Indiana, November 28, 1832. Upon coming to Franklin township, the father entered government land and began clearing and cultivating his property amidst the wilderness, the Indians only having been from here the year previously. He resided upon his first farm until 1887 and then sold out and removed to Adams county, Wisconsin, where he bought a large tract of land, to the development of which he gave his time and attention until his death in January, 1888. The mother resided upon that property until the 1st of May of the same year and then returned to Allamakee county, taking up her residence at Hardin in Franklin township. There she lived until 1905, when she removed to Waukon, where she now makes her home with her daughter Mrs. C. H. Stillwell. The father was not only recognized as one of the foremost agriculturists of Franklin township, but also held various township offices, ever discharging his duties with faithfulness and greatly to the satisfaction of his constituents. The mother and her daughter Mrs. Stillwell were among the first teachers in this section, holding the first classes in Hardin. Mrs. Clark also taught one of the first schools in Post township, at which time she made her home with Judge Topliff, the first judge of Allamakee county. Mr. and Mrs. Clark became the parents of six children. Cordelia resides at Waukon. William makes his home at Marion, North Carolina, and is successful as a fruit grower, specializing in peaches, with which he supplies the wholesale markets. George, resident of Forest Mills, this county, is a contractor and builder, making a specialty of bridges and road work, but is also a prominent agriculturist, being an extensive landowner and breeder of Holstein cattle. He also operates grist and saw mills and is one of the most substantial citizens of his locality. The fourth in order of birth is Harvey, our subject. Linda is the wife of A. D. Farnum and they make their home near Milwaukee, Mr. Farnum being a creamery expert and butter maker. Mary, the youngest of the family, married C. H. Stillwell and they reside at Waukon. Mr. Stillwell is engaged in general contracting, house wrecking and similar pursuits.

Harvey Clark was reared under the parental roof and early grounded in the old fashioned virtues of industry and honesty. Naturally his educational opportunities were limited in that primitive period of pioneer life and what education he received was obtained at the little red schoolhouse in Franklin township. He remained at home until about twenty years of age, when he began his independent career by renting a farm in Franklin township, which he cultivated for seven years with such good success that at the end of that period he was enabled to acquire by purchase forty-seven acres, which he still owns. As his means increased he subsequently added to his holdings another eighty acres and now operates one hundred and twenty-seven acres devoted to general farming. His land is highly improved, and modern, well equipped buildings testify to the thorough methods which he employs and the prosperity which attends his labors as their result. He is considered one of the most up-to-date farmers in his vicinity and, while he has attained personal prosperity, has also been a factor in promoting the agricultural interests of the county. Mr. Clark is also a stockholder in the Farmers Cooperative Store at Postville.

On May 31, 1881, Harvey Clark was united in marriage to Miss Martha A. Jones, who was born near Waukon, this county, January 25, 1859, and is a daughter of Charles and Marinda (Lane) Jones, the father a native of England. The mother’s native state was New York, being born in Poughkeepsie, on the Hudson river. During all his active life Mr. Jones was a farmer. Having crossed the ocean early in life, he made his first residence in New York, where he remained for about two years and in 1851 came to Iowa, locating near Round Prairie in Makee township, this county. There he entered government land and continued in its cultivation until about 1871, when he rented out the homestead and bought another farm near Forest Mills, upon which he remained until his death, which occurred about 1898. The mother of Mrs. Clark survives him and now makes her home with her sons upon a farm northeast of Forest Mills, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Jones were the parents of ten children, of whom Mrs. Clark is the third in order of birth.

To Mr. and Mrs. Clark two children have been born. Virgil LaValle, whose birth occurred January 1, 1885, married Helen Sharp, who at the time of her marriage resided in Portland, Oregon. She had, however, previously been a resident of this county. Mr. and Mrs. Virgil L. Clark now make their home in Portland, where he is prominent as one of the younger and successful members of the legal fraternity. They have one child, George H., born October 26, 1911. Mr. Clark gained a high reputation in Portland by securing the first verdict against the Portland Electric Power & Railroad Company ever rendered against that corporation since its organization. The suit was for personal injuries and he secured judgment against the company for the sum of five thousand dollars for his client, the case being that of a young boy whose father had been killed by the road, the guardian bringing suit against the company. Virgil Clark is also prominent in Masonic circles and very enthusiastic in the work of the order, being a thirty-second degree Mason. The other child born to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Clark is Libbie M., whose natal day was September 25, 1890. She is the wife of Don E. Lamborn, a prosperous farmer of Franklin township.

Mr. Clark has ever taken a laudable interest in matters of political importance and for several terms served as township trustee, only discontinuing his services at his own initiative, refusing on account of other pressing duties to continue in the office. He is deeply interested in the cause of education and for over twenty years has efficiently served as secretary of the school board. His principal adherence is given to the republican party, the principles of which he considers best adapted to good government and of greatest benefit to the majority. For some years Mr. Clark was a member of the Mutual Brotherhood of America but recently withdrew from that organization. He is highly respected and esteemed in his neighborhood for what he has accomplished, his success being especially creditable as it has come to him through his own efforts. While careful of his own interests, he is ever considerate of those of others and always weighs his actions in regard to what influence they will have upon the general welfare. He has therefore become a valuable factor in progress and advancement and his life work has not only been of benefit to him but of value to his state and county.

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

Return to Bio index