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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CHARLES EDWARD CLARK, a well-educated and progressive citizen of Northampton, who has a fine farm in the Seventh Ward, near Leeds, was born on the farm where he resides in 1857, son of Edward L. and Artemesia (Whitney) Clark. He represents the fourth generation of his family born in Northampton, and the third born on this farm.

His great-grandfather, Calvin Clark, who was born on Elm Street, February 21, 1770, was one of the first settlers of this part of the town, taking a tract of timber land about the year 1792, when the district was sparsely inhabited and was mostly primitive forest land. There he established a homestead, which is still in possession of the family. Deacon Enos and Deacon Luther Clark, prominent citizens in the early days of Northampton, were his brothers. On February 9, 1792, Calvin Clark was united in marriage with Lucy Parsons; and their eldest child was Justin, born June 7, 1794, the grandfather of Charles Edward Clark. The other children were as follows: Dexter, born July 15, 1795, a mason residing in Northampton, who died about 1882; Lewis and Lucy, twins, born in 1798, the former of whom died in infancy, and the latter became the wife of Arby Stacey, of Belchertown, and died in 1834; Calvin, born in 1802, who died in 1880; Fanny, born in 1804, who died at the age of sixteen; Laura, born in 1808, who died in 1879. Justin Clark, the grandfather of our subject, spent his life on the farm cleared by his father, dying May 17, 1880, in his eighty-sixth year. In 1822 he married Fanny Parsons, sister of the octogenarian, Josiah Parsons, who lives on Bridge Street, Northampton. She died in January, 1881, well advanced in her eighty-sixth year; and her husband followed her to their last home on the 19th of the next May. Two children brightened their home: Edward L., born in October, 1823, the father of Charles Edward; and Elijah P., born in 1827, who died in his twenty-third year, unmarried.

Edward L. Clark, like his father, spent his life on the home farm, winning a good livelihood from the generous soil, and finding ample food for his mind within the limits of Northampton. He was married in October, 1852, to Artemesia Whitney, of Ohio, daughter of Josiah and Almira (Ellsworth) Whitney, who was born in 1828. Her father was a native of Connecticut, her mother of Ohio; and they were married in the latter State. They were both over eighty at the time of their death. Mrs. Clark is the fifth of seven children, five sons and two daughters, and is the oldest of the three living, Charles M. and Mary D. being the other two. Her family furnished its quota in defence of the Union, one brother, a soldier in the Thirty-seventh Illinois Regiment, dying of disease contracted in the army, and Charles M., who was in the One Hundred and Seventh Ohio Regiment, serving over three years and receiving a serious wound. He is now living in Ohio. F. J. Whitney, a leading farmer in Rock Island County, Illinois, was a prominent man in his district, serving as Justice of the Peace, Postmaster, and in other official capacities. He died in 1882, at the age of sixty-six. Mrs. Clark is living at the old home with her son, very active in mind and body, though not very strong. She reared two children: Charles Edward, the subject of this sketch; and Mary A., wife of John Phinney, of Haydenville.

Charles Edward Clark attended the district schools, acquiring there a fair amount of book knowledge, at the same time acquiring that knowledge of nature and natural laws that a country boy absorbs as a sponge does water. Being the only son, he became master of the homestead at his father’s death, and for some years has been engaged in general farming, making a specialty of dairying and sending milk to the creamery. He keeps from twenty to twenty-five cows, and has a large well-equipped barn, which was built in 1882. The house in which he resides was erected by his father over forty years ago, and the boards in the dining-room floor have been in use over one hundred years, having done service in the floor of the east room in the old house of the great-grandfather.

Mr. Clark was married January 1, 1890, to Nancy Belle, daughter of Albert E. and Mary A. (Parks) Wright. The latter died in 1894, leaving besides Mrs. Clark one other daughter and a son: Sarah, wife of E. B. Gibbs, of North Blandford, Mass.; and Lyman E., who lives in Chester on the farm with his father. Mrs. Clark is a refined and well-educated lady, a graduate of Leicester Academy, and was a teacher for some time before her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Clark had one son, who died in infancy. Mr. Clark is an independent voter. He served on the Board of Aldermen in 1890. He has some advanced ideas respecting city government. Mrs. Clark is a member of the Congregational church at Williamsburg. They have an ideal home, roomy and well-kept, and may be regarded as representative types of Northampton’s best citizens.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

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