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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



MRS. NANCY CLARK, a highly respected resident of West Township, is a native of Ohio, and was born in Perry County, Aug. 21, 1831. Her father, Thomas Hammond, was born in Pennsylvania, and her grandfather, John Hammond, an Englishman by birth, emigrated to the United States when a young man, locating in Pennsylvania. He was there married to Miss Rebecca Reynolds, a native of the Keystone State, and soon afterward they removed to Ohio, and located in Perry County at an early period in the history of that section. There John Hammond purchased a tract of prairie land, and for a tenement set up four forked sticks and split clap-boards to cover them, and by this means constructed a dwelling in which he lived with his family until he could erect a log house. He cleared a farm from the wilderness and lived to see that and the land around him settled up and finely improved. He departed this life at the age of seventy-eight years, having made a good record as an industrious and intelligent citizen, and contributed his full share toward the development of Perry County.

Thomas Hammond, father of the subject of our sketch, was but an infant when his parents moved to Ohio and located in the wilderness. He grew to manhood in Perry County and was married to Miss Olive Spencer. She was born in Pennsylvania, Jan. 14, 1800, and was the daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Armstrong) Spencer. After marriage the young couple settled upon a tract of timber land, where Thomas Hammond, like his father before him, constructed a rude dwelling, in which he and his wife commenced housekeeping. He then commenced clearing his land and cultivating the soil, remaining a resident of that locality until 1866. He then sold his farm and starting for the farther West, came to this State and county, settling first in West Township. He purchased 260 acres of land on sections 30 and 31, where he carried on farming until 1877, and in February of that year removed to Bloomington, where he died in June following. His widow still survives and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Clark.

Mrs. Nancy (Hammond) Clark remained under the parental roof until her marriage with Sampson Clark, which occurred on the 1st of September, 1853. Mr. Clark was born in Somersetshire, England, Jan. 27, 1831, and was the son of Sampson and Susan (Irish) Clark. After marriage the young people located upon the present homestead of Mrs. C., and became the parents of two children, daughters Olive, who married William Hoit, and Margaret J., the wife of Hartewell E. Lewis, who resides in West Township. Mr. Clark met his death by accident in 1869, being run over by the cars of the I. B. & W. R. R. He was a very successful business man and farmer and at the time of his death owned about 800 acres of land. He was a kind husband and father, a good citizen, and universally respected by all who knew him, giving of his means for the advancement of worthy enterprises and taking a genuine interest in the welfare of his township and county.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill.: containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States.  (Chicago:  Chapman Brothers, 1887), 212.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards


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