Biography of George Marshall Clark
Portrait and Biographical Album of Woodford County, Illinois. Chapman Bros., 1889, Chicago
contributed by Jane Foster, transcribed by Dena Whitesell

George Marshall Clark, the son of pioneer parents whom he accompanied to Woodford County in his eaily childhood, grew with the growth ot the county and since attaining man's estate has been one of its most progressive and prosperous farmers and stock-raisers, and has materially advanced its interests. He has a large, finely improved farm in Cazenovia Township, where he is enjoying life in one of the most charming and cozy homes tn the locality. Mr Clark is also closely identified with the agricultural interests of Iroquois County where he owns a large tract of choice farming land, many acres of which are under tillage, and which is provided with necessary buildings and all the accessories ot a good farm.

The subject of this biographical notice was born in the town of Nelson, Madison Co.. NY , March 13, 1841 His father, Thomas

Clark, was of New England antecedents and birth, born m Massachusetts Jan 7, 1805. His father, Bill Clark, is supposed to have been a native ot that State, and was the son of a gallant Revolutionary soldier. He was bred to the life of a farmer, and moving to New York at some period of his life, became an early settler of the town of Nelson, buying a tract of heavily timbered land there that formed a part of the primeval forest of that section of the country. That was before the era of railways and canals in that State, and he used to drive his grain to Albany, 110 miles distant, to dispose of it. He cleared a farm, and made his home on it till death called him to a better one.

The father of our subject was but a boy when his parents moved to New York State, and he there grew to man's estate, married and established a home. He rented land and earned on farming there till 1844, when he determined to avail himself of the cheaper lands and fairer opportunities that Illinois offered to enterprising farmers, and in the month of June he set out on his journey to this State, traveling via the Erie Canal to Buffalo whence he came by boat on Lake Erie to Cleveland, and from there went by canal to the Ohio River, then continued the voyage on that river and up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to the interior of this Stale, and landed at Lacon, whence he came on foot to Cazenovia Township. Here he bought an eighty acre tract of land on section 22, paying $3 an acre for it. After concluding the purchase of that bit of wild prairie, he returned to his old home in New York, and in the fall came back to this place with a two horse team, bringing his wife, son and another child, and accomplishing the journey in six weeks and two days. There being no house on his place, he and his family were given shelter in the dwelling of a hospitable neighbor near by, and in the fall of 1845 he commenced the erection of a frame house, which on account of sickness he did not complete till 1846. The shingles were from Wisconsin, and were brought here by the roundabout way of St Louis, while the boards for the house were sawed in a mill in the township operated by horse power Mr Clark continued his residence here till his death in 1881, when he rounded out a long and useful life. He was a man whom to know was to respect, as he possessed many sterling qualities of head and heart, and was true to himself and to all with whom he had dealings. In the management of his affairs he displayed wisdom and prudence, thus accumulating a goodly amount of property, and in so doing added to the material wealth of his adopted county, in whose welfare he was always interested. His wife survived him till 1886, when she too passed away from the scenes of her usefulness. Her maiden name was Delency Fidelbra Marshall, and she was bom tn Cazenovia Township. N Y.. July 9, 1807, a daughter of Simeon and Sarah Marshall.

Our subject and one other child who died in infancy, were the only children born to his parents. He was but three and one-half years old when he came to this State with them, yet he still retains some recollection of that memorable journey across the country, and has a distinct remembrance of the pioneer life that obtained here in his boyhood and early manhood. For some years after the family came here deer and wild turkeys were plenty, and the prairie continued sparsely settled for a long time.

His mother, who was a notable housewife, used to spin and weave all the cloth and make all the garments used in the family.

He being the only surviving child, our subject always made his home with his parents, and was their stay and comfort in their declining years. He has been very much prospered in his work as a practical farmer, and has acquired a large amount of valuable property.  He has besides his fine, well-appointed farm in Cazenovia Township, 640 acres of land of exceeding fertility in Iroquois County, 250 acres of which are under excellent tillage, and there is a set of frame buildings on the place and two artesian wells.

In the month of September 1880 our subject took an important step in his life whereby he secured a good wife in the person of Miss Mary Ellen McFarlin, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Joseph and Lydia (Davis) McFarlin. Her parents now reside in Martinton Township, Iroquois County. Mr and Mrs Clark have one child,  Eva.

Mr Clark has accumulated wealth by the exercise of those traits that mark him as a man more than ordinarily gifted with tact, force of character, strength of purpose, and business acumen. It is to such men that Woodford County is indebted for its high standing as a great agricultural center. Our subject has many pleasant social qualities that commend him to his neighbors and others, and he and his wife are highly thought of in this community. In his political views he was formerly a Republican, and cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. But he is now independent, preferring not to be bound by party ties. Mrs Clark is connectedwith the Baptist Church as one of its most valued members.

The father and mother of our subject are resting in dreamless repose, but have left behind them monuments far more enduring than even Carrara's far-famed marble has ever furnished. We present to their many friends portraits of those valued pioneers, upon whose living features the eye can no longer rest.

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