Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
Edward S. Clark, who follows general farming in Rochester township, is a representative of one of the oldest and best known pioneer families of Sangamon county and no history of this section of the state would be complete without mention of Mr. Clark and his parents. His father, Henry P. Clark, was born in Rochester township, on the 2d of November, 1823, and was a son of Edward Clark, whose birth occurred on the 16th of February, 1790, in a suburb of London, England. After arriving at years of maturity, having come to America, he was married, March 4, 1821, to Miss Sarah Biney, who was born in Kentucky, July 2, 1803. Leaving Kentucky they made their way to central Illinois and established their home in Sangamon county when this was largely a wild and unimproved region, in which the work of civilization and progress had been scarcely begun. They cast in their lot with the early pioneer settlers, who took an active and helpful part in reclaiming this district for the uses of the white man, the grandfather here developing a good farm. Amid the wild scenes of frontier life their son Henry P. Clark was reared and he shared with the family in the hardships and trials incident to the pioneer home. His education was acquired in the district schools and he worked in the fields through the summer months, gaining a practical and thorough knowledge of farming methods. On the 15th of December, 1853, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy T. Williams, a daughter of Samuel and Jane S. Williams, who were early settlers of Sangamon county. Her father was born in Vermont in 1800 and her mother in Kentucky in 1807. They resided in this portion of the state for a long period and Mrs. Williams died October 11, 1865, while Mr. Williams departed this life on the 23d of May, 1887.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Clark resided for two or three years in Iowa, where he conducted a store. They also spent one year in Mechanicsburg, Illinois, and in 1868 Mr. Clark purchased two hundred acres of land situated about two and a half miles southeast of Rochester. Taking up his abode upon that farm he made it his home continuously up to the time of his death. He was an enterprising farmer and in his work, owing to his industry and perseverance, he met with good success. He had, too, the kindly regard of friends and neighbors and his death was deeply deplored. He had been a member of the Christian church for nearly half a century and his life exemplified his religious belief, which permeated his entire career, making him a man of sterling uprightness and honor. His widow still survived him and is now conducting the old home farm. She, too, has been a member of the Christian church for nearly fifty years and her kindly spirit and sympathy are the fruits of her Christian faith.
Edward S. Clark, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry P. Clark, was born October 18, 1865, and under the parental roof he spent his boyhood days, being reared on the old home farm to which his parents removed when he was only two years old. In his boyhood he worked in the fields and attended school, acquiring a good, practical English education. At the time of his marriage he rented the Bowles farm near his father's property and from 1893 until 1896 he operated a rented farm in Cotton Hill township. In 1898 he purchased seventy-eight acres of good land on section 28, Rochester township, and has since resided thereon, devoting his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits.
On the 19th of February, 1891, Edward S. Clark was married to Miss Carrie Olcott, a daughter of James and Sarah Olcott, of Rochester township. Her father died November 15, 1881, and her mother is still living. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Clark have been born seven children: Charles Floyd, born April 29, 1892; Carroll Edward, in September, 1893, in Cotton Hill township; Ray, July 10, 1896; Mabel A., March 13, 1898; Ethel R., April 1, 1900, and a daughter, born July 7, 1901. Both Mr. and Mrs. Clark have spent their entire lives in Sangamon county and are well known in this part of the state, having won the favorable regard and friendship of many with whom they have been associated.