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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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CAPTAIN EDWIN C. CLARK, a much esteemed citizen of Northampton, Mass., was born here October 23, 1826, son of Allen and Sophia (Cook) Clark. The Clark family trace their lineage back to William Clark, who was born in England in the year 1609, and came to Massachusetts among the early colonists, being known to have been living in Dorchester in 1638, and to have removed to Northampton about twenty years after.

This progenitor, who, like his contemporaries, was engaged in agricultural pursuits, bore the title of Lieutenant and was a very able and public-spirited man. He served as Trial Justice and was often one of the Selectmen of Northampton. Captain Clark has a souvenir of the olden times in the shape of a photographic copy of the autographs of the five Selectmen of 1666, one of whom was Lieutenant Clark. He was also a consistent church member and served as Deacon for many years. He died in Northampton in 1691. In 1880, in place of the simple headstone that had marked his grave, a monument of Quincy granite, costing five hundred dollars, was erected to his memory by his descendants, some ten of whom, including Captain Edwin C. Clark, were active in tracing the genealogy of the family.

His son, John Clark, who was born in Dorchester, as appears from the history of that town, also devoted much time and attention to public affairs; and in addition to the other positions of public trust which he filled he served as a Representative in the General Court during fourteen sessions. He was the father of ten children, by whom he had over eighty grandchildren; and, like his father, he held the office of Deacon in the church of which he was a member. His son, Increase Clark, was born in Northampton in 1684; and directly after him the lineal representatives are Daniel, born in Northampton in 1712, and Daniel’s son. Deacon Solomon, who was also a native of Northampton, born in 1744, and who became a well-to-do farmer. He died in 1821, leaving a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters. A brother Daniel was one of the pioneer settlers of Ohio, near Cleveland, where he reared a family of ten children.

Allen Clark, son of Deacon Solomon, was born in 1789, was reared to the vocation of a farmer, and later became the owner of the old homestead, where his life was successfully spent as an agriculturist. He died in August, 1849. His wife, Sophia Cook Clark, was a daughter of William and Annie (Gorman) Cook, both of whom were natives of Hadley, Mass. Their marriage was solemnized in Northampton in 1814; and they reared a family of seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom Edwin C. was the sixth child and third son. The only survivors are Edwin C. and his sister Pamelia, the widow of Heman Smith, of Springfield, Mass.

Edwin C. Clark received a good common-school education, and remained on his father’s farm until in his twenty-third year, when he was aroused by the reports of discovery of gold in California, and went thither by way of the Isthmus. He was engaged for a time as a placer miner on the American River, but a year later he came home; and in the fall of 1850 he secured a position in New York City as salesman and shipper for the firm of Beebe & Co., hatters, remaining with them four years. In 1854, returning to Hampshire County, he became associated with William Clark, under the firm name of E. C. Clark & Co., in the manufacture of lumber, which they carried on at Southampton, Mass., for five years, conducting a steam saw-mill, and during that time sold nine thousand cords of wood. He subsequently engaged in the livery business with his brother in Northampton, and later conducted it alone and on quite an extensive scale, having two stables with thirty to fifty horses. In 1877 he became superintendent of the Northampton Street Railway; and he also served as Treasurer from that time until 1893, rendering very efficient service in both offices. He has since lived retired from active business.

In 1861 Mr. Clark enlisted as Second Lieutenant in the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and served in the Burnside expedition, taking part in the battles of Roanoke and Newbern. In 1862 he re-enlisted in the Fifty-second Massachusetts Infantry as First Lieutenant of Company C, and later received a commission as Quartermaster. He went to Louisiana under the command of General Banks, was present at the capture of Baton Rouge; he also served at Port Hudson, and was with his regiment when it ascended the Mississippi River. He was mustered out of service in the fall of 1863, at Greenfield, Mass.

On November 20, 1850, Mr. Clark was united in marriage with Miss Emily L. Hines, of Lee, Mass., a daughter of William and Hannah (Putnam) Hines. She was the eighth in a family of ten children, five sons and five daughters, of whom but three are living: Mrs. Clark; Sarah, the wife of John Williams, of Williamsburg, Mass.; and Marshall Hines, of Coltsville, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. Clark are the parents of two sons and two daughters, namely: Ida Beebe, the wife of Joseph Carhart, President of the State Normal School at St. Cloud, Minn.; Edwin C., who succeeded his father as superintendent of the street railway company; Mary A., the wife of E. V. Mitchell, of Hartford, Conn.; and William Clark, a coal dealer, residing in Lansingburg, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Clark began married life forty-five years ago; and the only death that has been in the family, which now numbers twenty-six, is that of a grand-daughter, Ida Clark, at eight years of age.

In political affiliation Mr. Clark is a Republican, and, though never a man who sought public office, has served acceptably as Alderman. For twenty-five years he was an active fireman and was the engineer many years. Mr. Clark is a Master Mason of thirty-four years’ standing, and has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He and his family reside at 94 Crescent Street, in their fine dwelling which was completed in November, 1892. A portrait* of Captain Clark is placed on another page of this volume.

*Editor's note: Portrait was included in the original printed book.

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This family biography is one of the 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

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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