Page 744-745, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


W. W. Clark, a prominent farmer and stockman of Rosalia township, is a Civil war veteran and Butler county pioneer. Mr. Clark was born in London, England, September, 1846, and is a son of William and Dorothy Clark. The family came to America when W. W. was two years of age, and located in Lee county, Iowa. The father was a carpenter and worked at his trade there and in 1850 the family went to Illinois. Here W. W. Clark enlisted, February 29, 1864, and was mustered into the United States service as a member of Company D, Fifty-ninth regiment, Illinois infantry. He served with his regiment until the close of the war, and took part in a number of important battles and a great many skirmishes. After the surrender of Lee, he served in Texas until his discharge in 1866.

After returning from the army Mr. Clark located in Missouri where he remained until 1872, when he came to Butler county, Kansas, and homesteaded 160 acres in Rosalia township. He began life in Butler county under the adverse conditions of the average pioneer. He hauled lumber for his first home from Humboldt and was compelled to go fifteen miles for his fuel. The country was wild and unbroken when he came here, and game of all kinds was plentiful. He has seen herds of antelope and deer feeding in his wheat field. In the early days, he has fought prairie fires all night and day, without time to get food. When he settled on his claim here, he was practically without funds, fifty cents being all the money that he possessed. He worked for settlers in the neighborhood, sometimes over in Greenwood county, and took his pay in meal and other supplies, and between times would break a little prairie for himself. The grasshoppers of 1874 destroyed all his crop except a little patch of corn which he saved by setting fire to some dead prairie grass on the windward side of the corn and smoked the grasshoppers out of the corn field. That fall Mrs. Clark returned to eastern Kansas, and spent the winter with her parents, near the old Shawnee Mission in Johnson county. Mr. Clark worked in Kansas City that winter, hauling ice and saved quite a bit of money and in the following spring, returned to Butler county with his family in a prairie schooner, and was five days en route. The


adversity of the first few years in Kansas soon became a matter of memory, and Mr. Clark is now one of the prosperous and substantial citizens of Butler county.

Mr. Clark was united in marriage May 10, 1872, to Miss Frances Ekenfelts, a daughter of Andrew and Sophrona Ekenfelts. Her parents were of German descent and died in Texas. They were the parents of the following children: Theodore; Frank; Joseph; and Mrs. Caroline Harnick, all residing in Dallas, Tex.; and Francis, the wife of Mr. Clark, who is the subject of this sketch. To Mr. and Mrs. Clark have been born the following children: C. S., a Methodist minister, Kildare, Okla.; Mrs. Mary A. Owens, El Dorado, Kans.; Edward, Marshall, Okla.; George, a minister of the Christian church, Randall, Kans.; Mrs. Viola McKill, Rosalia, Kans.; Lester, Rosalia, Kans.; Chesley, Springfield, Mo.; Mrs. Nellie Borger, Rosalia, Kans.; Harry, Rosalia, and Tulle May, Rosalia. The Clarks are well known and highly respected and rank among the leading citizens of Butler county.

Previous | Main Page | Biography Index | Next

Pages 744-745,