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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Hale and Hearty" Clark Corser

This charming old-timer is Clark Corser (1817-1909), an early settler of Benton Township.

Clark and his parents, Nathaniel and Martha, and siblings set out from Vermont by covered wagon in 1831. They first settled in Indiana and then came to Benton Township, Lake County between 1838 and 1840. Clark was one of the county's first land purchasers, and spent his life as a farmer.

In 1850, Clark joined the California Gold Rush and spent a year there before returning home. Clark married Louisa Rachel Daniels of Caledonia, Wisconsin on October 30, 1851. Together they built two homes in the area of 33rd Street and Sand Ridge Road (now Sheridan Road), near the Dickertown School, and raised a family. After Louisa died in 1898, Clark lived with his oldest son, Robert, and youngest daughter, Mary, who was divorced.

Clark was to be the editor of the history of Benton Township for John Halsey's "A History of Lake County, Illinois" published in 1912. He passed away in 1909 before completing his work. He is buried next to his wife in Lake Mound Cemetery in Zion.

In 1918, children at the Dickertown School of Zion wrote their community's history, including a remembrance of Clark Corser: "He was hale and hearty, able to walk to Zion or dance a jig. He is well remembered by many of the children now in the upper grades."

Based on the congenial portrait of Clark, I'd bet that was a mighty fine jig.

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