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John Clare. The name of John Clare recalls one of the very early territorial pioneers of Kansas. This family, of Irish origin, settled in Eastern Kansas about the time the original Kansas-Nebraska bill was being considered by Congress, and from that time to the present members of the family have shared their fortunes with the fortunes of the Sunflower State, have been worthy members of various communities and have done their share in carrying forward the work of advancement and progress.
The late John Clare was born in Queens County, Ireland, in 1836. His father Michael Clare first brought his family to America about 1840. In the City of Boston he taught school for several years, but then returned to the old country. In 1851 he came a second time to America, and located in Washington, D. C. In 1854, before the first territorial government of Kansas was organized, he located in Leavenworth. He lived there for eleven years, and in 1865 moved to Atchison County, establishing his home on a claim seven miles south of the city of Atchison. Thenceforward he took a very prominent part in the community of Mount Pleasant, where he organized the first public school and became its teacher. Michael Clare was born in Ireland in 1800 and died in 1875 on the homestead that he had improved at Mount Pleasant.
John Clare was eighteen years of age when the family came to Kansas in 1854. Thenceforward he was actively identified with those movements which eventually made Kansas a free state. He and his brother subsequently were employed by the government in the freighting service. Both became wagon masters, and conducted a number of government trains between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Laramie, Wyoming. They were engaged in that hazardous occupation for four years, and their children recall many thrilling experiences they would relate of their life on the plains.
After the war John Clare settled down to farming at Mount Pleasant in Atchison County. In 1869 he married Miss Margaret D’Arcy, a native of County Wicklow, Ireland. She had also come to Kansas in the very early days. To their union were born nine children, five daughters and four sons: Michael, John, William, Charles, Ella, Maud L., Margaret, Frances and Agnes. Michael, John and William all own farms in Jefferson County, Kansas. The son Charles is a member of the Topeka fire department, at Station No. 4. Margaret is Mrs. Krall of Atchison. Maud L., Frances and Agnes still live at home in Topeka. The last years of his life John Clare spent in Jefferson County. He was quietly pursuing his vocation as a farmer when death came to him as the result of an accident. In 1910, following his death, Mrs. Clare moved to Topeka and bought the home at 700 Lane Street, where she died in 1914. That home is still occupied by their daughters.