Biography of William H. Clarke
North Central Ohio Biographies

William H. Clarke. One of Mt. Vernon's best known citizens is William H. Clarke, who has engaged in the practice of law in this city for the past 30 years. At the present time he is also serving as deputy probate judge of Knox County, under Judge Clyde W. Purdy. He was born at Mt. Vernon, March 11, 1876, the son of Robert and Mamie (Hurd) Clarke.

Robert Clarke was born at Brownsville, Pa. He served throughout the Civil War as captain of Battery A, Army of the Potomac, and was wounded at the battles of Gettysburg and Antietam. He died July 12, 1912, and his wife died Nov. 25, 1922. Both are buried in Mound View Cemetery. She was born at Brownsville, Pa., the daughter of Roland 5. Hurd, who married a daughter of David Norton, one of the founders of Mt. Vernon. Roland S. Hurd was a prominent jurist of Mt. Vernon during the pioneer days and was the author of "Hurd on Habeas Corpus," which is widely used today. The book was revised in 1880 by his son, Frank H. Hurd, who was a prominent Democrat of Knox County, and who served in Congress for several terms. He was a personal friend of President Grover Cleveland. The author of the Norton's History of Knox County was Banning S. Norton, a brother of Mary B. Hurd.

William H. Clarke was educated in the public schools of Mt. Vernon and attended Kenyon College, being a member of the class of 1898. He read law in the offices of Critchfield & Graham, of Mt. Vernon, and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1902. He has since engaged in general practice in this city. Mr. Clarke was elected mayor of Mt. Vernon in 1906, and also served for three years in the attorney general's office at Columbus as special counsel to John G. Price, attorney generaL

On Oct. 25, 1907, Mr. Clarke married Miss Nan M. Miller, of Mt. Vernon, the daughter of Warner W. and Tina S. (Cooke) Miller. The latter died July 2, 1914, and is buried in Mound View Cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Clarke have three daughters: Mary Ann, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, class of 1930; Jane, and Sarah.

Mr. Clarke is a member of the Episcopal Church and belongs to the Masonic and Elk lodges.

The Clarke homestead in Mt. Vernon, located on North Main Street, is one of the landmarks of Knox County, having been in the possession of the Clarke and Hurd families for three generations. It has been kept in excellent condition and contains 21 rooms.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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