Tama County Iowa Biographies

Hon. Leander Clark

Leander Clark was born at Wakeman, Huron County, Ohio, July 17, 1823.  His boyhood days were spent on the farm with his parents.  The training for a busy and successful life was begun in the public schools and later supplemented by a period of study at the Academy of Oberlin College.  In 1849, with a party, he started across the plains and arrived at Sacramento after a journey of seven months.  In 1852 he returned to the States by way of the Isthmus of Panama and came to Tama County, Iowa, where he has since resided.
Mr. Clark was elected Justice of the Peace in 1855, and Judge of Tama County in 1857, which office he held for four years.  In 1861 he was sent to represent Tama County in the General Assembly.  When the call for volunteers came, he resigned and enlisted as a private in the 24th Iowa Infantry.  He was elected captain of Company E.  In October, 1862, the regiment went into the field and Captain Clark accompanied it for nearly three years, participating in almost all engagements.  In September, 1864, he was promoted, and as major continued with his regiment until January, 1865, when he was made lieutenant colonel.  At the battle of Champion Hill, Mississippi, he was wounded in the face by a small ball.  He also received a slight wound at the battle of Winchester, Virginia.  In August, 1865, at the close of the war he was mustered out with his regiment.  Major Clark bears the reputation of a brave soldier and officer.
On his return to civil life he served another term in the legislature, and in 1866 was appointed Indian Agent for the Sac and Fox Indians.  The remainder of his life has been devoted to the quiet prosecution of his business interests and the peaceful enjoyment of his home life, broken into years ago by the deepest domestic sorrow in the loss of his wife.
Major Clark's wealth is the result of intelligently directed industry aided by modest tastes and by the natural growth of a new and rapidly developing community.  Coming to Iowa in the early days when land was cheap, he slowly but surely built up a fortune by taking advantage of the natural increase in values, gradually extending his holdings until they comprised large sections of Iowa, the Dakotas, and Missouri.  Later entering the banking business, he was for years the president of the Toledo Savings Bank, and has been intimately connected with the commercial growth of this section of the country.  He is an excellent example of the stalwart and sterling type of citizen to whose skill and industry the present development of the western country is due.
Until his last illness, in his eighty-eighth year, Mr. Clark retained personal direction of his business affairs, and took a lively interest in the students of the College, especially in their athletic doings and intercollegiate debates.  He always received the warmest welcome and the seat of honor whenever he visited the College or attended its functions.  Ripe in years and full of honors, he passed peacefully away on December 22, 1910.


Source: Western - Leander-Clark College, 1856-1911, by Henry W. Ward; Dedication, Biography of Leander Clark, pg 300-302, Honorary Alumni, Appendix: pg 361 and Alumni of the College of Liberal Arts, Appendix: pgs 362-366. Otterbein press, Dayton, Ohio, 1911.

Transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall for Tama Co. IAGenWeb, October 2009

Note: Western College was founded in 1856-7 in Toledo, Iowa, and was renamed after Leander Clark in 1906. This is the college mentioned above.

Also see Leander Clark in Wikipedia.

Page last updated 1 Aug 2013 by William Haloupek

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