Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


Francisco K. Clark

FRANCISCO K. CLARK, aside from the several years spent in the Rocky Mountain region as a miner and prospector, has been identified with the farming and agricultural enterprise of River Township, Pawnee County, since he first came hither in November, 1873. He was then a boy of fifteen and was a member of his father's household.

His father, Benjamin Whipple Clark, was born in Penfield, New York. When about a year old his parents went to Athens County, Ohio, and in that historic old section he grew up and acquired a subscription school education. His father was a shoemaker and farmer and Benjamin learned the trade of shoemaker at home. It was his regular occupation for twenty years, and on leaving it he served an apprenticeship at the machinist's trade in Cincinnati and became a steamboat engineer, being granted a United States license. That was before the war. When the cholera broke out along the Ohio Valley he took his family to Kentucky and from there moved to Illinois. On account of an injury Benjamin W. Clark was incapacitated for military service during the Civil war. He was an abolitionist and a strong republican, though anything like office holding on his own part was sure to meet his steadfast opposition. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and expressed a strong dislike for secret societies. Benjamin W. Clark married Marietta Broadhurst. Her mother's maiden name was Catherine Backus, and the Backus family came out of Holland and settled at New Amsterdam when that Dutch title was still retained for the present New York City.

While Benjamin W. Clark and wife had their home near Vanceburg, in Lewis County, Kentucky, their son Francisco K. was born September 28, 1858. The family spent about three years in Moultrie County before starting for Kansas. Benjamin W. Clark brought his family to Kansas by wagon from Illinois and arrived in Pawnee County in the late fall of 1873. He filed on the southeast quarter of section 18, township 21, range 15 as a pre-emption, and after his death his widow entered it as a homestead and eventually patented it. Benjamin W. Clark passed away in Pawnee County in 1880, when about seventy years of age. He was modest in his wants and ambitions and a small farm was all the land he cared to own. On this farm he built a combination soddy and dugout, and that was the domicile while he lived. It contained one large room, partitioned off by curtains, and the walls were plastered by magnesia lime. It had a pole and dirt roof. On the old farm his widow continued her life after his death until she too passed away in 1890. Their family of children consisted of Edgar T., who died in Pawnee County; Martha, who married John McEldowney and died in Indianapolis, Indiana; Alice, who married John B. Lawhun, and died in Indianapolis; Luther L., who died at the Soldiers Home in Southern California; Pierre B., who died in Mattoon, Illinois; Harlan W., of Peoria, Illinois; Francisco K.; and Lovosco R., who died in Jacksonville, Florida.

Francisco K. Clark had acquired some education in Kentucky and Illinois, and was old enough to do considerable work while the family were establishing themselves on the frontier in Pawnee County. In 1879 he went out to the Rocky Mountain regions and was there about five years as a miner and prospector. He entered the San Juan country of Colorado, and learned mining by actual labor in the mines. He also did prospecting over several Colorado counties and found a few leads which he sold, but the aggregate results of his experience were of no great financial profit. On his return from the west he took possession of the old home, and has been steadily engaged there for over thirty years. He pursues mixed farming, raising both grain and cattle, and the more substantial improvements of his place comprise a good seven-room house, a barn 28 by 36 feet, with 14-foot studding. The strong and sustaining feature of his farm has been a limited dairy business, milk and cream.

Mr. Clark, like his father, has shown no inclination for public office, but his fellow citizens "wished on him" a couple of terms as trustee of the school board in District No. 9. He has no church membership and is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. In Stafford County, Kansas, in 1897, he married Miss Ina Sanders, a daughter of George Sanders, who came to Kansas from Richland County, Illinois. He spent his last years as a farmer in Stafford County. George Sanders married Patsy Atteberry. Of their children Mrs. Clark was born March 16, 1867, William died in Stafford County, Lava became the wife of Charles Hutton and died in Pawnee County. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have three children: May, Grace and Amos.


Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 4 - Table of Contents

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