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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Dr. A. W. Clark

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[This information is from pp. 354-355 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Dr. A. W. Clark, a skilful dental practitioner and graduate optician, of Jefferson, Schoharie County, the founder and for some years editor and publisher of the Jeffersonian, now known as the Jefferson Courier, was born in Blenheim, N. Y., August 20, 1843, son of John A. and Catherine (Van der Vort) Clark.

His paternal grandfather, Randall Clark, came to this country from Rhode Island and settled in Blenheim, where he became quite an extensive farmer and land-owner. Randall Clark married Phoebe Dorcas Tucker, and his children were: Benjamin, Eliza, Alfred, John A., Stephen, Lucinda, Charles, Mary J., William, and Hilmer. Of these the only survivor is Eliza, who is residing in Rhode Island. Hilmer died while still young, and the other sons all engaged in farming.

John A. Clark, Dr. Clark's father, came to this county when a boy, and was reared at the homestead which he occupied in part until his death. He was prosperous as a general farmer, and at one time owned about three hundred and fifty acres of land. Politically, he was in his later years a Republican. He attended the Methodist Episcopal church, and was an earnest advocate of temperance. He lived to be sixty-six years old, and his wife survived him ten years. They were the parents of nine children, namely: A. W. Clark, the subject of this sketch; Alzada, wife of C. B. Atwood, a lawyer of Watertown, Conn.; Lindon, a resident of Blenheim; Le Grand and La Grange, twins, both of whom live at the homestead; Fremont, who resides in Delhi, N. Y.; John J., also a resident of that town; Ida, who married W. L. Cranch, and resides at Thompson, Conn.; and Ida Ursula, who died when about six years old.

A. W. Clark pursued his elementary studies in the common schools of Blenheim, and advanced in learning by attending the Stamford Seminary. After leaving school he went to Auburn, N. Y., with a view of engaging in business, but at the solicitation of Dr. A. A. Wood, who was then practising in Jefferson, he began the study of medicine in that doctor's office, and continued it for eighteen months. Failing health caused him to relinquish his studies, and while resting he determined to abandon medicine for dentistry. He accordingly became a student in the office of Dr. H. S. Wood, of Stamford, with whom he made rapid progress, and in 1866 he began the practice of his profession in Jefferson, where he has since resided. An experience of over thirty years has given opportunities for acquiring a varied knowledge of dentistry, and his business is both large and profitable. He has availed himself of all modern improvements in the way of appliances. He is a graduate of the National College of Electro-therapeutics, Lima, Ohio, which college conferred upon him the degree of Master of Electro-therapeutics (M.E.). He deals in dentists' supplies, and has travelled considerably in the interests of this branch of his business.

In 1871 Dr. Clark purchased a small job printing-office for the purpose of devoting his leisure moments to some useful employment, and engaged in the printing of small handbills, letter-heads, etc. He was shortly afterward requested by his fellow-townsmen to establish a newspaper, which he agreed to do provided a sufficient sum was raised to purchase a press. Although but half the necessary amount was subscribed, he determined to see the scheme through; and, making up the deficiency from his own pocket, he bought the desired machinery. Without knowledge or experience, he entered upon his new enterprise, to which he gave every moment of time that could possibly be spared from his professional duties; and as a result of his indefatigable labors the initial number of the Jeffersonian, the first newspaper ever issued in Jefferson, was delivered to the people on March 6, 1872. The paper was a success from the start, and its subsequent enlargement was made necessary to meet the demands of local advertisers. For about nine years its founder continued to edit and publish the Jeffersonian, which, under his management, performed its mission in an able manner. He contributed much valuable matter in connection with the publication of the [William E.] Roscoe History of Schoharie County, and has since written for publication in the Jefferson Courier considerable historic matter, collected as far back as 1730, pertaining to the history of Schoharie County and the border wars of New York, giving a detailed narrative of many tragic scenes enacted on the frontiers of New York. He is now engaged in collecting dates and writing the history of the Clark family.

Dr. Clark married Sarah A. Phincle, daughter of William and Anna (Toles) Phincle. They have had two children: Sarah, who died in infancy; and La Mancha, who was graduated at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery at Philadelphia in 1898, that college conferring upon him the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. He stood high in his class of one hundred and eight, of which he was the youngest. He married Florence Lilian Lee, of Glen Castle, N. Y., on February 8, 1899. He is a fine operator, gold fillings and crown and bridge work being his specialty. The young Doctor is now associated with his father in a large and successful practice.

As a progressive, public-spirited citizen the Doctor takes an active interest in public improvements, and is a stockholder in the waterworks. He belongs to the Masonic order and other organizations, and frequently attends the meetings of the State Dental Society. The family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

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