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Hazael Peckham Clark, Page 327
HAZAEL PECKHAM CLARK, who was one of the prominent early settlers of the town of Greenbush, was born in West Gloucester, Providence County, R. I., June 5, 1804. he was of Quaker ancestry, and was descended from one of the early families of that State, the first ancestor to come to America having emigrated from England early in the history of the Rhode Island Colony. Mr. Clark's paternal grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. His father, Isaac Clark, was born in 1770, and died in West Gloucester on the 11th of June, 1814. The latter married Amy Keach, who was born in 1777, and died in 1844. They became the parents of seven children: Jabez, born April 17, 1801, died in May of the same year; Isabel, born May 23, 1802, died March 20, 1831; Hazael P. was the next in order of birth; Isaac, born December 24, 1806, died December 11, 1887; Mary, born January 4, 1809, is a resident of Gloucester, R. I.; Joseph, born March 19, 1811, died January 12, 1890; and Amy, born February 26, 1813, died December 20, 1876.
Hazael Peckham Clark grew to manhood in his native town. His father died when the son was but ten years of age, and the mother was thus left with a large family of young children to care for. That she was a woman of great energy and force of character is shown by the fact that the children all became useful and respected citizens. the family being in quite limited circumstances, it was necessary that the boys should begin to look out for themselves at a very early age. The subject of this record so improved his limited chances for an education, that at the very early age of fourteen years he began teaching a country school. He taught a number of terms, and at the age of eighteen years was employed to take charge of a cotton mill and three years later was the owner of a half-interest in the establishment. As early as 1825, he was also engaged in merchandising. It will thus be seen that he was actively engaged in business at a very early age. He often remarked in after life that he owed much of his success to the precepts and example of his mother. Having lost his father when but a small lad, he remembered but little regarding him, but he was said to have been a man of much force of character, a fine mechanic, and possessed of quite an inventive turn of mind.
Our subject was married at quite an early age (1826) to Miss Almira Darling, who died in 1829, leaving two children, both of whom are deceased. In 1830, he wedded Thelotia Ballard, who was born at Killingly, Windham County, Conn., in 1805.
Mr. Clark continued in business in the East until 1850, when he emigrated to Wisconsin with his family. In the mean time he held several important offices, including that of High Sheriff. He was a Justice of the Peace at twenty-one, and was one of the Selectmen of his town for twenty years. When he came to Sheboygan County he was accompanied by his family, consisting of his wife, three sons and one daughter. He settled on section 1, in the town of Greenbush, adjoining the present village of Glenbeulah, on the farm now owned by his daughter, Mrs. Isabel T. Van Alstyne. He purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land here, and eighty acres in the town of Rhine, Sheboygan County, and also eighty acres at what was known as Brothertown, Calumet County. He entered at once upon the improvement of his land, besides being engaged in other enterprises. When he located in Sheboygan County the country was covered with fine timber. To convert this into lumber for houses and barns for the settlers, he engaged in the sawmill business. His mill, which was the only one in the vicinity, and which he owned at the time of his death, is now owned by Mr. Van Alstyne and operated by his son Edwin.
Mr. Clark did not long survive his removal to Wisconsin, his death occurring on the 8th of January, 1856, at the age of about fifty-two years. True to the principles of his Quaker ancestors, he was scrupulously honest and upright in all his dealings with his fellow-men. His excellent judgment and great energy made him a most useful man in a new settlement, and his comparatively early death was a matter of general regret. His wife died at the homestead October 11, 1875, having survived her husband some twenty years.
Mr. and Mrs. Clark's family consisted of seven children, three sons and four daughters, only four of whom are living. The members of this family were as follows: Isaac, the eldest, who was born January 12, 1831, and is now a resident of the town of Greenbush; William H., who was born in 1833, and died April 27, 1875; Mrs. Isabel T. Van Alstine, who was born October 18, 1835; Elisha, born February 20, 1840; Abigail, born April 29, 1842; and Sally A. and an infant daughter unnamed, who are deceased.
Mrs. Van Alstyne began teaching when in her fifteenth year, teaching the first school in Glenbeulah. She became quite noted as an educator in the early days, and taught nineteen terms of school. November 23, 1861, she was married in Elgin, Ill., where she was then teaching, to Rabbi A. Van Alstyne. One year later she returned with her husband to Glenbeulah. later they removed to Chatsworth, Ill., where Mr. Van Alstyne carried on a blacksmithing business. In 1875 they returned, and in 1876 bought the Clark homestead farm, adjacent to Glenbeulah.
Mr. Van Alstyne was born in the town of Danube, Herkimer County, N. Y., October 28, 1833, and was a son of Nicholas L. Van Alstyne. The family removed to Burlington, Wis., in 1850, and a few years later to the town of Wayne, Du Page County, Ill., where the father died in 1859. The mother survived until February, 1886. They were the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters: Rabbi A. is the eldest; Abraham is a resident of Chatsworth, Ill.; Irving C. lives at Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Nancy became the wife of Dr. H. Warren, of Omaha, Neb.; and Anna married Dr. C. R. Hoadley, and died July 19, 1879. The latter's husband resides at Fairbury, Ill. R. A. Van Alstyne learned the trade of wagon-making, which, in connection with blacksmithing, he followed many years.
Mr. and Mrs. Van Alstyne have two children. John, who was born November 27, 1868, is a book-keeper for the firm of Clark & Kimberly, at Appleton, Wis.; Edwin L., whose birth occurred November 21, 1872, is at home. They have lost several children. The eldest, Annie, born March 29, 1862, died June 21, 1867; Hazael Clark, born April 16, 1865, died July 3, 1867; and Clifford B., born March 5, 1870, died July 26, 1891. The last-named was a young man of fine mental attainments and great promise. His death resulted from an accident.
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