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William Clark, formerly Judge of Probate for Sullivan County, was born in Claremont, March 6, 1819, son of Moses and Fanny (Patterson) Clark. His ancestors on both sides were pioneer settlers of Londonderry, N.H. Moses Clark, a native of Londonderry, came when a young man to Claremont, and settled upon a farm situated on the old road to Newport. He followed agriculture with success for the rest of his life, and was one of the able farmers and useful citizens of his day. In his religious views he was a Universalist. He was the father of ten children, six sons and four daughters.
In his boyhood William Clark attended the district school for several months each year. He assisted upon the farm until he was twenty-one years old. Then he apprenticed himself to Rufus Carlton to learn the butchering and meat business. A year later he went to work in the same business for Philemon Tolles, with whom he remained three years. After this he engaged in business for himself, and built up a large trade, which he maintained alone for eight or nine years, and for three years in partnership with Henry C. Cowles. In this period for some time he drove a meat wagon through the surrounding towns, and each winter his route extended as far as Concord. Selling out to his partner in 1857, he was afterward engaged in the wholesale grain and flour trade with Albert H. Danforth for about fifteen years. In 1871 he retired after an active business career of thirty years, and devoted his attention to other interests. He was employed in probate affairs for many years, acting as administrator for some of the largest estates in Sullivan County. From 1853 to 1868 he was a member of the Board of Selectmen, and he was Chairman of the Board for ten years of that time. In 1863 he was appointed United States Deputy Assessor of Internal Revenue for this district, and afterward held that position for nine years. He was Town Clerk in 1871, 1872, and 1873, during which time the town records were kept in a manner that reflected the highest credit upon him. In 1876 he was appointed Judge of Probate, a position which he held until his death. The Supreme Court never reversed a single decision of his from which appeal had been made. He was a Director of the Claremont National Bank for fourteen years and of the Sullivan Savings Institution for twenty-nine years.
Judge Clark married Esther A. Bosworth, who survives him. She was born in Royalton, Vt., daughter of Jarvis and Bershey (Crowell) Bosworth. Jarvis Bosworth, who was a native of Rehoboth, R.I., settled in Royalton, Vt., where he resided for the rest of his life. An able, upright, and fairminded business man, possessing excellent judgment and a thorough knowledge of financial matters, Mr. Clark was especially well fitted to preside over the Probate Court. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He died at his home in Claremont, May 30, 1883.