Mid-week Miscellany

Here are a few quick odds and ends while I finish working on the last of our Cyrus Clark and Sarah Strickland Clark posts.

Burying the lede: Cyrus Clark edition

For the last week or so we’ve been looking at the lives of early Mequon and Wisconsin Territory settlers Cyrus Clark and Sarah (Strickland) Clark. If you missed those, you can catch up here, here, here, and here. And in one of those longer posts, I pretty much managed to “bury the lede,” of the breaking news of the week, namely: We found the missing documents that answer the question who were Cyrus Clark’s parents, and was he related to the builder of the Clark House, Jonathan M. Clark? 

Clark and Strickland descendant Lynette Thompson contacted researchers from the New England Historic Genealogical Society via their site, americanancestors.org, and managed to locate the 1866 will and probate file for one Kellogg Clark of Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He had been cited as a possible father for Cyrus Clark, but without supporting documents.

But his will and probate papers confirm that Kellogg Clark had a son named Cyrus Clark, and that in 1866 son Cyrus was in Wisconsin. Other information in the documents list siblings of Cyrus Clark, including a brother, Alexander Clark, who was previously known. We are now convinced that Kellogg Clark and wife Charity of Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts were the parents of Mequon settler Cyrus Clark.

And, since every clue we have about Jonathan M. Clark indicates that his family lived in either Derby, Orleans County, Vermont or nearby Stanstead, Lower Canada (later Province of Quebec), I am quite convinced that Cyrus Clark is not (closely) related to Jonathan M. Clark. (For now, I will hedge my bets with that “closely” modifier—there are, after all, a whole lot of Clark families in New England and they moved around a lot in the 1800s and who can tell who is related to whom—but I don’t believe Cyrus and Jonathan are related, or knew each other before coming to Wisconsin.)

Follow Blog Via Email” issues…

According to reliable reports, the “Follow Blog Via Email” widget in the right-hand column of this blog is not working properly. I think my old widget may not be 100% compatible with the current WordPress blogging software. I will look into that and see what I can do.

In the meanwhile, if you’d like to follow the blog, skip the widget and just send me a note via the CONTACT link in the top menu. I’ll be glad to issue an emailed “invitation” to follow the blog and then you will get an email each time new material appears here at Clark House Historian (typically each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning).

A photo for Wednesday…

As a salute to Cyrus Clark’s roots in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, here’s a photo I took there a few years ago. It’s the Housatonic River near the old town of Stockbridge. Not too far from Cyrus Clark’s boyhood home in Sandisfield.

Photo by Reed Perkins, October, 2010. Click to open larger image in new window.

And by the way, “The Housatonic at Stockbridge“…

is also the title of the last movement of Three Places in New England, one of the masterworks of the great American composer Charles Ives (1874-1954). Standing on a small bridge over the river reminded me of the composer’s own description of the piece: … River mists, leaves in slight breeze river bed–all notes and phrases in upper accompaniment…should interweave in uneven way, riverside colors, leaves & sounds–not come down on main beat…”

Here’s a link to a video of a fine performance by the New England Conservatory’s Philharmonia orchestra, Hugh Wolff, conductor. Enjoy.