Biography of Nelson Clark
Potter County, PA Biographies

NELSON CLARK, farmer, P. 0. Coudersport, a son of Daniel and Speedy (Grow) Clark, was born at Mansfield, Windham Co., Conn., in 1808. His grandfather, Daniel Clark, was a soldier of the Revolution, and a native of Connecticut, where he married Miss Mehitable Slaight, and reared a family of six children: Daniel, Mehitable, James, Sarah, Enoch and Lora. There Daniel and his wife remained until their decease. Daniel, father of Nelson, was also a native of Connecticut, and married Speedy, daughter of Deacon Thomas Grow, of Hampton, same State. They located in Connecticut, where Mrs. Clark died. Nelson and Birna were their only children, the latter, however, dying at the age of eighteen years. Daniel afterward married Lucy Bennett, and removed to a farm in Eulalia township, Potter Co., Penn., June 10, 1816, which farm Nelson now owns. Upon their arrival the county was an almost unbroken wilderness, their nearest neighbor, in the direction of Olean, being distant twenty two miles, and the nearest post office seventy miles away. Mr. Nelson Clark still resides upon the old homestead, having survived all but two persons who were born here in or before 1816, of whom J. K. Burt, the first male white child born in the county, is one. Daniel Clark, in addition to being a farmer, was a practical surveyor, made many of the first surveys in the county, and was appointed by the surveyor general to make the first map of the county, for which he received $150. His children, three in number, were all born in Connecticut.

Nelson Clark, the subject proper of this biography, was reared on the farm. and from the fact of its being a new county, without the benefit of the educational advantages now afforded, was unable to attend school in his youth. Living in the woods he became a successful hunter at an early age, catching his first wolf when he was twelve years old. He afterward returned to Connecticut, where he attended school, and worked during the summers. Again coming to Pennsylvania, accompanied by some of his relatives, he located on the old home farm in Eulalia township. He was married, October 15, 1829, to Mary A. Barrows, and to them have been born ten children, of whom four are living: Lora (now Mrs. George Metzger, of Emporium), Sarah, B. G., and Ella (now Mrs. J. W. Snyder). Mr. Clark has served as commissioner of Potter county, as county treasurer, and in various minor positions. He was a member of the old anti slavery party, then of the Republican party, up to Grant's second candidacy, and has since been a Prohibitionist. He states that in the early days of Potter liquor was drank to an excess. No enterprise could be accomplished without the use of it, and nearly all the inhabitants drank more or less liquor, the habit keeping society at a low base, and causing the multitude to strive harder for a livelihood. Thirty years ago, by a special act of the legislature, a prohibition law was passed which did away with most of the drinking in the county. and the people then began to thrive and the county became more prosperous.


From:
History of the Counties of
McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania
J. H. Beers & Co. Publishers
Chicago, Ill. 1890


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