Michael Clark


Michael Clark has been a resident of Allamakee county since 1853 and is numbered among the oldest men in this part of Iowa, being among the very earliest settlers. He has witnessed practically the entire growth of the county, for few settlements had been made within its borders at the time of his arrival, and all the evidences of frontier life were to be seen, while the hardships and trials incident to pioneer existence were to be met. Mr. Clark was born September 22, 1819, and has therefore almost reached the ninety-fourth milestone on life’s journey. His career has been characterized by unfaltering determination and well directed labor, and his fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres is the visible evidence of his lifelong industry and thrift.

Michael Clark is a native of County Monahon, Ireland and was born in the same year which witnessed the birth of queen Victoria and in 1844 he crossed the Atlantic to America, settling first in Canada, where he remained for four years. At the end of that time he removed to Livingston county, New York, and from there to Allamakee county, Iowa, in 1853. For several years he engaged in getting out wood to supply to steamers on the Mississippi river, and he lived during that time at Johnsonport. Soon after his arrival here he bought one hundred and sixty acres of wild land on section 29, Taylor township, and several years later located on the property, where he has since continued to reside, bearing an active and honorable part in the work of upbuilding which has transformed this part of the state from a frontier wilderness into a prosperous and growing county. With characteristic energy he began developing his farm, clearing the timber and erecting upon it substantial buildings. He has today a well improved property, which is under the management of his son, and which in its neat and attractive appearance indicates the many years of careful supervision which the owner has bestowed upon it.

Mr. Clark has been twice married. In Canada he married Miss Mary Brady and by her had two children, one of whom, Mrs. Mary Murril, resided in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Mr. Clark’s second wife was in her maidenhood Miss Bridget Marn, and she passed away February 15, 1902, leaving four children: Eva, the wife of John Hart, of Waterville, Iowa; John, who operated his father’s farm; Anna, who lives at home; and Nell, the wife of Amos Damon, of Harper’s Ferry, Iowa.

Mr. Clark is a member of the Roman Catholic church and guides his honorable and upright life by the principles in which he believes. He has been at all times interested in the welfare of the county and has given active cooperation to many movements for the public good. Living in Allamakee county for fifty years, he is one of the best known citizens of his locality, being widely recognized as a man of tried integrity and worth, of business enterprise and unfaltering diligence.

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

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