(March 26, 1798- )
WAIT CLARKE was born in the town of Exeter, Kent county, R.I., the 26th day of March,
1798. He is a son of JOHN and MARY (WAIT) CLARKE, natives of Rhode Island. They
moved into Brookfield in 1810, in the month of October, and settled on lot 16, where they
resided many years, finally moving to Clarkville, where they died, the former in 1852, aged
77 years, and the latter some years later, aged 84 years. They had a family of twelve
children, eight of whom grew up. Their names were as follows: JAMES (now dead), WAIT,
ANSTIS, SARAH, WILLIAM (now dead), MARY ANN (now dead), SILAS and MERCY.
The parents of these children were farmers, in humble circumstances, and unable to give
them any but a common school education.
WAIT worked at home on the farm, attending school during the winters, until 1819, in
which year, the 28th of January, he was united in marriage with MERCY MINER, of
Brookfield. She was born Oct. 8, 1728, and died Oct. 30, 1826.
WAIT after his marriage continued to work at home, assisting his father in the
management of the farm, until 1823, when he leased a farm near North Brookfield and
worked it two years. He then went back to his father's, having bought a portion of the old
homestead farm, and worked it and the balance of the farm on shares. Here he remained
until March, 1935, then he removed to Clarkville, where he has resided up to the present
time. Soon after his settlement in Clarkville, he entered into co-partnership with BENJAMIN
GROTON and they carried on the harnass-making business in connection with the
manufacture of boots and shoes eighteen years. Since 1853 he has been engaged in the
real estate business, settling up estates and performing the duties of the various offices to
which he has been elected. During his long residence in the town of Brookfield he has
been honored by his fellow citizens to an extent most flattering to himself, and that shows he
has had in the highest degree their confidence and esteem. In 1827 he was elected Justice
of the Peace, and that office he has held sixteen years. He has been Assessor six years
and Supervisor six years. He was appointed County Superintendent of the Poor, and that
office he held six years. In 1836 he was elected to the Legislature, and took his seat in 1837.
Having something of a martial spirit in his early life, he joined a militia company in his town,
and was at different times ensign,, lieutenant and captain of the same many years.
In 1853 Mr. CLARKE was appointed by JOHN A. (afterwards General,) DIX, agent of the
John I. Morgan estate, in Oneida, Herkimer, Madison and Chenango counties, and the duties
of that office he performed until the 14th of January, 1880, to the entire satisfaction of all
concerned, and is at present engaged as appraiser of the lands of said estate. Mr. CLARKE
united with the Baptist church in North Brookfield, and was a member of the same twenty
years before he moved to Clarkville, and after his removal to the latter place he united with
the church there. In 1851 he was elected deacon of the church, and still holds the office.
In politics,, Mr. C., is a Democrat, and his first vote was cast for candidates of that party.
By his first wife, Mr. CLARKE had seven children, three of whom died in infancy. Those
who reached maturity were as follows: ELBERT W., born Feb. 23, 1821, married LOUISA
STEELE, of Sardinia, Erie county, N. Y., Sept. 5, 1841. He was a minister in the Baptist
church. He died June 21, 1856. HARRIET, born Jan. 20, 1823 married NELSON HOXIE, of
Brookfield; MARYETTE, born Sept. 8, 1827, married ADIN BROWN, of Brookfield. She
died Dec. 27, 1847. ELIZA S., born Oct. 27, 1829, married ADIN BROWN, Sept. 8, 1848.
In 1847, August 19, Mr. CLARKE married BERSHEBA D. BECKWITH, widow of SAMUEL
BECKWITH, of the town of Exeter, Otsego county, N. Y. She was born Aug. 7, 1811, in
Newshoreham, R. I. Her parents were JOSIAH and ANNE (DODGE) MOTT. They were also
natives of Newshoreham. The former was born April 30, 1786, and died July 5, 1825. The
mother was born Dec. 17, 1784, and died March 24,1879, aged 93 years. Mrs. CLARKE
is a member of the Baptist church in Clarkville, and has been 32 years.
By his last wife, Mr. CLARKE has no children.
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 528.
Transcribed by Sandy Goodspeed
Date: Saturday, July 31, 1999 11:12 AM
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