JAMES S. CLARK.
There are turning points in every man's life called opportunity. Taken advantage of they mean ultimate success. The career of James S. Clark is a striking illustration of the latter statement. Diligent and ever alert for his chance of advancement, he has progressed steadily until he is recognized today as one of the foremost business men of Sparta, which place has long represented his headquarters as engineer of ways and structures for the Illinois Southern Railway Company. Here he is held in high esteem by his fellow citizens, who honor him for his native ability and for his fair and straightforward career, and at the present time, in 1911, he is filling his second term as mayor of the city.
A native of Scott county, Indiana, James S. Clark was born on the 8th of October, 1868, and he is a son of James M. and Adaline (Stodgehill) Clark, the former of whom was summoned to the life eternal in the year 1895 and the latter of whom is now living at Seymour, Indiana. The paternal grandfather of him to whom this sketch is dedicated immigrated to Indiana in an early day, there becoming a pioneer settler in the wilds of Scott county, the major portion of his time and attention having been devoted to agricultural pursuits. James M. Clark was one of a family of three children, all of whom are now deceased. The only brother, Martin Clark, located in Peoria county, Illinois, where he passed the declining years of his life, James S. Clark's mother, whose maiden name was Adaline Stodgehill, is a daughter of Croxton Stodgehill, long a well known farmer in Kentucky. Since the death of her honored husband Mrs. Clark has resided at Seymour, Indiana, where she is deeply beloved by all who have come within the sphere of her gracious influence. Concerning the children born to Mr. and Mrs. James M. Clark: Laura is the wife of Robert Rose, of Columbus, Indiana; James S. is the immediate subject of this review; Lillie married Samuel Ross, of Jonesville, Indiana; and Annis is now Mrs. Archibald Downs, of Seymour, Indiana.
To the common schools of his native place James S. Clark is indebted for his preliminary educational training, At the comparatively early age of sixteen years he was obliged to leave school in order to become an earning power in the home. Four years later he became a section hand on the Pennsylvania Railroad, his headquarters being at Columbus, Indiana, where in fourteen months he was made foreman of Section No. 18. Subsequently he became extra gang foreman on the Louisville division of the road and he continued in the employ of the Pennsylvania company until 1898, when he resigned in order to accept service with the Southern Indiana Railroad Company. For five years he held the position of roadmaster for the latter railroad and on the 1st of April, 1903, he entered the employ of the Illinois Southern Railroad Company in the same capacity, continuing as roadmaster for the ensuing six years when he was made engineer of ways and structures on this road. He is a business man of unusual sagacity and ability, and inasmuch as his success in life is entirely the outcome of his own well directed endeavors it is the more gratifying to contemplate.
Mr. Clark's citizenship in Sparta commended him to the people as an admirable candidate for the office of alderman, and in 1905 he was chosen to that position without regard to party affiliations. Two years later he was urged to stand for mayor and was elected as such to succeed Dr. Simpson. His first capable administration recommended him for a second term and he was chosen by the city again in April, 1911. While little of consequence beyond the routine business of the corporation has come before him as yet the question of sewers and an adequate water supply for the city is assuming shape by agitation for early con-
sideration. In fraternal circles Mr. Clark is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Felows and with the Knights of Pythias. In Jackson county, Indiana, on the 30th of October, 1895, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Clark to Miss Della Mitchell, a native of the old Hoosier state of the Union and a daughter of Evan and Mary (Peacock) Mitchel, both of whom are now residing in the beautiful city of Indianapolis. Mr. and Mrs. Clark are the parents of two children, whose names are here entered in respective order of birth,óJohn Morris and Glenn Kenneth. Mrs. Clark is a member of the Presbyterian church, in the various departments of whose work she is a most zealous worker. They are popular factors in connection with the best social activities of the community and their home is recognized as one of most gracious hospitality.