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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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JAIRUS E. CLARK, Sheriff of Hampshire County, was born at Southampton, May 8, 1835. His father, Strong Clark, was born in the same town in 1801; and his grandfather, Noah Clark, a native of either Southampton or Northampton, was born December 1, 1762. He was an extensive and successful farmer, owning a farm of over four hundred acres of land situated at the foot of Montgomery Mountain. On February 5, 1786, he married Eunice Strong, whose birth occurred in 1764. They reared a family of nine children, one daughter having died young. Those who grew to maturity became heads of families, most of them settling in New England. Noah Clark died in 1844, at the age of eighty-two, and his wife in 1853, aged eighty-nine years.

Sheriff Clark’s father was also a very prosperous farmer and a prominent man in public affairs, being a Selectman for several years and a Representative to the General Court during the sessions of 1846 and 1847. He was known as an industrious and prudent man, but exceedingly benevolent, bestowing generously the fruits of his labor upon the needy and unfortunate. A sincere Christian, gifted in prayer, he was a consistent member of the Congregational church. His wife, Roena Searle, of Chester, whom he married in the month of December, 1823, became the mother of two sons, Joseph S. and Jairus E. The former was a merchant of Westfield, where he died at the age of seventy-one years, leaving a widow and one son. Mr. Clark’s mother still survives at the age of ninety-two years, bright and active mentally, though suffering from lameness which is the result of an accident. She resides at Southampton, where her sister, Mrs. Rachel Edwards, died at the advanced age of ninety-six. Mrs. Roena Searle Clark is the youngest of eight children born to her parents, Zenas and Rachel (Bates) Searle, four of whom died in the short space of four days, of scarlet fever. Two sons and two daughters lived to reach maturity, and Mrs. Clark is now the only survivor.

Jairus E. Clark received a good education in the public schools of his native town, and at the Sheldon Academy. He continued to reside at home, assisting his father upon the farm and also conducting a profitable lumber business until 1868, when he engaged in the meat business at Easthampton, which he carried on with satisfactory results for a period of seven years. He next became station agent of the New Haven Railroad, a position which he held for twelve years; and during that time he was elected High Sheriff of Hampshire County, having previously served as a Deputy. He is now (November, 1895) serving his twelfth year in office, and has recently been re-elected by the vote of both the Republican and Democratic parties, to serve a fifth term of three years, a fact showing the public appreciation of the ability and faithfulness with which he has discharged his trusts.

On October 1, 1856, Mr. Clark was united in marriage with Miss Almanza M. Hubbard, of Southampton, who had been a school-teacher. Mrs. Clark’s father, David C. Hubbard, died early in life; and her mother became the wife of Seth Bartlett. Mr. and Mrs. Clark became the parents of three children, but have been called to part with two of them: Myron W., who died at the age of twenty-one months; and Eugene B., at the age of five years. Their only surviving child, Gertrude A. Clark, is a bright and promising student at Lasell Seminary, Auburndale, Mass. Mr. Clark is well advanced in Masonry, being a member of the Mystic Shrine, and, although a Republican in politics, owes his election, as before mentioned, to both the great parties, which united in his support. He has also served as a Selectman at Southampton, as Chief of the fire department, and chairman of the Town Hall Committee at Easthampton, and is a Director of the Hampshire County National Bank of Northampton and a Trustee of the old savings bank at Easthampton.

The portrait of Sheriff Clark shown in connection with this brief record of his career to date may well call to mind the poet’s delineation of the ideal citizen in power, who

“fixes good on good alone, and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows;
Who, if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means, . . .
Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim.”

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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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