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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Erastus J. Clark

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


ERASTUS J. CLARK. Mr. Clark was born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, May 2d, 1831. Both his father and grandfather were born in Hampshire county, Virginia. His father, Samuel F. CLARK, was a small boy when the family moved to Scioto county, Ohio. He married Mary UTT, daughter of Henry UTT, who was born in Germany, settled in Ohio at a very early day, and furnished the surveyors who first surveyed the state with provisions, receiving each day for his services two acres of land; he located this land (three hundred and fifty acres) near the present town of Lucasville, Scioto county, Ohio, and lived there till his removal to Indiana, where he died. Samuel F. Clark moved to Tippecanoe county, Indiana, in 1826. Erastus J. was the fourth of ten children.

He was raised in Tippecanoe county. That country was comparatively new, and Mr. Clark remembers in his boyhood to have seen large bodies of Indians stopping in that section of the state to hunt. A school, five miles from his father's house, furnished him the only means he enjoyed for getting an education. November 13th, 1851, he was married to Maria J. KIRKPATRICK, daughter of James KIRKPATRICK. She was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, and subsequently removed to Tippecanoe county, Indiana. She was living in Mahomet township, of this county, at the date of her marriage.

He was farming in Indiana till 1855, and then removed to St. Joseph township, Champaign county, and in 1868 moved to his present location in Stanton township, in section 33 of township 20, range 10. For two terms he served as justice of the peace. In politics he was originally a democrat. He supported the administration during the rebellion, and voted for Lincoln for president in 1864. He maintained an independent position, voting for men whom he considered best qualified for office, and never supported a man who gave his adherence to the Southern rebellion. Since the rise of questions of financial bearing he has taken a stand in harmony with the principles of the National party. He was one of the eighty-four thousand independent men who, in 1876, voted for Peter Cooper for president.

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