A Brief History of the Family of
EDMUND LAFAYETTE CLARK, 1886-1945
& PEARL HITCHCOCK CLARK 1886-1961
This family history is written for the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren of Edmond Lafayette “Bud” Clark and Pearl Hitchcock Clark.
Edmund “Bud” Clark was the son of Lafayette Oscar Clark (1848-1925) and Mary Whyman (1860-1920). Lafayette Oscar’s parents were John W. Clark, (1818-1850) and Teresa M. Williams (1822-1907). John's ancestry is said to be related to Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark and his brother William Clark, a leader of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Teresa’s parents were Levi Williams (1794-1860) and Mary Polly Reid (1795-1872). Levi's ancestry is traceable through his mother to several ancient lines leading back, among others, to Richard deWalensis Laird (1143-1204) and Janet Cathcart (1150-?) in Scotland. Levi's wife, Mary Polly Reid's ancestry leads back to Findon (Eochaid 11), King of Scotland (650-692) and his wife Queen Spondana of the Picts. More recently, there is a Clark family tradition of a relationship to the French aristocrat and revolutionary war general, the Marquis de Lafayette, for whom the first born male in each generation has been named, beginning with Lafayette Oscar Clark.
Lafayette Oscar Clark was born March 14, 1848 near Warsaw, Illinois. He was the youngest of four children, Nancy, Mary, and Thomas. His father died when he was two, and he began working in the family store when he was five, and then on a farm when he was seven after his widowed mother married Caleb Sanders, by whom a half sister and two half brothers were born. In 1863 during the Civil War, Lafayette enlisted in the 2nd Illinois Calvary a month before he was 15. He participated in Sherman’s March to the Sea, the battles of Chattanooga, Mobile bay where he was wounded, Red River, and the siege of Vicksburg. In 1866 he immigrated to Nebraska in a covered wagon. He was in the mercantile business for 25 years there at Adams, where he owned his own store. He was said to be “a high idealist in matters of State and Church…and maintained always a generous, affable, and sweet spirit. Stately in stature, his spirit always upstanding, facing four-square every wind that blew…you could not help but imbibe the same genial, happy outlook that was his.” On his wife Mary’s death and burial in 1920 at Adams, she was described as “one of our most esteemed citizens…honored, trusted, and loved by all.”
Edmund Lafayette Clark was born Aug. 20, 1885 at Adams. He had three sisters as well as one brother, W.R. Clark, who was a physician in Lincoln, Nebraska when their father died. Edmund married Pearl Hitchcock on June 13, 1907 in Lincoln. Their first child, Reed Lafayette Clark, was born in Lincoln on April 16, 1908. The family then moved to Lebanon, Oregon where their second child, Edmond Huntington Clark, was born on June 5, 1910. Their third child, James Hall Clark, was born in Lebanon on June 13, 1913. Their fourth child, Flora Jean Clark, was adopted by Edmund and Pearl after her birth on Feb. 3, 1921 in Portland. In Lebanon, “Bud” Clark continued the mercantile following of his father and grandfather, working for 20 years as a partner in the Reeves-Clark department store until the depression, when he became a traveling salesman for a shoe manufacturer.
Considerable detail is known about the family of Pearl Hitchcock Clark, particularly through her mother. Pearl, who attended Wesleyan University in Nebraska, was the daughter of James Hall Hitchcock (1859-1897) and Flora Reed (1863-1904). James' parents were Nicolas Fletcher Hitchcock (1832-1891) and Jemima Engle (1831-1906). Jemima's parents were Mary Petty and Paul Engle from Germany. Col. Nicolas Hitchcock was President of the Johnson County Bank in Tecumseh, Nebraska. His parents were Rosana Kelly and John F. Hitchcock. Rosanna's father was Henry Kelly from Ireland. John's father was Isaac Hitchcock from England.
Pearl’s father James Hitchcock was born in Maxville, Ohio, April 20, 1859. He taught elementary school in Ohio and was later superintendent of the public schools in Sterling, Nebraska, where he moved with his parents, and also in Adams, before beginning law school in Burlington, Iowa. James practiced law in Sterling, and served as justice of the peace, before moving to the county seat at Tecumseh when he was elected county attorney. He was later elected to the state senate. James was described as “one of the most pleasant of men, always good-natured and forgiving, even when confronted by great provocation--as a citizen, one of the most progressive and liberal minded, never having to be asked twice to help any movement for the public good.”
Pearl Hitchcock was born Aug. 11, 1885 in Sterling. Her mother, Flora Reed, came from a family whose roots are traceable back to the year 1139 A.D. in North Umberland, England. Flora was said to have been "a lady of splendid culture, full of love for her friends and earnest desire to do all of the good she could...her home was always a place of beauty, comfort, and delight."
Flora’s parents were Sarah Mariah Brownell (1846-1908) and Abner Clark Reed (1825-1885). Sara’s parents were Solomon D. Brownell (1807-1893) and Susan Brinkerhof (1807-1900) of Duchess County, New York. Solomon was trained as a blacksmith. When he moved his family to Syracuse, Nebraska in 1850, he became a physician. His parents were Edward I. Brownell (1782-1836) and Elizabeth Betsy Denton (1787-1821). Nothing more is currently known of Edward's ancestry, but Elizabeth's father's line goes back to Richard I. Denton (1527-1557) and Genett Banyster (1515-1564), both of England, and her mother's line goes back to Hugh de Plaiz (1036-1086) and Alvared de Glapton (1150-?) both of England.
Abner Clark Reed’s parents were Rhoda Clark (1794-1855) and Limon (Lyman) Reed (1789-1873). Rhoda Clark was the daughter of Watrus (1742-) and Katherine (?-?) Clark, of whose family and ancestry we know nothing, other than the fact that they lived in Hartford, Connecticut and that she had three brothers, Daniel, Elijah, and Watrus, and that after Daniel Clark went to Illinois all contact with him was lost.
It is the Reed family whose ancient roots can be traced in more detail. Abner Clark Reed was a merchant and land owner born Aug. 29,1825 at Mantua, Ohio, who moved to Nebraska about 1856. His father, Limon Reed, born June 5, 1879 in Grandby, Connecticut, was a hatter by trade, who bought the shop where he had been apprenticed.
Limon’s parents were Abner Reed (1755-1822) and Mary Spring (1762-1832) of West Grandby, Connecticut. Abner’s parents were Dr. John Reed, (1712-?) born in Norwich, Connecticut, and Malinda Holister (1712-?). John Reed was the son of Josiah Reed (1668-1752) born in Norwich, Connecticut, and Elizabeth Amsden (1676-1749). Josiah’s parents were Josiah Reed (1643-1717) and Grace Holloway (1648-1727) of Norwich, New London, Connecticut. Josiah Reed was the son of John Read (1604-1685) born at St. Peters, Canterbury, Kent, England, who married Sarah Lessie (1614-1702) of Blyborough, Lincoln, England about 1630 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, or some say, of his brother William.
John and William were the sons of William Read (1565-1621), born in Canterbury, Kent, England, and Lucy Heneage (1586-1621), born in London, Middlesex, England. Though there is a lack of clarity in this period, William Read’s parents were apparently Matthew Read and Alice Ward. It appears that Matthew Read's parents were Sir William Read, perhaps (1535-1566) and Rebecca Mennis (1540-?) of Folkestone, Kent, England. Sir William’s parents were the Rev.William Read and Eliza Mennis. Rev.William Read was the son of Edward Read and Isolde Stanby. Edward Read’s father was John Read, mayor of Norwich. John’s father was Thomas Rede and his mother was Christiang de la Pole of the county of Suffolk.
John Read's brother, Sir Bartholomew Read, was Lord Mayor of London; his brother Richard Read was Master of the London Mint; his brother William Read was Goldsmith of London, and his brother Sir Robert Read was Knight and Lard Chief Justice of the King’s Bench. Thomas Rede was the son of Thomas Rede, whose father was Galfrines de Rede, son of Robert de Rede, whose father was William de Rede, second son of Brianus (Brian) de la Rede, who lived at Morpath in Redesdale, North Umberland, sometime prior to the year 1139 A.D., 20 generations from Pearl Hitchcock Clark.
The four children of Edmund Lafayette Clark and Pearl Hitchcock Clark are all deceased, as are their spouses. Seven of their eight grandchildren are still living. The sons of Reed Lafayette Clark (1908-1984) and Estelle Gloria Johnson (1908-1992) are Reed Lafayette Clark,Jr. (1936-2011) and Daniel Nelson Clark (1943). The living son and daughter of Edmund Huntington Clark (1910-1987) and Grace Angelene Gottenburg (1912-1994) are Cabot Huntington Clark (1937), and Colene Rae Clark Roberts (1944); Colene's twin sister Candace Cae Clark Sullivan died in 1982. The sons and daughter of James Hall Clark (1913-1971) and Ruth Elizabeth Ingram (1922-1998) are Thomas Edmond Clark (1950), Dennis John Clark (1951), and Bonnie Jean Clark Bliesner (1954. In addition, there are quite a number of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of Edmund Lafayette Clark and Pearl Hitchcock Clark, whose names may be added to this history in the future.
Daniel N. Clark, 8-6-19
See Contacts, News, & Historical Documents for more information, including an article by distant cousin Judith Rice-Jones who provided much of the material for this history. For historical photos of our family members, click here. For photos from the Clark Family Gathering of July 9, 2005 at Neskowin Beach, Oregon, click here.