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Robert J. Clark, First Postmaster, Fountain, Fountain Township, Juneau County, Wisconsin

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Robert J. Clark, First Postmaster, Fountain, Fountain Township, Juneau County, Wisconsin

Posted: 1376129687000
Classification: Biography
Edited: 1376129902000
Surnames: Clark, Young

Robert J. Clark was the first postmaster of the Fountain post office which was in service from 1854 until 1864. Robert, parents unknown, was born about 1805 either in New Jersey or New York State. His son, Noah, gave his birthplace as New Jersey. The census records all list New York.

Robert was married about 1827 probably in New York State to Polly Young. Polly was born about 1802 in New York State. No other information available.

Noah Clark, his son, who was born on April 4, 1828, claimed that he spent his first ten years in Sandy Creek Township, Oswego County, New York. The family then lived in Pendleton, Niagara County, New York, Lockport, Pennsylvania, Milwaukee and Columbia counties, Wisconsin, and finally, Fountain Township in Juneau County, Wisconsin.

Robert Clark has not been identified in the 1830 or 1840 census records. Robert J. Clark, 45, b. NY, a farmer with $50 in real property, is listed as head of household #799/799 in the 1850 census for the village of Wyocena, Columbia County, Wisconsin with Polly, 48, b. NY, Hellen, 19, b. NY, Henry, 19, b. NY, Harriet, 17, b. NY, Hannah, 15, b. NY, and Phila (m), 13, b. NY. Noah Clark, 22, b. NY, a carpenter & joiner, was boarding next door with the Harry Bush family. Columbia County is adjacent to Juneau County to the southeast.

According to John T. Kingston, Robert J. Clark settled in Lisbon (present Fountain) Township in 1849 and built the house afterwards known as “Clark’s Tavern” (Kingston, J. T., “Early Exploration and Settlement of Juneau County,” WHC, v. 8, p. 382). Perhaps Clark spent the winter of 1849-50 getting out timber to build his home and left his family in Wyocena in the interim.

According to original land survey notes for Fountain Township made by John E. Davidson, the deputy surveyor, on February 13, 1852, “section 9 contains improvements by misters Clark, McCullam, & Bogert.” Davidson noted in his summary that there were three settlers in the township (Davidson, John E., Interior Field Notes, Feb 1852, pages 140 and 155, Joel Bogart, who also settled in Fountain Township, appears in the 1855 census for Lisbon Township.

Robert Clark became the first postmaster for Fountain post office on March 31, 1854. This post office was located in Lisbon Township, Adams County, Wisconsin. Rial Molton was appointed as the second postmaster on September 20, 1862 (U. S. Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971,

Robert J. Clark of Adams County obtained 80 acres in the SE ½ of the SE ¼ of section 9 in township 16 north range 2 on December 1, 1854 at the land office in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He was assigned land warrant No. 23151 which was issued to John Rector, private, Captain Crawford’s company, North Carolina Militia, War of 1812 (Bureau of Land Management Search, Gen Land Office Records, US Dept of Interior,

Robert Clark is listed as head of household in the 1855 Wisconsin state census for Lisbon Township, Adams County, Wisconsin. Fountain Township was created from Lisbon Township by order of the Adams County board of supervisors on November 16, 1855. The township was probably named for the post office created the year before. Juneau County was created from Adams County in 1857.

Robert J. Clark of Adams County purchased an additional 120 acres in section 9 of Fountain Township on December 15, 1855 at the land office in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The land was described as 80 acres in the N ½ of the SE ¼ of Section 9 and 40 acres the SE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 9. His son, Noah, purchased 40 acres in section 10, 40 acres in section 15 and 40 acres in section 17 on the same date (BLM Search, GLO Records, US Dept of Interior

R. J. Clark, 55, b. NY, a farmer with $2,000 in real estate and $430 in personal property, is listed as head of household #703/625 in the 1860 census for Fountain Township, Juneau County, Wisconsin with Polly, 58, b. NY, Philo, 22, b. NY, a farmer with $150 in personal property, and Gertrude, 30, b. NY.

Polly died in 1861 and Robert moved to Iowa, where he remained until his death. Robert and Polly had seven children, four of whom in 1892, were still living, three sons having died. (Biographical history of LaCrosse, Monroe and Juneau Counties, Wisconsin, The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago – 1892,, accessed on August 8, 2013).

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