CLARK, EDWARD O., one of the oldest native-born residents of Sangamon County, was born near Williamsville, December 3, 1831, a son of Oramel and Jane (Stewart) Clark, both of whom were natives of St. Lawrence County, N.Y. The parents came to Illinois in 1818 and soon afterwards the father erected a blacksmith shop at Athens, where he lived several years. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. The Clark family later moved to a farm near Williamsville and there the mother died in 1832. They lived on the farm until 1855, the father also conducting a blacksmith shop, then they located in Springfield, where he purchased property at the corner of Ninth and Edwards Streets, and there he spent his remaining days. There were several children in the family, and there are two sons now surviving, Edward O. and William A., the latter a resident of San Diego, Calif., where he went at an early day. The father was married a second time and four daughters were born to this union.
During his boyhood Edward O. Clark attended the country schools near his father's home, and he worked on the home farm until he was twenty-three years of age, then moved to Macoupin County and there carried on farming on his own account for twenty-five years and in 1885 came to Springfield, where he conducted a hotel two years and then retired from active business life. He has many friends in the city and is a representative, useful citizen. He has voted the Republican ticket since the inception of that party and has never been too ill to attend the polls on election day. He and his wife were firm friends of Abraham Lincoln, who visited their home many times. He has a pleasant home at 931 East Cass Street, Springfield, where he has lived several years. He is a member of the Methodist Church. He has a clear memory of early times and conditions in Sangamon County and has been a witness of many changes and improvements there.
February 14, 1851, Mr. Clark was married at Waverly, Ill., to Miss Virginia F. Harris, a native of Jacksonville, Ill., born March 8, 1835. She is a daughter of Thomas R. and Eliza (Fry) Harris, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. Mr. Harris came to Waverly in 1834 and there for many years conducted a tannery and became a large landowner, having first entered land from the Government. Both he and his wife died at Waverly. They were parents of four daughters and three sons, of whom two daughters now survive: Mrs. Mary E. Rynders of Waverly, and Mrs. Clark. The oldest son, John L., served in the Civil War and was killed at the Battle of Shiloh; Sidney T. was the second son; William J. also served in the war, and all three are now deceased. One child was born to Mr. Clark and wife, Etta C., married Samuel Lewis, and both are now deceased, leaving one son, Edward Clark Lewis, who served in the Spanish-American War.