ROBERT CLARK. Among the farmers of Towanda Township possessing enterprise and push, and a gentleman whose success
is attributable to his own energy and good judgment, we take pleasure in relating a few facts connected with the
history of Robert Clark. He is living on his fine farm on section 9, and is meeting with success as a tiller of
the soil. The parents of our subject were Robert and Jeannette (Paxton) Clark, of Irish and Scotch ancestry. The
occupation of the father was that of a farmer, and he was also a wagon-maker by trade. After his marriage to Miss
Paxton he settled in Washington County, Pa., where they continued to reside until their demise. Eleven children,
five sons and six daughters, were born of their union, our subject being the fourth in order of birth.
Robert Clark was born in Washington County, Pa., Feb. 22, 1812. He lived with the old folk until twenty-four years old, when he started out to do for himself. His education was received in the common schools, and in early years he studied civil engineering, which he mastered, but which in after life he never followed. He also learned the trade of a wagon-maker under the instruction of his father, and on leaving the parental household he engaged in working for a brother-in-law in the same county, and was in his employ for seven and a half years, engaged the while in farming. He then went to Mercer County, Pa., and there purchased a farm of 118 acres, and for twenty-one years lived upon the place and was occupied in its cultivation and improvement.
Selling his farm in Mercer County, in the winter of 1865, our subject came to this county and purchased 160 acres, located on sections 9 and 16, Towanda Township. He settled on section 9, and has made that his home until the present time. By hard labor, economy, industry and good judgment he has succeeded in adding to his original purchase, and at the present time is the proprietor of 360 acres of valuable land. He has on his farm a fine set of buildings, including residence, barn, and other necessary out-buildings, and is recognized as one of the progressive farmers of McLean County.
Mr. Clark was married in Washington County, Pa., May 28, 1844, to Margaret McIlvain. She is a cousin of George McIlvain, one of the Supreme Court Judges of Ohio. Her parents were Greer and Jane (Campbell) McIlvain, both of Scotch ancestry. They were born in Pennsylvania, married, and settled in Washington County, their native State, where the father engaged in farming and where the mother died. He is yet living, and has attained the venerable age of ninety-four years. They had seven children, five daughters and two sons, and Mrs. Clark was the third daughter born to them. She first saw light in Washington County, Pa., April 19, 1823. Of her union with our subject seven children have been born, three of whom are yet living. The deceased are Robert E., whose demise occurred when five years old; Maggie E., who departed this life when two and a half years of age; Martha J., who died in Washington County, Pa., at the residence of her grandfather, while on a visit there, March 6, 1874, and Greer McIlvain, who died March 6, 1877, while in the twenty-seventh year of his life. The three living children are—Andrew T., a carpenter by trade, and a resident of Manitou, Col.; Oren, living at Leoti, Kan., and Lizzie, at present in Colorado for her health. Mr. and Mrs. Clark are both members of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics our subject is Republican.
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), 674. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.