After Mr. Clark had celebrated his 92d birthday and was preparing for bed he fell and fractured his left thigh near the hip joint, which is a very common accident to befall old people, and it is quite probable he will never be able to walk about town again. He was attended by Drs.Gibbs and Brannon, and while he has experienced no severe pain from the wound as yet, he is confined to his bed and promises to be a cripple henceforth, which will be his first confinement to his house during his long life. Lake County Star
The 1st of November, 1837, I left Cleveland, Ohio, for Chicago. I had taken charge of a vessel load of produce for that town, as it was not city then. Having business in Detroit I took a steamer that far and waited for my schooner which arrived two days later. The passage across Lake Huron was stormy. The next stop was Milwaukee, going ashore in small boats. The arrival of a ship at Milwaukee those days was quite an event, and nearly everybody in town turned out, and a more sickly looking set of men I never saw. I saw nothing there in the building line but a few one-story wooden houses. There we left a part of our cargo, landing it with a lighter.
Nov. 17th, our schooner, "Ohio," was entering the harbor of that much talked about paper city, Chicago. It was a beautiful afternoon and in my mind now, I can see it exactly as I did then. On my right hand was the frame warehouse of Newberry & Dole, and along the bank were three or four small one-story frame grocery stores one of which was occupied by H.O. Stone. On the left bank was old Ft. Dearborn, and also the block house -- then followed an open common to State Street. That day I hired rooms of John H. Kinzie, in the Lake House, and remained there all winter. This was a 3-story brick building, the finest in town.
During the early winter I made trips to Michigan City and Laporte, both places having comfortable taverns and a stage coach line running through to Detroit. This line run through to Chicago, once a week to carry the mail. From Michigan City to Bailey Town, the first house was 14 miles. The rest of the way was only sand hills and marshes -- not much better now.
I had been informed that several families from my native town, Naples, N.Y., had settled in the vicinity of Laporte, so I hired a horse and borrowed a gun and started on the hunt. I found them after three days search, at "Bryant's settlement," now Pleasant Grove, in Lake County. The first cabin I struck was James H. Sanger's, and a more forbidding looking place I never saw. It was built of hickory logs with the bark on, and the cracks between the logs were filled the mortar made of prairie mud. All was still as I rode up. I tied my horse to a tree and approached the opening -- a hole cut out for a door, covered by a blanket. There sat Mr. Sanger and wife and three children before a rousing fire of hickory logs. A more surprised people could not have been found. A dog would have been welcomed there which came from their native town. After spending a day or two with them and the families of Ephriam Cleveland and Addison Clark. I returned to Chicago where I spent the winter of '37-'38, and in the spring went back to Ohio.
Up to the year of 1828 all this western . . . [Something seems to be missing here.] . . . the south half of section 8, and Fowler remained here all winter.
In those days there were no wells here, the water for all purpose coming from the sloughs, where a hole was dug and a barrel put in, and I don't think there was a family in Lake County free from fever and ague. The air was full of malaria from the new sod broken up and the impure marsh water. On Jan. 1, 1839, Milo Robinson died of consumption, the first death recorded at Crown Point.
I was induced to settle here after learning it was a summer resort for the Indians, a spot they regularly came to recover failing health. When first I saw this land, in a complete state of nature, it seemed one of the most lovely spots on earth, and it is still a pleasure to me to dwell here.
W.A. Clark was a member of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, was an honorary vice president. A year or two before the Land Sale in northern Indiana he came to Lake County, became a settler and a farmer and engaged in various occupations. He was married in 1842* to Miss Mary C. Hackley. He had three sons, Henry, Charles and Fred, who all died young, and one daughter Helen, who took patient care of him for several years. Henry left a daughter, Mrs. E.B. Rockwell.
According to his arrangements years ago, the burial services were conducted by his friend, Rev. T.H. Ball, who read a paper placed in his hands, to be read at the time of burial. Services were held in the Presbyterian Church building on Saturday afternoon July 27, the members of the Masonic lodge having special charge, many of whom were present, a number coming from Lowell, Mr. Clark having lived for some time in the south part of the county. He was nearly 97 years of age.
* NOTE -- Although this article lists the year Wellington A. Clark married Mary C. Hackley as 1842, another source lists the date as Dec. 1843.
Go to Wellington A. Clark (1815-1912), "Pioneer History Index," for further information.
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