Jacob S. Clark

Jacob S. Clark was born 1834 in Tompkins County, New York, the son of Daniel (b. 1809) and Eliza L. (b. 1815).

Jacob’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there, probably before 1834. The family resided in New York for some years but between 1837 and 1839 reportedly moved to Michigan, and between 1839 and 1841 settled in Ohio. Between 1843 and 1845 the family moved back to Michigan and by 1850 were living in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County. Daniel eventually moved his family to the western side of the state and by 1860 Jacob was a farm laborer living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward.

Jacob stood 5’6” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles”, a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for hemorrhoids on May 12, 1862, at Annapolis, Maryland.

After his discharge Jacob eventually returned to Michigan.

He was married to a widow, Ohio native Matilda M. Kinney (b. 1831) on April 4, 1869, presumably in Michigan, and they may have had at least two children: Almanza (b. 1869) and Mary 1870). By 1870 Jacob was working as a farmer and living with Matilda, two of her children from her former marriage (Flora and Abi) and their son Almanza, in Otsego, Allegan County.

In November of 1879 Matilda began divorce proceedings against Jacob in Allegan County, although it is unclear where or not the decree was ever granted. In any case, by 1880 Jacob was working as a farmer and living with Matilda and their two children in Otsego, Allegan County. (In 1880 his mother Eliza was living with his brother George and his family in Ionia, Ionia County.) It was also reported that Matilda took her children and moved to Nebraska in 1884.

Jacob subsequently married Esther Linderman on January 4, 1885, in Courtland, Kent County.

In 1890 he was probably living in Courtland, Kent County, when he applied for and received a pension (no. 699293). He was living in Courtland, Kent County in 1892.

Jacob reportedly died at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids, on January 24, 1894.

According to one source Jacob is buried in Kent County, however he is not listed in the Kent County death certificate index. (There is one Jacob Clark buried in the Soldiers’ Home cemetery, but he is listed as having served with Company B, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics.)

In 1910 a woman by the name of Esther Clark was living in Tecumseh, Lenawee County, when she applied for a pension (application no. 935814) but the certificate was never granted, and was rejected on the grounds that Jacob had never in fact divorced his first wife.