Biography of Stephen B Clark, M.D.

Stephen B. Clark, born on September 27, 1810, in New Market, Maryland, was a prominent figure in Guernsey County, Ohio. Moving to the county in 1825, he pursued a medical career, graduating from the University of New York in 1845. Clark co-founded the National Bank of Cambridge and was a successful physician, businessman, and community leader. An anti-slavery advocate and active in the Republican Party, he significantly impacted local civic and commercial life. Married to Jane McCracken, Clark had nine children. He died on June 30, 1894, leaving a lasting legacy in Cambridge.

The gift of life is so mysterious that when that other mystery which we call death interrupts the current of human hopes and aspirations, we know not into what new channel the spirit may be turned, but if the life has been characterized by strength and vigor everything it has touched in its onward passage must have received a beneficent inspiration. To a mind thoroughly awake to the reality of human existence and its responsibilities, there are noble and imperishable lessons in the career of an individual who conquers adversity and wins not only material success but that far greater honor, the deserved esteem and confidence of his fellow men. Such a man was the late Stephen B. Clark. Long intimately associated with the material and civic interests of Guernsey County, his name is today recalled with reverence.

Stephen B. Clark was born September 27, 1810, at New Market, Maryland, the son of John and Mary (Basford) Clark, and came to Guernsey County in 1825 with his parents, who first came to Cambridge, but later located at Antrim, where the father engaged in the mercantile business for many years. John Clark was a successful and influential citizen. Late in life, he removed to Washington, Guernsey County, where he and his wife passed away. They rest in Cambridge cemetery.

Stephen B. Clark was a diligent student when young and began teaching at the age of sixteen years, obtaining means for a medical education, in which study he was greatly interested. During the years of teaching, he read medicine with Dr. Thomas Miller, of Cambridge, and when he had saved sufficient money, he took a course of lectures at the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, after which he returned to Cambridge and formed a partnership with Doctor Miller for the practice, and later took a course of lectures at the University of New York, graduating in 1845. Upon return from New York, he formed a partnership with his brother, Dr. John T. Clark, in Cambridge, and during his years of practice, he became a partner of Peter Ogier in the drug business, under the firm name of Ogier & Clark, and with William Rainey, Sr., in the mercantile business, under the firm name of Rainey & Clark. His last enterprise was the establishment of the First National Bank, now the National Bank of Cambridge, and became the active president for thirteen years, managing its affairs with such care and judgment as not to lose one cent in investments or loans during that time. After his retirement from active life because of the infirmities of age, he retired to his farm, Oak Grove, near Cambridge. He was a great reader of history and biography and a student of the Bible, being a member of the United Presbyterian Church and an elder in the church for thirty-five years and a frequent delegate to the general assemblies of the church. In politics, he was a Whig and Freesoiler. In 1866, he became chairman of the first Republican organization in Guernsey County and was always prominent and active in party affairs. His grandfather was a slave-holder in Maryland, and to each of his grandchildren was given a black servant, but this grandson was a strong anti-slavery man, and in very early life broke away from the influences and associations of slavery. Doctor Clark was also a large landowner, and Clark’s addition to the city of Cambridge is one of the most important sections of the city. Doctor Clark died June 30, 1894, in his eighty-fourth year, and his widow on February 8, 1902, aged eighty-two, and both are buried at Cambridge. Few men have left a more indelible impression upon the community than Doctor Clark. A splendid man in every walk of life, in his profession, in business, in banking, in the church, and in educational advancement, his impress is found everywhere.

Doctor Clark was married November 26, 1839, to Jane McCracken (born March 30, 1820) by Rev. Dr. James McGill, pastor of the Associated Reform Church of Cambridge, which in 1858 became the First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge. To Doctor and Mrs. Clark were born nine children, seven of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. They were: William M., of Lincoln, Nebraska, who was a soldier in the Civil War and who became brigade surgeon of the First Brigade, Third Division of the Fourth Army Corps; John R., deceased, a prominent banker of Lincoln, and a soldier of the Civil War, enlisting in 1861 in Company B, Fifteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and became first lieutenant of Company A, same regiment; Alexander J., of the state of Texas, who as a member of Ohio National Guard also served in the Civil War; Margaret H., now Mrs. Wilson S. Fleacle, widow of the late Wilson Shannon Heade, mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work; Thomas C., of Cambridge; Mary O., now Mrs. William A. Burt, of Columbus, Ohio; Josiah, deceased; Ida Jane, deceased; Lute, deceased, who became Mrs. Halleck C. Young, of Lincoln, Nebraska. The loss to a community of such a citizen as Doctor Clark is difficult to estimate. His influence as a potential factor in the civic and commercial life of the community was far-reaching. His long and useful life was so intimately intermingled with all the vital forces of good that to place a finger upon this or that particular achievement were merely random acknowledgment of a career singularly fruitful of just and honorable deeds. Memory lingers with loving tenderness over his personality.


Sarchet, Cyrus P. B. (Cyrus Parkinson Beatty). History of Guernsey County, Ohio. Vol. 2, B.F. Bowen & Company, 1911.

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