Saturday, January 27, 2007

Charles John Clarke

Charles John Clarke
March 15, 1833 - December 5, 1899

Charles John Clarke had already retired in 1874 from a transportation business called Clarke and Company. He kept himself busy by investing in real estate, railroads, and securities. He was 56 at the time of the Johnstown Flood and was the father of Club member Louis Semple Clarke.

Charles John Clarke was a member of the Duquesne Club. Charles J. Clarke, Ruben Miller and H. Sellers McKee were directors of the Western Insurance Co, established in 1849. Henry Phipps, Charles Clarke and William Thaw established the Pittsburgh School of Design.

For the record, the charter members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club were:R F Ruff; T H Sweat; Charles J Clarke; Thomas Clark; W F Fundenberg; Howard Hartley; H C Yeager; J B White; H C Frick; E A Myers; C C Hussey; D R Ewer; C A Carpenter; W L Dunn; W L McClintock; A V Holmes.

As described by Martha Sanger in her book on Henry Clay Frick, it was at Charles John Clarke's home that the Pittsburgh members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club gathered when they learned the news about the Johnstown Flood.

Advised by their attorney members James Hay Reed and Philander Chase Knox, the members established a public face for their meeting and their response to the disaster, forming what they called the "Pittsburgh Relief Committee". About half of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club members made donations toward disaster relief as a result, some of their contributions quite generous.

The private face of the meeting was to pledge not to speak of the Club or of the Flood thereafter. The members kept that promise so well that many of their descendants grew up knowing nothing about the Club whatsoever.

The Clarke family included:

- Mrs. Charles John Clarke (Louisa S.) born in 1839

- Thomas S. Clarke, born in 1860

- Louis Semple Clarke, born in 1867 (see his separate biography on this site)

- Agnes Clarke, born in 1868

- John S. Clarke, born in 1871

- James K. Clarke, born in 1874

- Mable Clarke, born in 1876

Charles John Clarke was 66 at the time of the Johnstown Flood.

* * *

Allegheny Cemetery is the preferred place of burial for the Clarke Family, as follows:

CLARKE, Charles J., Mar 15, 1833-Dec 5, 1899

CLARKE, Eliza Thaw, died Aug 11, 1864, aged 61 years, wife of Thomas Clarke

CLARKE, James King, Apr 23, 1874-Jan 2, 1958

CLARKE, John Thaw, died Oct 16, 1841, aged 6 months

CLARKE, Louis Semple, 1866-1957

CLARKE, Louisa Semple, Nov 20, 1833-Apr 9, 1916, wife of Charles Clarke

CLARKE, Mary Phillips, 1870-1952

CLARKE, Thomas S., Jan 18, 1801-Oct 19, 1867, born at Cannonsburgh, PA

CLARKE, Thomas Shields, Apr 25, 1860-Nov 15, 1920

CLARKE, Thomas William, died Oct 5, 1840, aged 3 years, (Source: MLGreen)

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