Biography of G. Jay Clark
Columbiana County, OH Biographies

G. Jay Clark. Among the many able and successful young attorneys of East Liverpool is G. Jay Clark, who was born in this city, June 21, 1894, the son of Adolphus H. and Catherine (Ikirt) Clark.

Adolphus H. Clark, deceased, was a successful lawyer of East Liverpool. He was born in Columbiana County, near Salineville, in 1847, the son of James Clark, whose father, Hugh Clark, came to Columbiana County at a very early date and who is remembered as one of the earliest school teachers in this part of the state. Samuel Clark, great great grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Hagerstown, Md. He had two brothers, George and John, killed by Indians. He was married to Nellie Violette, who was at that time the widow of one Littleton. She had a son named John Littleton and two daughters, later married to George Dawson, and a Mr. Scott. Samuel Clark had four sons: Alexander, Samuel, George and Hugh. The latter, Hugh Clark, and grandfather of Adolphus H. Clark, was born in 1778 in Western Pennsylvania, near Brownsville, Fayette County. He came to Ohio in the year 1800, two years before it became one of the sisterhood of states. What is now Columbiana County was then included in Jefferson County. When about 18 years of age he was employed by an uncle living in Kentucky, named Violette, the owner of a slave plantation. This gave him such opportunity to observe the iniquities of the slave system that he was forever after a hater of the institution and an avowed and ever active abolitionist. He married in 1811 to Miss Fishel and removed to Mad River, Clark County, Ohio. Here two children were born to them, Mary and Eleanor. Upon the death of his wife about the year 1815 he returned to Columbiana County, settling on Yellow Creek, a few miles below Salineville. He was again married in 1816 to Letitia Kerr and to this union seven children were born: Violet, James, Amelia, Julia A., George D., Letitia J., and John L. He died in December, 1857. Besides following farming he taught school a good many years and was also a music teacher, when it was taught in school houses by candle light. He is said to have been the first music teacher in St. Clair township. Letitia Kerr Clark, wife of Hugh, and grandmother of A. H. Clark, was born in 1793, the daughter of James and Hannah (Beard) Kerr. Her father moved to Yellow Creek in 1810 and died in 1812. There were eight children in the Kerr family: Letitia Clark, William, Mary Downard, Amelia Woodburn, Hannah Marshall, James and Julia Roach. She died in May, 1855, in Washington Township, Columbiana County. Hugh Clark had three brothers, Alexander, Samuel and George, whose lives were spent in Jefferson and Columbiana Counties. Alexander Clark married Ruth Mathews and had seven children: Sally Wycoff, Samuel Clark, Prudence Hart, Alanson Clark, John Clark, Nellie Russel, and Rachel Clark. Samuel Clark married Jennie Carothers, and had ten children: Violet Adams, Rebecca Russel, Hugh, Nellie Kerr, James, Sarah Lowery, Hannah, Jane Ewing, Margaret Barcus, and Lydia Criss. George Clark married Hannah Vaughn, and had eleven children: Nellie Fishel, Alex, Lydia Brothers, Stephen, Elizabeth, George, Richard, Diana Haumers, Frances Gilson, Hannah, and Perry J. The children of Hugh Clark, great grandfather of the subject of this sketch were: Mary Gorman, Violet Saltsman, James, Letitia Campbell, Ellen Van Fossan, Amelia Paisley, Julia McCloskey, George D., and J. Littleton Clark.

James Clark, father of Adolphus Clark, was born in 1818 on Yellow Creek bottom, near the residence of Samuel C. Kerr, a few miles below Salineville. He followed brick making for several years and teaching school in the winter. He was also engaged at the coopering trade, making barrels for the flour mill and salt works, then called "Farmers Salt Works," and he also followed farming to some extent. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence for his day, was possessed of a strong and well stored mind, was a good talker and formidable debater. He was especially fond of discussion and would go for miles to attend debates, then quite frequently held in village and country school houses. Theological, moral, and political questions were mostly the themes of controversy. He early espoused the anti slavery cause. He worked with might for slavery overthrow at which he greatly rejoiced. In line with his ideas upon this subject he became a member of the Free Presbyterian Church and continued his connections until the cause of its organization, the institution of slavery went down, when that church disbanded and became a religious body of the past. He then became a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics he was a Republican and advocated its principles. In later years he was engaged in mining at Salineville. He was a member of Company G, 143rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and saw active duty on the Peninsula. He died in April, 1875, at his home in Salineville, almost at the threshhold of the place of his nativity and where he spent his entire life. James Clark was married to Mary C. McMillen in 1845, a native of Carroll County, Ohio, by whom he had eight children: Adolphus H., Harriet A. Carter, L. Cordelia, Lizzie E. Omohundro, Mary R., Hannah K., Rebecca T., and Blanche C. Clark. The mother died in June, 1871. George D. and John L. Clark were for many years engaged in teaching school. Both served their country in the Civil War, George D., enlisting in the 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He saw active and arduous service in the Army of the Potomac. John L. Clark enlisted in the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served in the west in Sherman's army under Col. J. W. Reilly. John L. Clark learned the printer's trade and for some years was editor of the Buckeye State.

Adolphus H. Clark was educated in the common schools of Columbiana County. After reaching his majority he entered one of the institutions of Columbiana County presided over by his uncle, J. Lyttleton Clark, under whose instructions and tutorship he remained for two years. A few of his earlier years were spent in coal mining. After leaving school he taught for four years in the union schools of Salineville and New Lisbon, during which time he began the study of law. In the early summer of 1873 he entered the office of Nichols & Firestone of New Lisbon, Ohio, under whose instruction he continued until his admission to the bar in 1874. In the spring of the following year he began the practice of his profession in East Liverpool. He was a close student and a self made and educated man, having acquired his literary and professional training through his own efforts. He was elected to the city and township clerk of East Liverpool and Liverpool Township and served as mayor of East Liverpool from 1880 until 1882 and served as city solicitor from 1892 until 1896. He was an active Republican, and served on the local committee several years and in 1888 was the Republican county chairman, and conducted the presidential campaign of that year skillfully and successfully. Mr. Clark was married in 1878 to Catherine E. Ikirt, daughter of Dr. J. J. Ikirt. To them six children were born: Charles I., Elizabeth C., and Willis I., all deceased; Walter A., born Feb. 22, 1884, a musician, lives in East Liverpool; Elizabeth C., married A. Eugene Conry, of Youngstown, Ohio, and they live in Los Angeles, Cal., and have a son, Edwin Clark Conry, born March 15, 1915; and G. Jay, the subject of this sketch. Mr. Clark died April 17, 1915, and is buried in Riverview cemetery. His wife resides in East Liverpool. Mr. Clark was a member of the Ohio Bar Association and was attorney for the Peoples Building & Savings Company of East Liverpool.

G. Jay Clark was graduated from the East Liverpool High School in 1913 and spent the following two years in the law offices of W. C. McKain and Guy T. Ohl, of Youngstown. From May, 1915 until Dec. 1, 1916, he was associated with W. Frank Lones of East Liverpool. In July, 1917, Mr. Clark established an office in the Little Building, and later removed to his present location in the Potters Savings & Loan Building. He was admitted to the Ohio State bar Jan. 2, 1917.

On June 24, 1920, Mr. Clark was married to Miss Evelyn Brown of Gavers, Wayne Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, a daughter of Baltzer and Nannie (Ewing) Brown. Mr. Brown, a well known farmer of Columbiana County, died March 4, 1904, and is buried at Lisbon. His wife lives in East Liverpool. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have two sons, Robert B., born June 25, 1921 and Richard Jay, born Aug. 24, 1925.

Mr. Clark is a Republican, and in 1920-21 served as clerk to Mayor J. S. Wilson. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Columbiana County Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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