Manufacturer Notes: Nathan Clark Jr.

1666 1686 Nathan Clark                34 M W       Merchant        NY
                    Sarah                            31 F W                                 "
                    Ann Sickles                    8 F W                                NY
                   John                                 4 M W                                 "
                   Henrietta                          9 F W                                 "

1813 1833 Derrick Hallenbeck      55 M W        Farmer          NY
                   Julia Clark                       7 F W                                NY
                   Nathan                       4/12 M W                                 "
                   Henry Seely                  36 M W            None            "
                   Mary Beardsley            46 F W                                  "
                   Susan                            26 F W                                  "
                   William Savater            26 M B            None             "

1930 1953 Nathaniel Clark            60 M W        Farmer        Conn
                    Julia                              52 F W                                  "
                    Mary Skons                 35 F W                              Ireland
                    Nathanial                     40 M W              do                "
                    Thomas                        12 M W                                  "
                    Sarah Dorrill                 60 F W                              Conn

1850 New York, Greene, Athens Census

3240 3735 Nathan Clark Jr.  43 M W Stone Ware Manufactory                        N York
                    Nancy Bearntey   75 F W                                                                    Connecticut
                    Julia Clark            15 F W                                                                    N York
                    Ogden                   11 M W                                                                       "
                    Nathan E                9 M W                                                                        "
                    Castle Seeley      75 M W Merchant                                                      "
                    Henry C                 39 M W        "                                                             "
                    Susan Couse        34 F W Domestic                                                    Ireland

3315 3819 Nathan Clark    73 M W Manufacturer of Stone Ware 15500 3,800 N York
                   Julia                   67 F W                                                                           Connecticut
                   Mary Scouse    32 F W                                                                            Ireland

1860 New York, Greene, Athens Census

1862 Clark, Nathan, Jr. Athens 7 tons Stone and Earthen ware
1866 Clark, Nathan, Jr. Athens Pottery ware

IRS Tax Assessment Lists

 76  87 Clark Nathan Jr.     51 M W Stone Ware Manufacturer 114,000 50,000 N.Y. State
             ----- Ogden             18 F W                                                                                  "
             ----- Nathan E         17 M W                                                                                 "
             Dunn Mary              45 F W Domestic Servant                                             Ireland

165 202 Clark Nathan       83 M W Retired Manufacturer            17,500 60,500 N. Y. State
                ----- Julia              77 F W                                                                                  "
                Durnell, Harriett   45 F W Domestic Servant                                                  "
                Ryan, Edward     21 M W Stone Ware Maker                                                "

1870 New York, Greene, Athens Census

233 294 Clark Nathan       W M 61 Stone Ware Manufacturer       New York
                --- Nathan E        W M 27 Son                                            New York
                Kinsley, Jane      W F 54 Servant                                       Ireland

1880 New York, Greene, Athens Census

95 117 Clark Nathan E           Head        W M Oct 1853      47 M 16       New York   (Note: no occupation listed.)
                 "     Anne E               Wife         W F June 1869    31 M 16 1 1 New York
             Clark Nathan                Son          W M Apr 1885     15                 New York   At School
             Hallenbeck, Benjamin Servant    B M         1852     48 Wd          New York   Coachman
             Sasher, Emma            Servant    W F Feb 1858     42 Wd    0 0 New York   Cook

1900 New York, Greene, Athens Census

19 20 Clark, Nathan E       Head     M W 57 M1 26       New York None
            ---- Anne                  Wife       F W 41 M1 26 1 1 New York None
            Verooman Fannie Servant  F B  56 S                New York Cook Private Family

1910 New York, Greene, Athens Census

Two years before this, or in 1807, an important development began at Athens, in the starting of a pottery by Nathan Clark. Mr. Clark was born at Cornwall in 1787, and learned the business of potting at some factory, not positively known, but thought possibly to be that of Crolius in New York City. The business which he founded at Athens, soon after the birth of that town, was highly successful, and was continued by his successors up to 1890 (Ref. 150). 

Clark's early productions were made of local clays, but these proving unsatisfactory, the raw materials were obtained from New Jersey. The product was largely salt-glazed earthenware, but some of the earlier productions were also slip glazed. About 1840 the firm was changed to Clark & Fox, Clark retiring a little later, but subsequently buying the works back from Fox. Mr. Clark's energies were not confined to Athens, for he established branch potteries in the western part of the State, one of these being at Mount Morris and another at Lyons. Moreover, several of his apprentices left his employ and set up independent works at points farther west in the State (Ref. 150). 

Ries, Heinrich, and Leighton, Henry; Histories of the Clay-Working Industry In The United States (New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1909).

   SUSANNAH CLARK, eldest daughter of Reuben and Mary Peppard Clark, was born in Cornwall, Orange county, N. Y., Oct. 13th, 1772. She died about 1824, and probably was buried in Athens, Green county, N. Y. She married Captain Thomas Howe, from England, and lived first in Cornwall, but removed to Athens, where he engaged in the pottery business. He died about 1813. He was a prominent man in the early Methodist church. They had but two children. 

   NATHAN CLARK, fifth child of Reuben and Mary Peppard Clark, born in Cornwall, Orange Co., N. Y., Aug. 10th, 1787, and died in Athens, Greene Co., N. Y., January 15th, 1880, aged nearly 92 1-2 years. He died quietly, without a struggle in the full assurance of faith, and with his mind clear to the last. He married in Athens, on Feb. 10th, 1811, to Miss Julia Nichols, who was born in Waterbury, Ct., July 8th, 1793, and died in Athens, Dec. 4th, 1873, a woman of accomplishment and energy. I give a sketch of Nathan Clark in the words of a Hudson paper : " Athens has lost one of its oldest, most substantial, and best known citizens in the death of Nathan Clark, Sr., who died at his residence on Thursday last at the advanced age of 93 years. Mr. Clark was among the earliest residents of that village, and led in nearly all its important enterprises. He was born in Cornwall, N. Y., and removed to Athens in 1809, when he established the Athens Pottery Works, which has gained a national reputation for its wares. He remained in active business until a few years since, when he retired, and the business passed into the hands of his son, Nathan Clark, Jr. Mr. Clark never sought public office, but many positions of local trust have been conferred upon him by his appreciative townsmen. He was a prominent member and officer of Trinity Episcopal Church at Athens, and was senior warden at the time of his death. His loss will be sadly felt by the community and a wide circle of relatives and friends." NATHAN and Julia Clark had but three children : 1st, Edward, 2d, Nathan Henry, and 3d, Nathan. I give first the second, Nathan Henry, born in Athens, N. Y., Oct. 15th, 181 6, died in Athens, October 2d, 1817, aged 11 months, 17 days. 
   EDWARD CLARK, eldest child of Nathan and Julia Clark, born in Athens, December 19th, 1811, died in Cooperstown, N. Y., November 14th, 1882, of malarial fever. He was graduated from Williams College, Mass., August, 1831, studied law and became a partner of Ambrose L. Jordan, of Hudson, N. Y. On October 21st, 1835, at Hudson, N. Y., he married Caroline Jordan, daughter of Ambrose L. Jordan, Esq. She died in Cooperstown, N. Y., June 27th, 1874. Before his death he had presented a valuable cabinet of minerals to Williams College, Mass., and built " Clark Hall," at Williamstown.
  NATHAN CLARK, JR., son of Nathan and Julia Clark, b. in Athens, N. Y. Dec. 18, 1819, d. June 15, 1891, of Bright's disease of the kidneys. On Dec. 6, 1842, he m. Sarah Cornelia Seeley, dau. of Castle Seeley of Athens. She was born in Athens, March 10, 1819, and d. of Consumption April 18, 1857, aged 38 years. He carried on successfully the Athens Pottery, as did his father Their children were four, viz. : Julia Estelle, who d. of consumption, March 24, 1869, aged 25, and unmarried. Her education and her character made her the light of her home. Edgar Nathan d. in Athens, March 21, 1848, aged 5 or 6 months. OGDEN CLARK, the third child of Nathan, Jr., b. in Athens, N. Y., May 15, 1850; d. Aug. 8, 1888, in his 39th year in the former residence of his grandfather, Nathan Clark, Sr. On December 9, 1875, he m. Isabella Edwards, dau. of Andrew and Rachel Edwards, of Athens. She was b. at Athens, June 10, 1856. Their two children are: Sarah Elizabeth Clark, b. March 7, 1879, and Julia Clark, b. Sept. 23, 1886, both born in Athens.
  NATHAN E. CLARKE, the fourth child of Nathan, Jr., b. in Athens, N. Y., Oct. 19, 1852, m. on June 10, 1884,Anna Elizabeth DeLamater, dau. of Jacob and Mary DeLamater, of Claverack, N. Y. She was b. June 26, 1866, at Harford, Cortland Co., N. Y. Nathan E. Clark conducts the "Athens Pottery," which by his father and grandfather has been conducted successfully for about 80 years. He and wife have one son, Nathan Clark, b. in Athens, April 23, 1885. 

Clarke, Edgar W.; History and Genealogy of Samuel Clarke, Sr. and His Descendents (St. Louis, Nixon-Jones Printing Co., 1892).

   The family of this name in Athens, trace an unbroken line of ancestry, back to Samuel Clark who came to this country in the middle of the seventeenth century, as follows: Samuel Clark, born 1615, died 1890; William Clark, born 1645, died 1712; Nathan Clark, born March 24th, 1704, died 1755; Reuben Clark, born November 14th 1743, died 1813. Nathan, a son of Reuben Clark, and a native of Cornwall on the Hudson, was born August 10th, 1787. In his youth he learned the trade of potter, and when the new village of Athens was started, he removed with his brother-in-law, Mr. Howe, to this place, and in 1807 he built the pottery and commenced the business, which has been continued uninterruptedly to the present time. It is one of the very few manufactories of the kind which can boast of so long an existence. Mr. Clark was at one time the largest manufacturer of stone ware in the country. It was his custom to select from among his apprentices those who were the most skillful, and when their terms of apprenticeship expired, to set them up in business by starting a branch pottery in some other part of the State, and putting them in charge. Many worthy young men were helped by him into business. Among his partners was Ethan S. Fox, who was founder of the Baptist church in Athens. Among his other enterprises he built a pottery at Mount Morris, Livingston county, and bought out another in Rochester. In addition to his pottery business, he owned two or three farms in this town, which he carried on with success. He was one of the founders of the Episcopal church in Athens, was for many years a church warden, and one of its most active members and liberal supporters. His home in Athens now owned by his grandson, Ogden Clark, was built by Thomas Jenkins. It stands on the east side of Washington street at the top of the hill. Nathan Clark married Julia, daughter of John Nichols. The children of this marriage were Edward, and Nathan who is a well known and prominent citizen of Athens, and who, though possessed of an ample fortune, still carries on the business of his father. 
   Nathan Clark departed this life January 15th 1880; his wife Julia, December 14th 1873. An elegant monument marks their resting place. Nathan Clark who, like his father before him, is a liberal supporter of the Episcopal church in this village, has been one of the wardens for many years. He married Sarah, daughter of Castle Seeley, who was a very prominent citizen of Athens. He has two children, Ogden, and Nathan E., both residents of the village. His daughter Julia Estelle, died in 1867, at the age of 25. He lives a life of quiet and unostentatious usefulness, and enjoys his fortune, as a man who appreciates the gifts of Providence.

Beers, J. B.; History of Greene County New York (New York, J. B. Beers & Co., 1884).

The Clark family, honored residents, trace back to Samuel Clark 1615, William Clark 1712, Reuben Clark 1743, Nathan Clark 1787. He started a pottery at Athens in 1808. His partner Ethan Fox founded the Baptist Church at Athens. Edward Clark was born in 1811, and he became a part owner of the Singer Sewing machine company, the copartnership being I. N. Singer & Co. and to Mr. Clark goes the credit for organizing the Singer Sewing Machine Company with a capital of $500,000. Nathan Clark died in 1891.

Gallt, F. A.; Dear Old Greene County (Catskill, 1915).

The development of the stoneware industry is evident in the history of the Nathan Clark pottery of Athens, New York, which operated under various partnerships from 1805 to 1900. After taking complete control of the pottery in 1813, Nathan Clark (1787-1880) began distributing his wares in the upper Hudson River valley, the expanding settlements in the Catskill Mountains, and as far south as Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. In 1820 Clark employed seven men - more than any other New York State pottery. In 1822, in search of new markets, Clark sent George G. Williams (w. 1813-1848), a longtime employee, to found a branch in Lyons in Wayne County. By 1839 Clark had two other branches in Mount Morris and Rochester. From 1829 to 1838 the Athens pottery was owned in partnership with Ethan S. Fox (w. 1829-1843), who later bought the firm and then sold it back to Clark.(13) A handbill of 1837 notes that the pottery's production could be sent "to any part of the United States."(14) Shipments from the branch potters went by canal boat to Athens, then by sloop on the Hudson River to New York City, and then by ship to other destinations. Wares were undoubtedly also shipped to Midwestern markets. The crock made by Clark and Fox shown in Plate XI is an example of the simply decorated ware produced at the Athens manufactory.

In 1843 the Clark pottery passed to Nathan Clark's son, also Nathan (1819 1891), who had been extensively trained under his father tutelage. He ran the business effectively for nearly fifty years, gradually expanding until it was one of the largest operations in the United States. Throughout this period many skilled potters who were trained at the Clark pottery went on to successful careers in other parts of the state.(15)

13 Ketchum, Potters, p. 135.

14 The business records of the Clark manufactory are in the New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, New York, Research Library, Special Collections. See also Paul G. Chace, "'Many Worthy Young Men,' Nathan Clark's Potters in New York State," Spinning Wheel vol. 27, no. 9 (November 1971), pp. 16-18; vol. 27, no. 10 (December 1971), pp. 58-59; and vol. 28, no. 1 (January-February 1972), pp. 44-45.

15 Ketchum, Potters, p. 134.

D'Ambrosio, Paul S.; The Erie Canal and New York State Folk Art (Magazine Antiques April 1999).

Nathan Clark, Sr. founded the stoneware and redware pottery at Athens, New York, with Captain Thomas Howe, an Englishman, in 1805, and it was operated by the family and employees including his son until c. 1899.
Branches of the pottery were also operated at Lyons, Mt. Morris, and Rochester, New York.

Lang, Gordon, and Denker, Ellen; Pottery & Porcelains Marks (New York, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 1995).

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