Louisville's First Families -A SERIES OF GENEALOGICAL SKETCHES
Author - KATHLEEN JENNINGS
Published by THE STANDARD PRINTING CO.- Louisville, KY 1920
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The Clark Family. Chapter IV.
KENTUCKY is justly famed for her hospitality, but an incident of inhospitality in a pioneer home on the Ohio river near Carrollton is 'the basis of an interesting anecdote for the descendants of John and Anne Rogers Clark, who emigrated from Virginia in 1784 to take up their residence at the Falls of the Ohio, where a home, "Mulberry Hill," had been made ready for them by their son, Gen. George Rogers Clark. Mr. and Mrs. Clark, their children and servants, escaped death at the hands of Indians when Mrs. Elliott, thewife of a Capt. Elliott, who had frequently been a guest at the Clark home in Caroline county, Va., failed to extend the courtesy of her house and board to them on March 3, 1785, as they voyaged down the Ohio.
The Clarks had apprised Capt. Elliott of their plans to journey to the new settlement, and had been urged by him to visit his home and to become acquainted with his wife and young daughter, of whom they had so often heard him speak. Although they left Virginia in October, owing to the bad condition of the roads, the inclemency of the weather, and the obstructions in
the Monongahela, it was March when the party in boats arrived at the mouth of the Kentucky. John Clark and one of his men landing, went ahead to announce to Capt. Elliott the arrival of the party. Clark was greeted by Mrs. Elliott, who told of her husband's absence on a hunting trip. Abashed at the coolness of his reception Clark joined the travel-worn party in the boats and proceeded to Fort Nelson, where they were welcomed by the settlers.
Hardly had the Clarks resumed their journey before Indians on the war-path attacked the Elliott cabin, killing and scalping Capt. Elliott's brother, who, with several of his workmen, arrived immediately after Clark's departure to be mortified that his sister-in-law had not dispensed hospitality to the travelers. Mrs. Elliott and her daughter made a miraculous escape from the cabin to the river bank, unseen by the savages. They were joined by Capt. Elliott, who, returning unexpectedly, saw the warriors' canoes on the river and his home in flames. The Elliotts, having rescued the body of their kinsman from the ruins, embarked to seek security at Fort Nelson, where they were comforted and befriended, first of all, by the Clarks.
Mrs. Elliott offered excuses for her inhospitality, relating her confusion at the thought of receiving the Clarks in her crude frontier dwelling,
knowing as she did the style and comfort of their life in Virginia, explaining that in years she had not seen any white persons save the members of her own family, that she was overcome with embarrassment at the encounter. She assured Mrs. Clark that the latter owed her life and that of her family to this breach of courtesy.
The pioneers John and Anne Rogers Clark had ten children, six sons, five of whom were officers in the Revolutionary war, the sixth being too young to serve; four daughters, two of whom married officers, and two soldiers in the Continental army.
Gen. George Rogers Clark, whose history-making career is too well known to be repeated here, had been in Louisville long enough to change his residence several times before his parents decided to join him, having moved with the first settler families from Corn Island in 1779 to a fort at the foot of Twelfth street, and in 1782 to Fort Nelson, built by the troops on the north side of Main street, between Sixth and Eighth.
"Mulberry Hill," a fine estate two miles east of the city limits, boasted a spacious double-log house, with a wide hall through the center. There were four large square rooms, porches and store rooms, with the kitchen in a separate building some distance from the house and near the Spring.
Gen. Jonathan Clark, who came to Louisville years later than the other members of the family, had married Sarah Hite in Virginia. He built a home at "Trough Spring," east of Mulberry Hill. The Bernheim place, Shadyside, and the old Richardson place are part of his farm. A French cabinetmaker came from New Orleans to make the furniture for his use. His daughter, Anna Clark, who married James Anderson Pearce, came into possession of "Trough Spring" and used it as a country house, her home in town being on the River front. When old Fort Nelson was razed and the property sold, Pearce bought the land and erected a brick dwelling with an iron veranda, at what is now the corner of Seventh and Water. This home, in which the Pearce children were born, was torn down when the property again changed hands, and the Burge home was built there.
James Pearce, who was a Virginian, a man of affairs and considerable means, presented the river frontage before his home, the two blocks of Water street and wharf, to the city, making a proviso in the deed which brought an interesting suit in 1880. In that year the C. & O. railroad attempted to obtain a right of way for a line along the river front and was bitterly opposed by merchants of the city who protested that the business on the wharf would be ruined by
this arrangement. A number of indignation meetings were held, attended by business men of Louisville. Temple Bodley, a young lawyer in those days, a grandson of James Pearce, was approached by a committee of merchants to ask his mother, Mrs. William S. Bodley, to file a suit to prevent this use of her father's gift, for they had found the old deed which provided that if the city permitted any building, etc., to be erected, obstructing the view of the Ohio river from the donor's home, garden or vineyard, the property should revert to the heirs. Mrs. Bodley brought the suit and an injunction was granted.
There are no descendants of Gen. George Rogers Clark in Louisville, for that distinguished member of the Clark family was never married.
Gen. Jonathan Clark and his wife, Sarah Hite, had seven children, three of whom have descendants in the city. Their eldest daughter, Eleanor Eltinge Clark, married Dr. Benjamin Temple, the prominent Methodist minister, and their family also was a large one. Their son, John B. Temple, whose third wife was Blandina Brodhead, was a prominent banker and man of affairs in Frankfort and later in Louisville, being president of the Mutual Life Insurance Company. His widow made her home in Louisville with her daughters, Mary Temple (Mrs. R. A. Robinson) and Annie Temple, her death
taking place last year. Another daughter is Blandina (Mrs. William Griffiths).
Ann Clark, the third daughter of Gen. Jonathan Clark, married James Anderson Pearce, and to them eight children were born. Their son, Edmund Pearce, who married Myra Steele, was the father of Amelia Neville Pearce, who became the wife of George Weissinger, and of John C. Pearce, who married Susannah Steele. Mrs. Frank Snead, Mrs. Nolan Milton and John Clark Pearce are the children of John and Susannah Pearce, Ellen Pearce married the lawyer, Judge William S. Bodley, and was the mother of eleven children, of whom the following survive: Martha and Ann Jane Bodley, who live together on Fourth street; William Stewart Bodley, and Temple Bodley, who married Edith Fosdick.
Dr. William Clark, the son of Gen Jonathan Clark, married Frances Ann Tompkins. He inherited the Mulberry Hill home of John and Anne Rogers Clark from his father and in turn bequeathed it to his daughters, Mary, who married Dr. George E. Cooke, and Eugenia and Eliza Clark, who never married. Dr. Clark's daughter Ellen married Newton Milton, of Memphis, and her death occurred not long ago at the home of her grandson, Karl Jungbluth, Jr., in Garvin Place. William Clark
married Annie Bailey, and was the father of Kate Clark, now Mrs. John C. Doolan, and of Louise Clark, Mrs. Harry Whitaker, of Wheeling, West Virginia.
Ann Clark, eldest daughter of John Clark, married Owen Gwathmey, and was the mother of eleven children. There are a number of her descendants in Kentucky. Samuel Gwathmey, who married Mary Booth, member of a prominent pioneer family, was the father of Rebecca Ann Gwathmey, who married Henry S. Tyler, of the distinguished family of that name and a descendant of the Oldhams. To Rebecca and Henry S. Tyler five children were born, and a number of their grandchildren are prominent here. The oldest son, Isaac Tyler, who married Jennie Owen, of St. Louis, was the father of Owen Tyler, Rebecca, Mrs. Harry L. Smyser, Isaac Tyler and the late Gwathmey Tyler, who married Edmonia Robinson. Virginia Tyler is Mrs. William A. Robinson, who with her daughter, Mrs. Spalding Coleman, makes her home on Fourth street near Kentucky. Levi Tyler married Maria Lewis and was the father of Mrs. James Franklin Fairleigh and Henry S. Tyler. Ella Tyler married Lewis H. Bond and her children who make Louisville their home are Isaac Tyler Bond, Etta, Mrs. Dudley Winston, and Joseph Bond.
Diana Moore Gwathmey, a daughter of Ann and Owen Gwathmey, was the wife of Thomas Bullitt.
Catherine Gwathmey married George Woolfolk, of the Virginia family which settled here.
Elizabeth Clark married Col. Richard Clough Anderson, who settled here in 1738, After his marriage Col. Anderson built a home in 1788, which was known as "Soldiers' Retreat," on the farm which is now owned by A. T. Hert. This country place appears on the first maps of the county.
Ann Clark, who married Owen Gwathmey, and her sister, Elizabeth Clark, who married Col. Richard Clough Anderson, are ancestresses of some Louisville families, for Anne Clark Gwathmey's daughter, Elizabeth, married her cousin, Richard Clough Anderson, Jr., who was one of the most distinguished members of the family.
Richard Clough Anderson, Jr., was an eloquent orator, an able lawyer and his talents were not confined to Louisville where he practiced law at Fifth and Main. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives and was minister to Colombia. While the Andersons were in South America two daughters were born, Elizabeth and Anne. The latter was called Anita by her nurse in Bogota, and in later life she was always Anita.
Anita Anderson was a baby when she came to the States, the mother having fallen a victim to the climate, dying at Cartagena, and it is told that little Anita came across the Isthmus of Panama, mule back, swung in a saddle bag, baby on one side and sugar on the other.
Elizabeth Anderson married Col. Stephen Johnston, U. S. N.. and later L. M. Flournoy. By her first marriage there were two daughters, one, Hebe Johnston. the widow of Joseph H. Craig, of New York, is in Louisville, making her home with the Misses Blain and Judge Randolph Blain. The other daughter, Elizabeth Johnston, married Col. Julian Harrison, and one of their sons, Peyton Harrison, whose wife is Louise Wheat, has two children, Anne and Julian Harrison, and Louisville is their home.
Anita Anderson married a well-known Louisville citizen, John Thompson Gray, and a child of this marriage, Anita Gray, is the widow of Dr. James Thornley Berry, of Anita Springs, who makes her home with her daughter, Anita Berry Brooke, wife of Robert S. Brooke, of fine Virginia lineage, and a descendant of Sir Alexander Spottswood. Anne Carter, Anita Gray, Elizabeth Washington Berry, Margaret Lyle and Roberta Spottswood Brooke compose the family of Robert S. and Anita Berry Brooke.
Not long ago, Robert S. Brooke bought some farm land in Southern Indiana, just below Fern Grove; in going over the deed to the property he found material for an interesting tradition for his family. The land is a portion of a grant to George Rogers Clark, kinsman of Mrs. Brooke, made in 1783 by Edward Randolph, Governor of Virginia, a kinsman of Mr. Brooke.
Lucy Clark, another daughter of John and Anne Rogers Clark, married Major William Croughan, who had located in Louisville as early as 1782. Their home was "Locust Grove," the scene of generous hospitality. Here Lucy Croughan's brother, Gen. George Rogers Clark, died and was buried in the old family burying ground.
Fanny Clark, the youngest of the four sisters, was married three times. The sons of her first husband, Dr. James O'Fallon, removed to St. Louis. Her second marriage was to Capt. Charles Minn Thruston, who fought in the Revolutionary war at the age of eleven years, seven months and three days. He came to Louisville about 1793. To Fanny and Charles Thruston two children were born, a son, Charles W. Thruston, and a daughter, Ann Clark.
After Capt. Thruston's death, his widow married Judge Dennis Fitzhugh. Their three children located in Arkansas.
Charles W. Thruston married Mary Churchill, the daughter of Samuel Churchill, and a descendant of the Popes and the Oldhams. Their daughter, Fanny Thruston, married Andrew Jackson Ballard, grandson of Bland Ballard, the celebrated Indian fighter. She was the mother of the late Charles T. Ballard, who married Mina Breaux; S. Thruston Ballard, who married Sunshine Harris, and Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston.
Ann Clark Thruston, the daughter of Charles Minn and Fanny Thruston, married Dr. Bernard G. Farrar, of St. Louis.
The Thruston home stood on Walnut street near Floyd, where the Ballard grandsons were born. The house was torn down in 1866, and on the site a home built by Andrew J. Ballard and his wife, was completed in 1868. The house, now used as the Detention Home, was for many years their hospitable residence.
William Clark, the youngest son, referred to above as too young to fight in the Revolution, was the explorer of the Lewis and Clark expedition from the Mississippi to the Pacific, 1804-06. He was afterward Governor of Missouri.
Gov. William Clark married Julia Hancock, of Fincastle, Va., and his son, Meriwether Lewis Clark, married Abigail Prather Churchill, of Louisville, Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., who
married Mary Martin Anderson, spent a number of years in Louisville. He was one of the incorporators and the first president of the Louisville Jockey Club in 1875 when the first Kentucky Derby was run, and served as a judge at the track long after the club changed ownership.