Israel S. Clark


The blood of Israel Clark runs through my veins and I'll always cherish his memory in my heart. Discovering who he was led me to unbelievable experiences and entwined my life with people I will never forget. 


Born in Troupsburg, Steuben Co., NY in November 1834, he stood just 5' 8".  His blue eyes were complimented by a light complexion and sandy hair.  He was an energetic man who spent his days plowing and planting crops in the farmland of Pennsylvania.  He raised live stock and tended to the repetitious chores which all farmers face at the crack of every dawn. But, February 29, 1864, his life changed dramatically with his enlistment in the great Civil War.  Israel Clark was willing to lay his life on the line to preserve the union of this great nation and to give slaves the same freedom he enjoyed.  As a soldier, he shouldered his musket and fought with Battery G, First Regiment, PA Reserve in the Light Artillery Division.





May 18, 1865, he was discharged at the U S. Army General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA.  He was "incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of Chronic bronchitis with hectic and emaciation--Unfit for SVC - Disability 1/2."  He'd been admitted to the hospital in the heat of July, 1864, with a disease he'd contracted during his time of service.


Israel's unit, Independent Battery "G", Light Artillery was organized at Harrisburg August 22, 1862, and performed Garrison duty at Fort Delaware during its entire term. It was mustered out June 15, 1865 having lost 9 of its members by disease.


When the1870 U.S. Census was taken, Israel, Betsy, Clara, Clarence, Eliza and Harriett Clark were living in Dunn Co., WI. His parents, grandpa John and grandma Louisa were living with them. William and Daniel Card, children of his sister Amanda Clark and her first husband Abel Card, were living next door with their mother and her second husband Henry Darrow. Their family also included Frances age16, Lydia age 13, Elizabeth age 6 and Minnie age 2. Israel’s sister Jane, her husband Nelson Fluent, and their children Wilson, Amanda and John lived just four houses away. It is unknown when Israel and Elizabeth relocated to Clark County.


Family legend passed on through the years contended Israel had died in an accident while digging a well at his home in either Withee Township, or Thorp, WI as two witnesses described it differently, but I had no proof to support the allegation until his obituary was posted on this site on Friday, 4 July 2003, at 11:23 a.m. by a volunteer.


Obituary: Clark, Israel S. --Killed in a Well 1877 


From Ed Eaton, of Longwood, we learn that a man named I. (Israel) S. Clark was killed in a well, which he was helping to dig on the farm of Richland Burr, in the town of Thorp. On Tuesday of last week, by a bucket in which curbing was being lowered becoming detached and falling upon him. He lived about two hours after the accident but was insensible during the time. He was formerly a resident of Humbird, and leaves a large family very poorly provided for.

Source: The Clark Republican and Press Date: August 17, 1877


Israel was interred in the East Thorp Village Cemetery, Withee Township, Clark Co., WI. His replacement Civil War Veteran tombstone was dedicated July 4, 2006.


Israel's widow Elizabeth “Betsy” Ann Vandermark Clark was left to raise their six minor children on her own, which may account for the fact their third child, Rose Elizabeth Clark, was married at the age of 13 years 7 months 12 days to James Ablard, July 4, 1881 in Withee, Clark Co., WI.  (Rose later married Andrew Aeton Lair October 3, 1885 in Colby, Clark Co., WI.)  Their eldest child, Clara Margaret Clark, had already been married to Archibald Leroy Goodwin prior to her father’s death. The six children other than Clara remaining at home as “Betsy’s” responsibility after Israel's death were Rose, Clarence Dennis, Harriett Marilee, Ira A., Charles A., and Mary Jane Clark.


Betsy married Lynus Moore 31 May 1881 in Hixon, Clark Co., WI. The offspring of this union were Oscar Franklin Moore born January 1, 1883 in Thorp, Clark Co., WI, and Bertha Moore of whom no other data is known. Lynus Moore divorced Betsy November 21, 1902 in Clark County on the grounds she had thrown him out of the house because he refused to allow her to bring her nephew from PA to live with them.


Some time after the divorce Betsy relocated to Timberland, Burnett Co., WI where she died May 5, 1917 at the home of her daughter, Rose Clark Lair, the cause of her death being paralysis. She was interred in the Timberland Ringebu Cemetery.


Submitted 2006


by Harold Zander (Great, great grandson of Israel Clark)



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