Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
CLARENCE M. CLARK. That "man liveth not to himself alone" is an assurance that is amply verified in all the affairs of life, but its pertinence is the more patent in those instances where persons have so employed their inherent talents, so improved their opportunities and so marshaled their forces as to gain prestige which finds its angle of influence ever broadening in practical beneficence and human helpfulness. He whose productive activities are directed along legitimate and normal lines is by virtue of that fact exerting a force which conserves human progress and prosperity, and the man of capacity for business affairs of importance finds himself an involuntary steward upon whom devolves large responsibilities. To the extent that he appreciates these duties and responsibilities and proves faithful in his stewardship does he also contribute to the well-being of the world in which he moves. The late Clarence M. Clark, for many years a trusted employee of the national government, to uphold the honor of which government he fought faithfully as a captain during the great war between the states, and who was a scholarly and public-spirited citizen, was essentially a man who "did things" and this accomplishment was altogether worthy in all the lines in which he directed his energies. As a man of ability, sturdy integrity and usefulness, and as a representative citizen of the utmost loyalty he merited consideration by his fellow men, and his life record is deserving of a place in this publication, which touches the careers of many of those worthy men who have given to and sustained the civic and, material prosperity and precedence of our country and its institutions.
Mr. Clark was born in Ohio, February 27, 1845. He was a son of Silas Chauncy and Sarah Hill (Fitch) Clark, the latter a daughter of Governor Fitch of Connecticut. The father of our subject was born in 1814 in Connecticut, where he grew to manhood and received a good education. He followed teaching for some time in his native state, later in life operating a wholesale hardware store in the city of New Haven, which he conducted until the commencement of the Civil war, when President Lincoln called him to Washington, where he was assigned to the revenue office and he was instrumental in raising two regiments, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Connecticut Volunteers, for service in the Federal army. He remained in Washington City until his death in August, 1892, and took a very prominent part in the civic affairs of the capital, was well known there to many of the leading men of the nation, many of whom visited his home on fashionable Capitol Hill, especially when he was one of the leaders in the movement for "better city government" and civic improvements. He was a deep student of current events, was a scholarly, broad minded man, and always a loyal Republican. His wife, Sarah H. Fitch, was born in Connecticut, December 21, 1821, and her death occurred in Washington, D. C., December 27, 1908. To these parents two children were born, Clarence M., subject of this memoir, and Mrs. Florence Stout, who is living in Washington City.
Clarence M. Clark was young in years when his parents established the family home in Connecticut and there he grew to manhood and was educated, attending the military school at New Haven for some time, later was graduated from Yale University, from which famous institution he was graduated with the class of 1869. During the Civil war he left school to offer his services to his country, enlisting in 1862 in the Fifteenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, which was sent south from New Haven, later Clark was commissioned captain and given a company in the Twenty-ninth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and he was in the service about three and one-half years, during which time he fought gallantly and faithfully in defense of the Union, taking part in the Peninsular campaign, the battles about Richmond and many others, proving to be a most efficient soldier and greatly admired by his men. He was honorably discharged in Texas, April, 1865, after which he returned north and after finishing his education took a position with the government at Washington in the Quartermaster General's office, assisting in the laying out of national cemeteries, and from 1885 until 1890 he lived in Washington, D. C., in the employ of the government, department of rivers and harbors. His continued retention by the government over a long lapse of years is sufficient evidence of his faithfulness to duty, his ability and trustworthiness.
Mr. Clark was married, October 14, 1885, to Gertrude Haseltine, in Springfield, Missouri. She was born in Richmond Center, Wisconsin, and she is a daughter of Ira and Augusta (Thomas) Haseltine, both natives of Vermont, his birth occurring July 12, 1821, and his death on January 8, 1898; the mother was born December 21, 1828, and died May 19, 1902. Ira Haseltine laid out the town of Richland Center, Wisconsin. His father was Orien Haseltine, while his father Amos was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and Orien Haseltine was one of the pioneer settlers of Wisconsin where he located in the early thirties. Ira Haseltine was a successful business man, dealing in lands and other property; he purchased a number of sections of land, located the county-seat of Richland county, Wisconsin, built the court house at Richland Center--donating the land as well as the building--and was one of the most influential men in the early history of that place. Politically he was a Republican and he attended the convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for his first term as president. He was elected to the Wisconsin state legislature in 1867, in which he served very faithfully. In 1871 he moved his family to Missouri in order to get the benefits of a milder climate. After locating in Greene county he planted extensive apple orchards, which he made pay, giving it his close attention, and became known as one of the large orchardists of the Ozarks, in fact, planted and owned the first large commercial orchard in Missouri which comprised ninety acres; he added to this until he had an orchard of one thousand six hundred acres which he owned at the time of his death. He continued to take an active interest in public affairs here and in 1880 was elected a member of Congress on the joint Republican and Greenback ticket. In this important trust he served his district most faithfully and ably and won the hearty approval of his constituents.
Nine children were born to Ira Haseltine and wife, all still living, named as follows: Spurgheim Ira; Louis Kossouth; Seward A.; Summier C.; Lincoln; Gertrude A., who became the wife of Mr. Clark of this memoir; Nellie, Rosie, and Vinnie. They are all living and have families.
Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Clark, namely: Chancey Hazeltine, born September 7, 1888, who was graduated from the Penn Academy in Iowa, after which he spent two years in Drury College, Springfield, later attended Yale University, and was graduated there with the class of 1909, being one of the honor students; after spending a year at home he entered the law department of Harvard University, from which he was graduated, and is now successfully engaged in the practice of his profession in St. Louis, with the firm of Boile & Priest; he married Grace Goode, a daughter of Judge R. L. Goode, formerly of the St. Louis court of appeals, and for many years a prominent citizen of that city and Springfield. The second child of our subject and wife was Clarence Stephen Clark, who was born on September 29, 1890; he grew to manhood in Springfield and received his early education here, passing through high school, after which he took up the study of electrical engineering in the University of Kansas at Lawrence, and has become an expert in his profession; he married Ethel Melville, November 6, 1912. She is a daughter of Frank E. Melville, an engineer of Parsons, Kansas. She attended the University of Kansas. They have one child, Jean Augusta, born November 20, 1913.
Mrs. Clark has a pleasant home at 997 Benton avenue, Springfield, and she is popular with a large circle of friends, being a member of a number of clubs, including the Daughters of the American Revolution, is president of the Women's Federation Club, is a member of the Sorosis Club and the Ladies' Saturday Club. She and her family are members of the First Congregational church.
Politically, Clarence M. Clark was a stanch Republican and well versed .in public matters, so that his counsel was frequently sought by politicians. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and belonged to the Congregational church. He was summoned to his eternal rest on June 15, 1890, and his loss will long be deplored by the hosts of warm friends and admirers which were his in all the relations of life.
Springfield-Greene County Library