Biography of Hail Clark
Indiana County, PA Biographies


HAIL CLARK, a leading carriage manufacturer of Saltsburg and a Union soldier of the late war, is one of the most energetic and successful business men of the county. He was born at Marietta, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, March 17, 1829, and is a son of Alexander and Catherine (Leader) Clark. The Clarks were one of the old families of county Antrim, Ireland, where they were engaged for many years in the manufacture of linens. Henry Clark (grandfather), a member of this family, came to Lancaster county in 1783, where he followed coopering, and where he died at the close of a useful life. His son, Alexander Clark (father), was born on board the ship which brought his parents to this country. He learned the trade of cooper and was engaged in the coopering business for a number of years at Marietta. He was a member of the Lutheran church, an honest, reliable man and died in 1835, aged fifty two years. He married Catherine Leader, of Lancaster county, who was a member of the M. E. church and passed away in 1841, when in the fifty eighth year of her age.

Hail Clark was reared at Marietta until he was twelve years of age, when he went on the Pennsylvania canal as a mule driver, but after six months' experience in that line of work he went to Greensburg, Pa., and learned the trade of carriage and harness making. He served an apprenticeship of six years before (1842) commencing to work for himself. In 1849 became to Saltsburg, where, after working for a short time in a carriage factory, he purchased it of the proprietor, and since that time has followed carriage manufacturing at Saltsburg except what time he served as a soldier during the late war. From 1858 to 1861 he was captain of the Black Hornets, a militia company. In 1861 he raised a company for the war, but the State did not accept their services. In 1862 he raised and commanded one of the emergency companies which served on the southern border of Pennsylvania. In 1851 he married Cordelia F. Gorgas, of Greensburg, Pa. They have two children: Murry J. and Ferdinand G., who are both engaged in business with the father.

In politics Mr. Clark is a strong democrat and has held every elective office of his borough from member of the town council to burgess. He ran, in 1878, as the greenback candidate for sheriff; and, after a canvass of three days, was only defeated by two hundred majority. He has been a trustee for a quarter of a century of the M. E. church and is a member of Williamson Lodge, No. 431, F. and A. M., and Kiskiminetas Lodge, No.161, K. of H. His two sons are associated with him in the carriage manufacturing business. Their main factory is 32x60 feet in dimensions and is a three story building. They employ a regular force of twelve men, make a specialty of buggies and have a large trade. They send a large amount of work to different parts of the country and have filled orders as far west as California. Mr. Clark has been remarkably successful in the sale of his work and enjoys an excellent reputation as a skilled mechanic.


From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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