Welcome!

Welcome! My name is Reed Perkins and I am the historian for the Jonathan Clark House Museum in Mequon, Wisconsin. I have been researching Clark, Turck and other Mequon families and their stories since 2006. I look forward to sharing with you what I’ve learned so far. I also invite you to help us as we try and fill in some of the many blank spots in the story of the Clarks, their relatives, neighbors and friends.

The site is always a work in progress. I welcome your suggestions, corrections, comments and questions. Please click the Contact link and send me a message. Please click the About link for the usual disclaimers and copyright information.

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History Mystery! No. 1 (of many)

Jonathan & Mary & ? on the 1840 Census

Introducing a new feature on the blog: History Mystery! In which you, the reader, are invited to Help the Historian solve one of the many persistent mysteries surrounding Jonathan M. Clark, his family, and related bits of local history.  History Mystery! No. 1 seeks to answer the question: Who was that older guy living with newlyweds Jonathan and Mary Clark in June, 1840? Here are the clues: Continue reading

Finding Your Mequon Roots (part 3)

This is Part 3 of our short introduction to Finding Your Mequon Roots. If you haven’t already, I recommend starting with Part 1 and Part 2.

Before we take a break from our Mequon neighbors of the 1900s and return to Jonathan Clark and his family in the mid-1800s, let’s take a look at a few more “macro” and “micro” things one can find by taking a closer look at a U.S. census population schedule. Once again, here’s the Becker family of Mequon, as found on lines 32 to 34 of this 1900 U.S. federal census population schedule: Continue reading

Finding Your Mequon Roots (part 2)

And we’re back! Continuing our short series on Finding Your Mequon Roots. If you missed the first part of the series, I suggest you click here and read that first.

Part 1 was all about one of my favorite first-look documents when doing genealogy or local history research, the decennial U.S. Federal Census population schedule. The first census that exists for Annie Becker and her parents was the census of 1900. Click here for a full size image of the census page.

Continue reading

An Explanation in Advance

or, the Author’s Lament…

I am once again working on new posts for Clark House Historian and apparently WordPress, the platform I use for this blog, has instituted a number of “improvements” to their site since my previous posts. This has resulted in several new inconveniences that make the creation and posting of new content more troublesome and time-consuming than before. One issue involves how images are displayed (and sometimes open as larger images in new windows). I think I have that fixed; we’ll see once the next post is published.

More importantly, I can’t always get draft posts to pre-publish in preview mode. This means I sometimes need to officially “publish” the post to the wide world before I can really see if there are formatting problems or proofreading mistakes.

So, as always, please excuse (and let me know if you find) any errors or formatting problems in the posts. I will make corrections and updates as soon as possible. Thanks.

Well, that took longer than expected…

It’s been half a year since the last Clark House Historian post! My apologies for the long pause. Various professional and personal commitments (all good) may have kept me from writing, but not from researching. So now I have an even larger backlog of Clark House related discoveries and topics to write about…

So look for new Clark House Historian posts coming soon. Meanwhile, follow these links to the Jonathan Clark House homepage and Events page for upcoming Heritage Days events.

And if you support the mission of the Jonathan Clark House, consider becoming a donor and/or a supporting member of the Friends of Jonathan Clark House, Ltd.

Check back here soon and I will have more to say about Finding Your Mequon Roots and about Jonathan and Mary Turck Clark’s young family and early neighbors. Thanks for reading, and for your support of local history.

Finding Your Mequon Roots (part 1)

Clark House Historian reader Lisa Stearns writes:

I am doing a bit of research on my family and my great grandmother was born in Mequon in 7/21/1882 and I believe she was one of 11 children. Would you be able to direct me to anywhere in the area that may have records of schools, churches, etc. that they were members of? I think they lived on the East side of Mequon. My great grandmother’s name was Anna Becker and her parents were Nic Becker and Elizabeth (Barth) Becker

Thanks for reading the blog, Lisa. Yes, I’d be happy to guide you to some good information and sources for local research. And since there may be other readers with similar interests, I though I’d write a few posts on how to get started on Mequon area research, using Lisa’s ancestor as a local example. Continue reading

Veterans Day

Ninety-eight years ago, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, at the eleventh hour—Paris time—the Armistice of Compiègne took effect, officially ending the fighting on the Western Front and marking the end of the optimistically named “War to End All Wars.”

In America the commemoration of the war dead and the Allied victory began as Armistice Day in 1919, by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson. Congress created Armistice Day as a legal holiday in 1938. Starting in 1945, a World War II veteran named Raymond Weeks proposed that the commemorations of November 11 be expanded to celebrate all veterans, living and dead. In 1954 Congress and President Eisenhower made that idea official, and this is what we commemorate today. There are many veterans with a connection to the Jonathan Clark house. We honor a few of them in this post. Continue reading

1840 Election Updates

The previous post on the first election in old Washington County relied heavily on the 1881 History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties. It’s a useful book, and it’s possible that the  author(s) or editor(s) that prepared it for publication spent some time with the historical documents that still existed at that time, or at least talked to some of the older settlers who had personal memories of the events. Still, I like to have primary or more contemporary secondary sources whenever available, so I went looking and found a few. In the process, I’ve cleared up some dates and details surrounding the first election and the early organization of the county. Continue reading

Early Election Returns!

Really early returns, from Mequon’s first election in 1840.

In an earlier post, I outlined some of the key moments in the settlement and changing political boundaries of early Washington/Ozaukee county. Originally attached to Milwaukee County for all civil and judicial matters, old Washington County got it’s civil independence by act of the Territorial Legislature on February 19, 1840. And sometime later that year the first election to chose county officers was held at the Mequon home of Taylor Heavilon. Continue reading