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William Butler Clark
THE late Maurice Butler Clark, for many years one of Cleveland's leading business men and prominent citizens was born in Malmesbury, England, September 6, 1827. He was one of eight children, all now deceased but one daughter, Mrs. Eliza Miller, of Los Angeles,
California, and one son, W. T. Clark, of Cleveland,
Maurice B. Clark spent his boyhood in England and there received his early education. At the age of twenty years he
sailed for America, landing in Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 1847.
In the autumn of 1847 Mr. Clark came west to Cleveland, and,
being a young man of fine foresight, was greatly impressed with
the future possibilities of the little lake city and here decided to
establish his permanent home, and from that time until his death, March
9,1901, he was identified with the industrial life of the Forest City.
In 1851 Mr. Clark was employed by Hussey & Sinclair,
it was in 1859 that he went into the commission business with John D. Rockefeller, the firm being Clark & Rockefeller, both at that time young men of limited means, but they were men of exceptional business acumen and in a few years had built up a large and lucrative business. In 1863 Mr. Clark's attention was attracted to the refining of petroleum oils, a business then in its infancy, and he and his partner erected a refinery, on the Newberg road, the capacity of which was about fifty-six barrels of crude oil a day. They soon saw a great future to this field of endeavor and increased fourfold the capacity of their plant. In 1865, the petroleum business was purchased from. Mr. Clark by Mr. Rockefeller, our subject continuing the general commission business until 1866 when he sold out, and several months later bought a controlling interest in another refinery which he pushed vigorously, enlarging and bringing capital to bear with such effect that his plant ranked among the leading oil. refining establishments in America at that time-1869.
Mr. Clark was a member and trustee of the old Wesleyan Methodist Church, and was also active in the building of the St. Clair Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically, he was a Republican and was elected a member of the city council of Cleveland in 1866 and re-elected in 1868. He became mayor of Glenville before it was annexed to Cleveland. From time to time he was interested in many enterprises and was very successful, being a man of progressive ideas and rare soundness of
judgment. Mr. Clark was twice married, first to Mary Clements, of Devonshire, England, in 1853. To this union five children were born, the only survivor being Mrs. John Teague who makes her home in Cleveland. On September 18, 1890, he married Mary Semlow, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Seinlow, a prominent old family of Cleveland, where Mrs. Clark was reared and educated, and where she still resides, in the homestead at 11814 St. Clair Street. She has a host of warm personal friends who frequently gather at her home, never failing to find her a most agreeable hostess. This second union was without issue.
Maurice Butler Clark passed away March 9, 1901, in his seventy-fourth year, after a brief illness. He was well known in Cleveland and vicinity, and left a host of friends to mourn his loss, for he was a man of sterling worth and commendable qualities and faithful always to the principles which were the mainsprings of his actions. Honesty and integrity were salient virtues, and "Live and let live" his motto.
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