History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, 1884

William Clark Biography

William Clark, Capt. of U.S. Life Saving Service, Erie Station, was born in Denmark Feb. 15, 1838, son of Andrew Clark, a millwright. Our subject was educated in his native land, and, when a boy, was brought to N.Y. by an uncle. At the age of fifteen he went to sea, and was on the ocean fifteen years, eight of which he acted as second officer.

In 1867, he came to Erie City, and sailed on the lakes for six years, and in 1877 was appointed to his present position. Capt. Clark has had frequent occasions of displaying his bravery, and that of his crew, in rescuing lives from drowning. In 1880, three vessels were foundering during the same dark night near Erie, and the life-saving crew, headed by their Captain, at imminent risk of their lives, succeeded in saving many nearly perished mariners. For this our subject received many complimentary notices, and a handsome Bible from the President of the Bible Society.

Capt. Clark was married in Liverpool, England, in 1869, to Lucy Downing, who bore him two children - Edward William and Dawson. Mrs. Clark is a member of the Catholic Church, and Capt. Clark of the Lutheran Church.

Source: History of Erie County, Pennsylvania; City of Erie; Chicago; Warner, Beers & Co.; 1884

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