Biography of George W. Clark
Winona County, MN Biographies

GEO. W. CLARK, the oldest pioneer settler of Winona county now living in its limits, was born in Denmark, Lewis county, New York, June 10, 1827. Brought up on the old home farm, he received the education commonly obtained in the schools of his section at that day, which was supplemented with two terms at the Lowville Academy, and in the spring of 1851 left home to take up a claim in the "far west." Journeying by steam or from Sacket's Harbor to Lewiston, New York; thence by rail to Buffalo, New York, and from that port to. Detroit by steamer, he finally reached New Buffalo, now Grand Haven, Michigan, and embarked for Milwaukee. From that city he made his way by team to Dodge county, Wisconsin, remained there with relatives until October 5 of that year, when, in company with three young men, he turned his face westward, tramped across the county to La Crosse, arriving in that city when the second frame building ever erected there was in course of construction for the firm of Roublee & Smith. Mr. Clark remained there four weeks, then, joining company with Silas Stevens and Edwin Hamilton, started up the river for what was then known as Wabasha prairie, the plateau upon which Winona now stands. Bringing provisions and lumber for a shanty with them, they made their way up stream and finally landed on the bank of the Mississippi, near the present site of the big flouring mill, at 1:30 A.M. November 13, 1851. Found Johnson, who had been on the ground ten days, asleep in his cabin, a mile down the river, and turned in with him until daylight. The next day, November 14, they all went down to the extreme east end of the prairie, drove their stake for a starting point for claims and began locating homesteads. The claim taken by Mr. Clark was numbered six, and is included in what is now known as Evans addition to the city of Winona. This was a claim of 160 acres fronting one-half mile on the river. That winter he lived on Stevens' claim, and in the following spring, 1852, built a log shanty on the claim he had intended to locate for his brother, but which he actually located for himself, and on which he is still residing. This log house, still standing, he occupied three or four years, then selecting a location some eighty rods nearer the bluff, on the south side the flats, built a two story dwelling, 22 X 25, which has since been enlarged to its present dimensions, and in which he has now resided for more than a quarter of a century. This original farm of 160 acres, Mr. Clark has added to by subsequent purchases until the tract embraces a full half-section. The brother, Joseph Clark, for whom the claim was originally taken, came to the prairie in 1852, located his 160 acres where Beck's brewery was afterward built, but only lived until 1854. He was buried at the foot of the bluff, where Woodlawn cemetery was located years afterward, and thus became the first dweller in that silent city. The property of Mr. Clark was included in the corporation of Winona when the city limits were first established, but was set oft by act of legislature the following year. He is the only resident of the township who now owns the land he originally located, and resides upon it. February 11, 1857; Mr. Clark married Miss Jane Lockwood, of Waupun, Wisconsin, of the Connecticut branch of the Lockwood family, who was born December 4, 1837. They have seven children, all living at home: Frank W., born January 4, 1858; Adah L., born January 27, 1860; Jay Scott, born November 4, 1862; Florence E., born July 28, 1868; Alfred H., born March 26, 1870; Jennie A., born January 25, 1874; May, born September 13, 1878. The two eldest were in attendance at the normal school when obliged to discontinue study on account of health. Jay graduated at the high school class of 1881; in which were five native born Winonians, and it was the first class in which any such had graduated.


FROM:
The History of Winona County
Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc.
BY: A. T. Andreas
H. H. Hill and Company, Publishers
Chicago 1883.

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