Biography of Joseph V. Clark
Jefferson County, IA Biographies





Joseph V. Clark, a prominent and influential resident of Van Buren county, where he is successfully engaged in general agricultural pursuits, is perhaps equally well known in financial and business circles in this locality with which he was identified for many years. He is one of the county's native sons, his birth having occurred in Village township on the 29th of October, 1849. His parents, Julius L. and Emeline M. (Carson) Clark, were both born in Belmont county, Ohio, the former on the 7th of April, 1824, and the latter on the 31st of October, 1827. In 1846 they came to Van Burden county, Iowa, in company with the parents of Mrs. Clark, and here they were married. Mr. Clark at once purchased a farm of eighty acres which had just been entered by another northeast of Doud Station, and in 1850 he went to California by the overland route, returning to Iowa after a year and a half spent on the coast, the return trip being made via the isthmus. He was a wagon maker by trade, having followed that occupation for about twenty years, and he also gave much of his attention to general farming. He was one of a family of nine children, all now deceased, of whom all but the eldest, Madison, and the two daughters, Elizabeth and Caroline Smith, who were the youngest in the family, enlisted for service in the Civil war. Julius L. Clark, however, after enlisting in the Tenth Iowa Infantry was rejected but his five brothers all went to the front and gave up their lives on the altar of their country. Joseph enlisted from Mansfield, Ohio: John became a member of the Thirtieth Iowa Regiment: George enlisted in an Illinois Regiment and later reenlisted in the marine service, being killed at the battle of Mobile, while Waterman and Samuel both belonged to an Ohio Regiment. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Julius L. Clark were born nine children, as follows: Joseph V., of this review; William, deceased; Samuel, a resident of Edwards county, Kansas; Mary Smith, a widow living at Mount Pleasant; Annie, who married Oscar Cornell, of Pawnee county, Kansas; Nora Jane, who married W. S. Shoemaker of Ottumwa, Iowa; John M., who has also passed away; Thomas M., of Hutchinson, Kansas; and Amanda, the wife of Elmer Richardson, of Wilmore, Kansas.

Joseph V. Clark spent the first seventeen years of his life in Van Buren county and then, in 1866, came with his parents to Jefferson county, making his home in Liberty township until his marriage. He then took up his abode in Wayne county where he resided for one year, after which he returned to Liberty township, here engaging in agricultural pursuits until twenty years ago. At that time he removed to Birmingham and at once began dealing in horses and at the same time carried on a real estate business. Later he became identified with financial interests as a director of the Birmingham Savings Bank, in which capacity he has served since its organization, and since its inception has also served as a director of the Farmers Exchange Building of Birmingham. For nineteen years he divided his attention between these various enterprises and by reason of well directed efforts and keen business sagacity came at length to be ranked among the most prosperous and representative residents of the town. He continued actively in business there with increasing success until about a year ago, when he returned to country life, taking up his home upon his home farm of one hundred and fifty acres located on section 27, Liberty township. He also owns another tract in Ford county, Kansas, and one in Haskell county, that state, and in the conduct of his farming enterprise his labors are likewise proving most profitable. He is well known and influential in agricultural circles in this district, serving at present as secretary of the Van Buren County Farmers Institute, which office he has filled for several years and in which capacity he is doing all in his power to stimulate the interest of his fellowmen in all that tends to promote progress in agricultural lines.

Mr. Clark was married February 18, 1873, to Miss Ella M. Tower, who was born in Ripley county, Indiana, on the 24th of February, 1852, and came to Jefferson county, Iowa, November 1, 1854, with her parents, J. H, and Philena (Burton) Tower. Her father, born February 24, 1825, is still living at the venerable age of eighty six years. When he came to Iowa he entered two hundred acres of land near Batavia. He now makes his home in Pamona, California, but the mother passed away in 1869. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Clark there are three children, namely: Clara M., who is the wife of Dr. A. E. Nelson, of Sidney, Iowa, and they have two children, R. and A. C.; Lester T., has four children, A. C., Mary LaRue, Ralph Edmund and Robert Dale, residing at Palisade, Colorado; and Inez J., at home, who graduated from Birmingham high school, from the College of Oratory of Drake University and from Fremont, Nebraska, College, and who for a time was principal of the schools of Broken Bow, Nebraska. The other children also graduated from the high school. Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Clark has voted for republican candidates and principles and has served in various minor offices, including that of school director, in which capacity he has acted for many years. He is well known throughout the community for the interest which he takes in all matters of public improvement, is a man worthy of the confidence of the people and is one of the township's most substantial business factors.

From:
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement Vol II
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1914


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