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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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THOMAS F. CLARK, senior member of the firm of Thomas F. Clark & Sons, and a highly esteemed business man of Ware, was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in April, 1832, son of Michael and Mary (Farley) Clark.

His father was a weaver by trade and for many years was successfully engaged in that business for himself, using hand looms and employing four or five men in the work. He manufactured coarse and fine Irish linens, blankets, frieze jacket cloths, and similar fabrics. He died in Ireland in 1840, when about sixty years of age. His wife, Mary Farley, reared him four sons and two daughters. Of these, Ann became the wife of James Reilly, by whom she had two children. During a fever epidemic in Dublin she, her husband, and children all died in a hospital there. The rest are: Margaret, who came to America when a young woman, and died in Globe Village, Mass., thirty-five years of age; Patrick, who came to this country about 1850; James, residing in Ware, where he is employed by the Otis Company, is married, and has a family of children; Thomas F.; and Thaddeus, a weaver, who is also married and has a family. Their mother died in Ireland in 1878, nearly one hundred years of age. She was a woman of more than ordinary ability, and retained a good degree of bodily health until her last days. Her aunt, whose maiden name was Dunn, lived to the remarkable age of one hundred and twenty years.

Thomas F. Clark began as a mere child to have some part in his father’s weaving establishment. He was able to weave at an early age. When eighteen he came with his elder brother Patrick to America, making the voyage in thirty-four days. On his arrival the first work he secured was on a farm in Southbridge, Mass. After a few weeks spent there he obtained a position in the print works in Ware, which has since been his home. He began in one of the mills of the Otis Company. Here he soon proved himself a skilled weaver; but, though he operated three looms, he received only eighteen dollars per month. Board, however, was proportionately cheap at this time, it costing but six dollars per month. Within two years he was able to earn one dollar per day; and gradually advancing he became in turn overseer of the different departments from beaming to weaving, and finally of the finishing-room, where for some time he made as high as two dollars and seventy-five cents per day. He gave complete satisfaction during the thirty-five years that he was connected with the company. The company now employ two of his sons in positions of importance. The firm of Thomas F. Clark & Sons was organized in 1882, and is composed of Thomas F., and his sons, James and Henry M. They have stores in Ware, Warren, and, until it was destroyed by fire July 4, 1895, in Hudson, Mass. They do an extensive and profitable business.

Mr. Clark was married when about twenty-one years of age to Miss Ann Dailey, whose birth occurred in Ireland in the town where he was also born, and where they played together as children. Their union has been blessed by the birth of six children, four sons and two daughters, all of whom are living. They are as follows: John Clark, superintendent of finishing in the cloth-room of the Otis Company, who is married and has five sons and two daughters; James Clark, also a superintendent in one of the departments of the Otis Company, who is married and has two sons and three daughters; Thomas F. Clark, Jr., in charge of the store at Warren, who is married and has one son; Henry M. Clark, manager of the stores in Ware and West Warren; Mary Clark, residing at home, a saleslady in Ware; and Katie Clark, who has been her father’s housekeeper since her mother’s death. The mother died in October, 1882, when she was fifty years of age. The family are members of All Saints’ Catholic Church. Mr. Clark has occupied his present residence on North Street, nearly opposite the church, for the past twenty-five years.

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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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