Lawrence Clark, who resides in the old colonial mansion in Geneva, Ontario county, New York, on the west shore of Seneca lake, which was owned and occupied by his family for upward of sixty years, is one of those men who take possession of the public heart and hold it after they have departed, not by flashes of genius or brilliant services, but by kindness and the force of personal character, and by steady and persistent good conduct in all the situations and under all the trials of life. They are in sympathy with all that is useful and good in the community in which they dwell, and the community on its part cheerfully responds by extending to them respectful admiration and sincere affection.
William N. Clark, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in the city of New York in 1794, and died in Geneva, New York, in 1867. For many years he was in business as a druggist in his native city, and prominent in various business enterprises. He removed to Geneva in 1836, retiring from active participation in business life at this period, but retained his connection with a number of undertakings in the financial world. At one time he filled the office of president of the Farmers’ Bank of Geneva. The interest he took in religions affairs was an earnest and beneficial one, and he served as deacon of the Dutch church for many years. and as elder in the same institution for more than thirty years and until his death. He was held in high esteem by all with whom he came in contact, and frequently personally investigated cases which he thought worthy of assistance. In this manner he became acquainted with all classes of society, and his death caused a vacancy which was felt far and wide. He married Mary Theresa Sheiffelin, born in New York City. 1807. died in Geneva. New York. 1886. She was a most worthy helpmeet to her husband, and was also largely interested in church and charitable natters. Among their children were: Lawrence, see elsewhere; two daughters, who live in Geneva; and a son. who resides in New York.
Lawrence, son of William and Mary Theresa (Sheiffelin) Clark. was born in Geneva, Ontario county, New York, 1845. His education, which was an excellent one, was acquired at Walnut Hill School, of h is native city. and at Hobart College, from which he was graduated with honor. This has been supplemented by private study in later years, and intercourse with men of the highest intelligence and culture. In early manhood he went to New York City, where he entered the wholesale drug house of Schieffelin & Company, and there his faithful attention to the details of the business and the ability he displayed enabled him to rise from grade to grade and continue his association with this firm for a period of twenty years. In 1887 he returned to Geneva, where his quiet and retired disposition led him to abandon business activities, and he has since that time led a retired life in the old family mansion. He has very strong ideas on all matters of public importance, but having the courage of his conviction he does not give his undivided support to either Democratic or Republican party, preferring to give his vote to the man he thinks best fitted for the office he has been nominated to fill. He has never married, and his religious affiliations are with Trinity Church. He is undemonstrative and unassuming in his nature, yet in a quiet but forcible manner he is a power in the society of the community in which he lives. His moral attributes are of so high an order that he has carved out for himself friends, affluence and position. His mind is generally occupied with ideas which are for the betterment of the city of his birth, and his unselfish and honorable nature lead him to further all plans which tend to alleviate the sufferings of his fellow men. His circle of friends is a large one, and the hours which are not spent in social and harmonious intercourse with them are devoted to wide and diversified reading.