HON. LEVI NELSON CLARK
& THE HEATH FAMILY

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903        P.  1012

HON. LEVI NELSON CLARK, the efficient leader of the Republican party in the town of Canterbury, Windham county, is of English descent.

Francis Clark, his father, was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, July 22, 1815, and there acquired his education. Desiring to obtain a thorough equipment for life, at the age of fourteen he hired out as an apprentice to a tanner and currier, and acquired in the course of seven years great proficiency at the trades. After serving his time, in July, 1836, he came to America and being a skilled workman he found no difficulty whatever in securing positions. He first followed his trade in the Fry tannery, Plainfield, Conn., and later he worked at various places in New London county, and finally in the tannery of Earl Warner at Brooklyn, Conn. March 4, 1841, he married Sarah M. Heath, who was born June 30, 1823, daughter of Amos and Mary (Chapman) Heath, of Groton, Conn. Mrs. Clark is still living, and resides in Brooklyn, Conn. By her Mr. Clark had eight children: (1) Francis, born Feb. 4, 1843, married Elizabeth Leach, a school teacher, and they have had two children: Clarence, born Feb. 16, 1880; and Cora A., Aug. 27, 1881, who died Feb. 9, 1897. Mr. Clark resides in Los Angeles, Cal., and he is one of the most successful agriculturists in Southern California, having three thousand five hundred acres under cultivation at one time, and carrying on a large trade in farm products, such as hay, fancy stock, etc. He is a man of great liberality, and has built in Hyde Park, Cal., at his own expense, a church as a memorial to his daughter Cora. In this church is a memorial window to his father, his brother and his wife’s mother. During the Civil war he served in Co. K, 21st C.V.I., and was a lieutenant and later captain in a colored regiment. (2) William H., born March 23, 1845, was a private in Co. K, 21st C.V.I., and was wounded at Drury’s Bluff. He married a daughter of Lyman Chapman, of Stonington, Conn., and they had one daughter, Ada, who resides in Napa City, Cal. Mr. Clark died in that place, Sept. 15, 1875. (3) George W., born Feb. 16, 1847, died Dec. 14, 1847. (4) Sarah E., born March 13, 1849, married Samuel T. Cooper, of Danielson, Conn., and they have six children: Josephine S., a trained nurse; Frank S., of New Haven, who married Nellie Wilkerson; Annie, who married Albert Kilpatrick, of New London; Gladys B., who married Charles Newton, of New London; Aaron, who resides in Hartford; and William C., of New London. (5) John, born March 13, 1852, died March 14, 1852. (6) John F., born Oct. 7, 1853, resides in Azusa, Los Angeles Co., Cal. (7) Benjamin, born April 19, 1859, is a farmer and carpenter of Brooklyn, Conn., who married Nettie Shepard, and has one child, Ada. (8) Levi Nelson is mentioned below. Steady work and thrift enabled Mr. Clark in the course of time to purchase the tannery of Earl Warner and to carry on the business by himself, continuing in this line till the close of his life. His death occurred Nov. 22, 1875. He was highly respected as a consistent Christian and was a member of the Baptist Church.

John Chapman, the progenitor of the family of that name in and about Stonington, Conn., was of English origin. He was the son of John and Joanna (Sumner) Chapman, who resided about fifty miles from London. Tradition has it that John was forced into the British Navy by a press gang, and after a while the ship visited Boston, New England, where he then availed himself of the opportunity to assume the liberty of which he had been deprived. He fled and found succor in the abode of Samuel Allen, in what is now called Wakefield, R.I. Mr. Chapman was a weaver in North Stonington, and there worked at his trade the rest of his life. He married Feb. 16, 1710, Sarah Brown, and died in 1760. Their children were: Sarah, born Nov. 25, 1710, who married Ichabod Brown; Jonah, born Sept. 2, 1712; John, born Sept 9, 1714, who married April 28, 1742, Mary Boardman; William, born Dec. 19, 1716, who married, Jan. 31, 1740, Abigail Plumb; Andrew, born March 3, 1719, married to Hannah Smith; Thomas, born about 1721, whose wife’s given name only is known, Mary; Sumner, born about 1723, married to Elizabeth Herrick; and Eunice.

Mrs. Mary (Chapman) Heath, grandmother of Levi N. Clark, was a daughter of John Chapman, and a granddaughter of Levi Chapman, who served in the war of the Revolution from Groton. John Chapman married Bethany Button, a sister of Col. Button, of Jewett City, and Charles Button, of Hampton, the latter of whom had two sons, Charles and Linden. In the family of children born to John Chapman were the following: Sarah, who married Billings Lamb, of New London, and had seven children; Reuben, of Mystic, who married Emily Lamb and had three children, Emma, William and John; Roswell, who married Mary Ann Wilcox, and had four children, Marion (who married and went West), Amos, Everett and Martin; Albert, who became the father of three sons and two daughters; Lyman, who was twice married, had children and went West; Betsey, who married Nathan Lamb, of Mystic, and had three children, Betsey Emeline (who married Henry Meyers and had children), Frank and Edwin; Mary, who married Amos Heath; Amos, who died unmarried; and Levi, who married Lavinia Lamb, and had eleven children.

Levi Nelson Clark was born in Brooklyn, Conn., Sept. 6, 1863. His education was acquired in the common graded schools of his town, and for a vocation he chose farming, which he followed for some time on the family homestead. Jan. 11, 1882, he married Carrie E. Larkham, who was born in Voluntown, Conn., daughter of William Larkham. Of this union there were three children: Mabel Larkham, born Oct. 30, 1882, deceased Sept. 13, 1884; Sarah Hannah, born Aug. 14, 1884; and Bertha Maud, born June 25, 1886.

On Oct. 9th, after his marriage, Mr. Clark came to Canterbury, and Nov. 4 of the following year, purchased the Baldwin place, a seventy-five acre tract in the southern part of the town. There he was engaged in farming, paying especial attention to the raising of small fruits and vegetables and to the breeding of poultry. Another business in which he has been engaged for some time has been the agency for an insurance company and also an agency for agricultural implements and fertilizers.

It is in the political field that Mr. Clark has made his greatest success. He has been honored with nearly every office in the town, and has served as second selectman for three years. For two years he acted on the board of relief, and at different times on the grand jury. In 1901-02 he represented Canterbury in the State Legislature, where his sound judgement and forceful character secured his appointment to two important committees, Constitutional Amendments, and State Prison, on the last of which he served as clerk. Special evidence of Mr. Clark’s wide popularity is shown by the fact that he was elected delegate to the constitutional convention of 1902. The last convention of this nature met in 1818. In 1900 Mr. Clark took the census for the town of Canterbury. Socially he exerts quite as wide an influence as politically. He affiliates with the Quinebaug Lodge, I.O.O.F., of Danielson, Conn.; Unity Encampment, now of Danielson, of which he was high priest for three years, now Chief Patriarch; the Grand Encampment of the State; Canterbury Grange, No. 70, in which he is now serving his seventh year as secretary; and with Quinebaug Pomona, No. 2, which he joined Nov. 30, 1887, and of which he is now overseer.

It is not unlikely that the Heaths of Groton or vicinity, from whom Sarah M. (Heath) Clark, the mother of Levi N. Clark, of Canterbury, descends, are from a Haverhill family. At least in support of this is the fact that John Heath is early of record at Norwich, Conn., and from Haverhill. His wife Hannah was received into the church at Norwich, and a son, Josiah, was baptized in 1715. Bartholomew Heath, born in 1600, and early at Newbury, Mass., had John, Joseph and Josiah. Of these John, born Aug. 15, 1643, married Nov. 4, 1666, Sarah, daughter of William Partridge, of Salisbury, and removed to Haverhill. Josiah married Mary, daughter of John Davis, of Haverhill, and had a son, Josiah. In the absence of family records and direct knowledge on the subject the similarity of family names is in further support of the theory of connection between the Newbury, Haverhill, and Norwich families.

William Heath, grandfather of Mrs. Clark, was a drummer in the Revolution and was killed in battle. He married a Miss Culver, and among their children was a son named Amos.

Amos Heath, father of Mrs. Clark, became a soldier in the war of 1812, serving in the summer of 1813 in the company commanded by Stephen Billings. He married Mary Chapman, who died in 1886, and had eleven children: (1) Levi Nelson, who married Mary Phillips, and lived at Norwich, Conn., died of typhoid fever at the age of forty. (2) Amos F., a member of Co. K, 21st C.V.I., who was killed in the engagement of Bermuda Hundred May 16, 1864. (3) Hudson died of yellow fever on a return trip from New Zealand. (4) Lucy married Thomas Riley and resided at Norwich, Conn., but she died at Mystic, the mother of five children: Sarah, who married Capt. Charles Wheeler; Mary, wife of Arthur Maxon, general agent for the Singer Sewing Machine Company; Lizzie, who married Oscar Berry, of Mystic; Amos, who was a sea captain, and lives in Chicago; and James, a sea captain, who married Jane Noyes, and has three children. (5) Oliver, who married and lives in Virginia, has three sons and three daughters. (6) Mary, widow of Daniel Davis, resides at Clinton, Conn. Her daughter, Mary, married Elijah Morgan, of Mystic, New London county, and they had three children. (7) Sarah is mentioned as Mrs. Clark. (8) Emma married Roswell Maynard, a member of the 22d C.V.I., now deceased, and they had two children: Edward, a resident of Norwich, who has three children; and Anna, the deceased wife of Merton Reynolds, and the mother of one daughter. (9) Frances married Nealand Ward, and after his death, Nicholas Allen, becoming by the first union, the mother of one child, Alice, and by the second, of a son, Merton, the latter now in the postal service of New York City. (10) Nancy married Frank St. John, after his death, Frank Grant, and later, Chas. Swain, a grocer, of Clinton, Conn. By the first marriage there was a son; by the second, two children: Herbert, who married Elsie Stewart and lives in Sprague, Conn.; and Julia, who married Capt. John Ashcraft. By the last marriage there were six children: Oliver, superintendent of the water works at Clinton, Conn.; Amos; Fred; Elma, who married Clarence Eelman; Minnie, wife of George Champlain; and Mabel, wife of Lovell Carter. (11) Ardelia married Andrew King, and after his death, Deacon Lay of Clinton, now deceased, becoming by the first marriage the mother of two sons: Andrew, now a resident of Clinton; and Nelson.

Reproduced by:  Linda D. Pingel

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