T.J.V. CLARK. – Mr. Clark, a portrait of whom will be found within these pages, is a man substantial and popular, greatly given to building up the city of his residence, and always inventing ways and means of increasing the quantity and variety of products in the surrounding country. Yakima county owes much to him for the introduction of the new grains and new machinery; and not only has he brought there improved products and methods to the notice of the farmers, but has paid them for their crops, thus giving them substantial encouragement. He is the true merchant, whose place in society is to find a use and exchange for everything is produced or made.
His life has been spent in the West, although he was born in Maryland, August 27, 1847, and served in the Union army, enlisting in May, 1862, in the Twenty-third Battery, Indiana Artillery, U.S. Volunteers while but a boy of fourteen. He was discharged on account of wounds on November 26, 1863, at Indianapolis, Indiana. He also attended Rock Hill College, Maryland, after the war, with the intention of studying law, but went west to Kansas and Colorado, serving as scout and guide in the regular army during the Indian wars of 1865 and 1870.
During the latter year he married Miss Maggie Mann, one of the pioneer girls of that country, and went into the cattle business; but, suffering much from losses by Indians, he went to the Indian country itself – Indian Territory – to avoid trouble. Returning, however, to Kansas, he made a home at Wichita, then but a rude village, and established a hunting camp on the Medicine Lodge Bow river to supply the settlements with buffalo beef. Further trouble with the Indians drove him to Fort Dodge, Kansas, where he went to ranching, and also trapped on the Sappa and tributaries of the Republican river. In 1874 he set out for Idaho, stopping a winter at Boise, after which he began ranching on the Skagit river, Washington Territory, meeting with ill success for four years. Seeking more remunerative employment, he found work on the Cascade Locks, and soon was tendered a position as bridge constructor on the Walla Walla division of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company. He then became connected with the Northern Pacific Railroad as contractor, continuing in that capacity for over two years. In both of these positions he was able to lay by a handsome surplus, giving him the foundation of a fortune which makes his taxes the larges on the roll of Yakima county. He was one of the first to locate at North Yakima, and has done all that his prominent position in the community would lay upon him for the upbuilding of the city.
He does a general forwarding and commission business, carrying also, in his implement department, the largest stock in the place. His acquaintance during a twelve years’ residence in the territory has popularized him to such an extent that he has been elected successively to the office of councilman and mayor of North Yakima, and joint representative in the territorial legislature for Kittitass and Yakima counties for 1887 and 1888.
In politics, Mr. Clark is a Republican. He is very sanguine of the future prosperity of Yakima county, taking great pleasure in welcoming strangers and showing them its locations and resources. With kindly interest in the newcomers and in the prosperity of the older settlers, he seems far beyond the simple requirements of business, even of his own enlightened pattern. He has a family of seven children, two sons and five daughters. He is a member of Geo. G. Meade Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of North Yakima.