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John Marion Clark Family
By Frances Fox
Taken from Ye Olde Ancestors, April 10, 1992
Written permission given by the New Boston Genealogy Society
to post this information to the Bowie County TXGenWeb site.
They first camped at a spring in DeKalb which is where the DeKalb
School is today. Undecided about this location, they left DeKalb
and went on to Cass County and maybe on into central Texas before
turning back north into Grayson County and back to DeKalb by 1880.
James Henry "Jim" Clark told that he remembered he was about
nine years old when they settled at the spring in DeKalb again.
John William Clark was about twelve years old and he killed his first
deer near the spring. Three children had been born to the family
since they arrived in Texas, making a family of nine children:
John Marion Clark and his wife, Delina, took three other children into their home to raise. They took Minnie Mae Hopkins at the age of five. Her mother Mary Isabell Wainright Hopkins was burned to death in Arkansas while burning grass in a field. They took in Jack Wilson who later became a very wealthy man and they took George Gesley into their home.
John Marion Clark bought his first land in Bowie County in 1887. He bought 160 acres on the headwaters of Herring Creek, northeast of DeKalb, from Sarah Rochelle for 320 dollars. Later John William Clark bought the land where they first settled at the spring in DeKalb. John owned the DeKalb Tie and Lumber Company. John Marion Clark owned one of the first hotels in DeKalb. Minnie Mae Hopkins was a cook in the hotel for awhile. It is believed that the family had run another hotel prior to arriving in Texas. The family was listed in the Neosho County, Kansas census in 1870. The family entered Texas at a point near Sherman.
Delina Brinegar Clark told many stories when they would be gathered around the fireplace. During the Civil War, John Marion Clark was a soldier for the North. Many of her stories were about the "Bushwhackers". They were men who went around all over the country demanding food, clothing and other things from the wives and children of the men who were away at war. The wives, children, and elderly people were already sorely pressed to grow their food-stuff without the men. The Bushwhackers pilfered and plundered and did no fighting for the North or the South, bullies preying on the weak. At one time when the Bushwhackers were at Delina Brinegar Clark's house, one of them noticed her wedding ring on her finger and demanded that she give it to him. She became so infuriated at the thought of parting wit it, especially to a Bushwhacker, that she started running toward the well. She grabbed the ring off her finger and threw it into the well before the man could stop her.
Another story was about the time she hitched up the mules and hauled part of the corn to the grist mill to be ground into cornmeal. While she was gone the Bushwhackers came to the house. When she returned everything was in a mess. They had searched everywhere for the pot of hominy she had cooked that morning in the log cabin in Missouri. She had a secret hiding place. She had removed some of the bricks from the hearth and hung the black iron pot of fresh cooked hominy on a nail that was driven under the floor. She put the bricks back in place and the Bushwhackers were unable to find it.
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