One of the really neat aspects of researching and writing about Clark House history on this site is the feedback I receive from blog readers. I love hearing from you, whether you have a comment or a question about the topic at hand, or perhaps there is something else that you want to know more about.
[Occupational Portrait of a Salesman], Three-Quarter Length, Seated, Displaying His Wares. Daguerreotype, between 1850 and 1860, cropped and lightly color-adjusted. Library of Congress. Click to open larger image in new window.
History is never “done.” No one can know it all. There are always new sources with fresh information, and new ways to look at well-known material. A question or a new bit of information from a reader will often prompt additional research or a correction to previous statements. The result is that this blog—and our knowledge of the Clark family, their neighbors, and their era—is constantly evolving.
To draw your attention to new information, I usually mark the new content with a paragraph beginning UPDATED followed by the date, source, and content of the new information. I used to add these updates to the end of the posts, but that kind of buried the lede, so to speak. So for a while now I’ve been putting the UPDATED notice at the top of each post, so you can see it when browsing.
And since not all readers have time to re-read the blog looking for corrections and additions, I thought I might call your attention to a few of the more interesting ones from the last few months. Each paragraph headline will link to the updated blog post; be sure to click the green headlines and enjoy the updated material.
This has been a popular post. I know many readers have been enjoying our “How’d they get here?” series, and these images of the early Erie Canal and its construction are very detailed and informative. I also received messages from two readers that led to interesting updates.
The post was first updated on July 29, 2021, to include some new general information and details about several of the images sent by reader Robert Randall, second vice-president of the Camillus Canal Society. I re-wrote portions of the post to incorporate Mr. Randall’s information.
The post was further updated on August 12, 2021, in reply to the question from reader Chester T. Hartwell. Mr. Hartwell wanted more information on Orange Dibble’s derrick, and I was able to locate a link to an early drawing of “Mr. Dibble’s Machine,” made on site in 1827 by sixteen-year-old Increase A. Lapham. And then, as I was preparing today’s blog post, I found additional information about young Lapham’s relation to the construction of the Erie, and other canals, and updated the post again. Check it out – click link and scroll down to comments for all the info.
If you’ve missed a post or two about how early Mequon settlers like the Bonniwell, Turck and Woodworth families got to Wisconsin, this July 6, 2021 piece is a great place to start. It recaps and includes links to several other relevant posts, and features a new-to-the-blog 1834 map of the eastern United States, as well as six other maps that we have discussed previously.
The post was updated on July 6, 2021, to answer reader Laura Rexroth’s question: “Where was Jonathan Clark just before he went to Fort Howard?” Scroll down to the post’s Comments for the answer.
After publishing this post on the final illness and death of the Clarks’ only son, Henry, I realized that I had not addressed one key bit of information found in the diary of Henry’s uncle, D. W. Maxon.
So I added a long note at the end of the post discussing the biography and relevance of the “Dr. E. B. Wolcott” mentioned in Maxon’s March 14, 1866, diary entry. It turns out Wolcott was, perhaps, the most respected doctor in Wisconsin at the time. Maxon was trying to arrange the best possible care for his nephew.
Speaking of Henry Clark—and his demise—I also made a minor update to the subsequent post, Henry Clark’s final resting place, adding a photo of Henry’s inscription on the family grave marker at Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee.
I also made a small, but important, correction to material in Meet the Children: Henry M. Clark. Henry, his sisters, and his mother, lived in Milwaukee’s seventh ward in the early 1860s.
If you are interested in the life of Mary (Turck) Clark, you’ll want to read this post and click through the suggested links for all the information. As you do, keep in mind that our research is ongoing, and we are constantly learning new facts about the extended Clark and Turck families, their neighbors and friends. This Bicentennial Birthday post has not needed an official update (yet), but it contains links to the best and most current information about the lady of our historic house, Mary Turck Clark.
And That’s Not All!
But Wait! There’s More!, Popeil display in exhibit of Chicago corporations and inventors, Chicago History Museum, July, 2010. Photo by Reed Perkins. Click to open larger image in new window.
You don’t think I could write a post titled But Wait! There’s More! without mentioning the passing of Ron Popeil, do you? This is a history blog, after all, and for many my age, Mr. Popeil—and his Amazing! products and breathless commercials—were part of the landscape (or background noise?) of our mis-spent time in front of post-war American TV. The New York Times published an obituary (here, paywall), as did the Associated Press, and there is a Wikipedia page, too.
I was in Chicago in mid-2010 and made time to go to the Chicago History Museum in Lincoln Park. It’s a great museum; you should go. And along with all the Chicago and Illinois and Abraham Lincoln artifacts and displays, they had a section of the museum dedicated to notable Chicago businesses and inventors. And right in the middle—above the Brunswick bowling ball—was Ron Popeil and his Veg-O-Matic.
And for what it’s worth, when I was about 11 or 12 years old, I saved up a substantial sum ($11.00 maybe?) and got my mom a Veg-O-Matic for Christmas (“It slices, dices, wedges and peels!”). I was sure it would warm her heart… (and be oh-so-practical, too). It looked just like the one in the museum exhibit.
History is all around us.
Thanks to all you readers. Keep those comments and questions coming.
Back soon with more “How’d they get here?”—including beautiful and detailed lithographs of the Buffalo and Detroit waterways in the 1830s—and lots of other Clark House history.