John Clarke (the third)

Father: John Clark (September 17, 1837-September 29, 1904)

Mother: Philippa Knight Eddy (June 1, 1828-May 25, 1898)

Born April 21, 1863, at Carn Grey, St. Austell, Cornwall, England.

Died April 15, 1939, at St. Austell, Cornwall, England.

John was a frail child. They used to get salt water from the sea to bathe him. People told his parents the best thing to do was to move to Carn Grey, where there would be plenty of open country for him to run in and lots of fresh air. He became a very strong and healthy man.

He worked in the tin mines until 1887, at age 24, when he left England for the United States, going to Leadville, Colorado, to work in the silver mines. He stayed there nearly four years, until the slump in silver came. He then returned to England, trying to get home in time for Christmas, but he didn't get to New York early enough to get the ship. Arriving home early in the new year, his mother cried when she went to the door to meet him. They didn't even know he was coming home.

He stayed at home for just over two years.

Spouse: Alice Sarah Jane

Married May 23, 1893.

As soon as they were married, they left for the United States again, going this time to Butte, Montana. They were there nine months before he was able to get work in the copper mines. When he did get work, he worked seven days a week. He wouldn't see daylight for months, going down in the morning before sunup, and coming up in the evening after it was dark. While they were there, he built a nice bungalow.

Two years after they were married, Bertha was born, then two years later Will was born. One year later Alice thought she would like to go back to England for a visit, taking with her the two small children, which was quite an undertaking in those days. It was five days and nights on the train, about ten days on the boat from New York to Liverpool, 300 miles by train to St. Austell. John said, "You will be sorry you left by the time you get to Chicago." She said she really was! Bertha was three, and Will was one. She rented a pillow for 25 cents. A young man on the train took pity on her most of the way and helped her out.

She stayed in England a year with her father-in-law John Clarke and his sister Selina. She visited her sisters at Lands End and her brothers at Lanhydrock. Her mother-in-law, Phillippa Knight Eddy Clarke, had passed away a short time before. When she returned to the United States in 1899, she traveled second class on the boat. She raved about the fruit, which was much better than in third class. After she returned to Butte, the family stayed until 1902, and the four of them returned again to England. John felt it was time to get out of the mines because it was dangerous and not good for his health. Before they left for England, he went to Seattle. Conditions there were not good. Men carrying huge sacks of grain onto the ships would make a dollar a day. Maybe he was making two dollars a day in the mines. While they were in Butte, John built a small house, and Alice developed rheumatism. She felt it was because she hung her clothes out in zero weather. England was one of the worst places to go for rheumatism, and she suffered with it for forty years.

John and Alice did not come back to the United States again. They had become United States citizens when they lived there. The family lived in Cornwall in one of two houses built as rental houses. John inherited the family farm and the house on the farm.


  1. F Bertha May Clarke (1895-1963)
  2. M William John Clarke (May 31, 1897-June 16, 1970)
  3. M Percy Clarke (March 2, 1902-February 14, 1909)
  4. M Alfred Clarke (1903-1980)
  5. M Fred Clarke (October 1, 1904-April 22, 1956)
  6. M Thomas Henry Clarke (1905-2000)

Return to Clarke Index Page.

Modified January 27, 2018