- Born: 13 Mar 1849, Shropshire, England
- Marriage: Margaret Thurrott in 1871 in Connecticut, USA
GEORGE CLARKE, a leading and successful farmer of Boulder County, is a self-made man, having won his way from poverty to affluence by his own exertions. He came to the state in 1873, with little means, and by industry and frugality has been able to amass considerable property. He was born in Shropshire, England, at Woolston, Oswestry, on the moor side at Masbury, March 13, 1849. His father, John Clarke, was born in the same house as himself, and was a farmer, dying November 6, 1890, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years. This house had been in the family for years, and his grandfather, John Clarke, was also born there. The Clarkes were an old family of Oswestry. John Clarke had been a family name for several generations, and a brother now bears the name. His father married Elizabeth Edwards, of Monmouthshire, Wales. Her parents were farmers in that country. She died April 23, 1891, aged seventy-one years, and lies buried, with her husband, in the West Felton churchyard. Five children, four sons and one daughter, survive them: John, who resides on the old homestead; Mary, Mrs. Samuel Lloyd, who died at Oswestry; Thomas, a fattier of Boulder County; George, the subject of this biography; and Richard, a farmer of Weld County, this state.
The first nineteen years of his life, Mr. Clarke spent on his father's farm, attending pay school, where the money for the schooling had to be taken every Monday morning. From 1868 to 1870 he secured employment in Oswestry, and at the end of that time set sail for America, coming by way of Liverpool, on the steamer, "City of Pathia." He landed in New York, and at once went to Connecticut, where he worked on a farm near Menden for two years, and then pushed his way west as far as Iowa, stopping near Iowa City until the following year, when he came to Colorado. He at once set about finding work as a farm hand, at which he continued two years, and then rented a farm two miles north of Longmont. In 1876 he purchased eighty acres from the north part of this farm which he at once began to improve. He enlarged the ditch that his land might have better irrigation, and began in the cattle business. He also dealt in horses. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres east of his first purchase, and later another forty adjoining, and on this makes his home. He now owns two hundred and eighty acres of land in one body, within a quarter of a mile of the corporation of Longmont, in a high state of cultivation. He also owns one hundred and sixty acres west of Longmont and city property in addition. His is one of the best improved farms in this part of the state, having a fine residence, large, roomy and convenient barns, a windmill to pump and carry water, and all the improved machinery that is needed to aid in the work. He is quick to adopt modern methods when he sees they will be a benefit to him, and one idea recently taken advantage of by him is the potato planter and digger, a great labor saving machine. He is engaged in general farming and stock-raising. At one time he had a cattle range in Little Elk Park, then on the Platte. His farm is stocked with some fine horses, among them being Percheron and draft horses. He was for many years a member of the firm of Clarke & Delfor, stock dealers and butchers of Longmont, but afterwards sold his interest. He is closely identified with the public interests of the city, being a stockholder in the Farmers' Milling and Elevator Company, the Longmont Creamery Company and the Farmers' National Bank.
Mr. Clarke was married in 1871, in Connecticut, to Miss Margaret Thurrott, a lady of pleasing address and amiable disposition, who has been a constant help to him by her encouragement and counsel. She was born in New Brunswick, and is a daughter of John Thurrott, a native of Scotland, near Edinburgh. Her grandfather, John Thurrott, settled in Weldford, Kent County, New Brunswick, and was a farmer. He was a strong Presbyterian and a good man. He died at quite an advanced age, after a long life of usefulness. Her father was also a farmer, and died after attaining his seventy-eighth year. Her mother, Mary Morton, was born in Scotland, a daughter of James Morton, a farmer, and died at the old home when nearly seventy. Twelve children grew to adult years, ten of them still living. One brother lives in Connecticut, and the remaining eight live within sight of the old home. Mrs. Clarke was the sixth child, and was educated and reared in Weldford. They have three bright children, Alma, Ethel and Lynn, who give great promise for the future.
Mr. Clarke was the first of his family to come to this country, and since his coming two brothers, Thomas and Richard, have joined him. He is past grand in the lodge of Odd Fellows, a member of the encampment, and both he and his wife are members of the Rebekah Lodge. He also belongs to the Woodmen of the World, They are attendants of the Congregational Church of Longmont, and give valuable aid to that society. He is captain of the Longmont Gun Club, and a fine shot, as is shown by him capturing the gold medal of the club twice, besides securing a number of other prizes. He is a silver Republican and has served as delegate to conventions.
George married Margaret Thurrott, daughter of John Thurrott and Mary Morton, in 1871 in Connecticut, USA. (Margaret Thurrott was born on 26 Apr 1846 in West Branch, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada 33.)