Clark Family


CLARK. Several members of this old and highly respected family of Armstrong county are now living at Elderton, Alexander Clark and his sisters, Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Irwin, being well-known residents of that borough. Their father was Alexander Armstrong Clark.

Joseph and Margaret Clark, the founder of this family in America, came to this country from the North of Ireland in 1737 and settled near Carlisle, in Pennsylvania. He was a direct descendant of an Irish nobleman.

James Clark, son of Joseph and Margaret, born in 1742, died in 1824, was an officer in the Continental army. He married Barbara Sanderson.

Joseph Clark, son of James and Barbara (Sanderson), lived in South Bend township, Armstrong Co., Pa., his family and another occupying a blockhouse together, for protection against the Indians. His wife, Nancy (Todd) was a member of the same family from which Abraham Lincoln's wife was descended.

Alexander Clark, son of Joseph and Nancy (Todd), engaged in farming in Plum Creek township, Armstrong county, he and his brother owning 975 acres there, ranging from South Bend township to what is now the borough of Elderton, most of which they cleared themselves. Alexander Clark settled there in 1820. He married Jane Armstrong, a native of Ireland, who came to the United States when eight years old, and they had a family of ten children, three sons and seven daughters, of whom only two daughters now survive.

ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG CLARK, son of Alexander and Jane (Armstrong), was born June 3, 1831, and was a worthy representative of the honored old family from which he came. He married into an equally prominent family, his wife, Catherine (Rupert), being one of the ten children of Michael Rupert, a prosperous farmer of Plum Creek township. Betsy Ross, who had the honor of making the first United States flag, was one of Mrs. Clark's blood relations. George Smith, her uncle, was a leading man of his day, serving several terms as sheriff of Armstrong county, and was an extensive landowner, having a farm of over five hundred acres. Four children, one son and three daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Alexander A. Clark:

(1) Anna, born Sept. 14, 1852, married James Irwin, member of an old and prominent family of Whitesburg, Armstrong county. Mr. Irwin died in November, 1891. Seven children were born to this union. Mrs. Irwin is assistant postmistress at Elderton. She was engaged in teaching for five years.

(2) Elizabeth B., born Sept. 12, 1854, received her education principally at the Elderton Academy. She taught school for five years. On July 9, 1878, she married James Leightner, of Ohio, member of a respected family of Painesville, that State, and they had two children: Sadie May, born April 13, 1879, married George Felmley, of New Kensington, Westmoreland Co., Pa., and has three children, Roxie Elizabeth, Clark Wesley and Charles Howard; Mr. Felmley was formerly in the lumber business, but is now engaged in dairying and the raising of high-class stock, owning some very valuable cows and fancy bred colts. Alexander Clark Leightner, born Aug. 11, 1881, is farming on his own land in Plum Creek township; he married Emma Mulberger and they have two children, John Alexander and Hulda Adeline. Mrs. Leightner married for her second husband David Miller, of Plum Creek township. They had no children. Mrs. Miller is postmistress at Elderton and one of the most capable business women of that borough. She has been engaged in the general mercantile business there for a period of thirty-two years, and has not only built up and maintained a good trade, but has through good management and thrift acquired the ownership of the building in which the business is conducted. She attends the United Presbyterian Church.

(3) Alexander Clark, born Oct. 14, 1857, is now doing business as a hardware merchant at Elderton, being senior member of the firm Alexander Clark & Son. He married Belle Gibson, daughter of the late Lewis Gibson, a prominent and wealthy operator in the Pennsylvania oil fields, who died at Elderton. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Clark have had seven children, and two of their sons are professors at Pittsburgh, being well-known workers along educational lines.

(4) One daughter died when one year old.

Source: Page 463, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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