Thomas Henry and Charlotte Gailey Clark


Compiled and written by David M. Smith (3rd great grandson)

In searching for the right words to describe Thomas Henry Clark many came to mind. He was a great leader, a tough resilient pioneer, dedicated Bishop, zealous missionary and devoted family man. He was a man of many paradoxes, a noted athlete but a humble servant of God, he helped settle and defend a tough Indian territory but became highly respected and loved by the Native Americans, he experienced incredible hardship and tragedy both personally and with those he had stewardship over, yet he maintained a positive outlook and remained faithful in his beliefs and even showed, at times, a sense of humor.

He lived during an extraordinary time and in some historically significant places. He was a contemporary of and associated with many of the great early leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints. Even though he hadn’t kept a journal or diary (that we know of) he did record an unusual but awesome source, an account book[1] he faithfully recorded while serving as the first Bishop of Grantsville.

His early life had many similarities to the Prophet Joseph Smith’s. They were the same age, both were born in 1805[2]. Both were athletically inclined. Neither one was satisfied with the conflicting Christian religions of their early days, though both tended to originally prefer the Methodists[3]. Whether Thomas Henry met and conversed with the Prophet Joseph is unknown for sure, my inclination is that he did, for instance when the Clark’s lived  in Nauvoo, Thomas Henry and his son John worked on the Nauvoo Mansion (Nauvoo House)[4] for  employment. Thomas Henry’s son John, 15 years old at the time “remembers seeing the prophet Joseph and also of hearing his voice. The impressions he gained greatly strengthened his testimony.”[5]

“As a young man he (Thomas Henry Clark) identified himself with the religious society known as the United Brethren over which Thomas Kington presided, and to whom Br. Clark was next in authority; he was among the first of Elder Kington’s flock who yielded obedience to the everlasting gospel as brought them by Elder Wilford Woodruff by whom he was baptized early in 1840 (Mar 30), he was ordained a Priest at the time of his confirmation and was ordained an Elder June 21, 1840, under the hands of Willard Richards and Wilford Woodruff.”[6]

Thomas Henry’s own family, wife Charlotte Gailey Clark, their nine children, and their many grand children all have remarkable life stories as well.

Thomas Henry Clark’s life was a legacy to his many, many progenitors but if you had to simplify his life in one paragraph it would have to be a verse he wrote in his own writing on a single page in his account book:  September 2, 1857:

“That’s my mind and motto    T. H. Clark      Sep 2 

  1. Work and earn, what you eat

Do not Lie, Steal or Cheat

Keep your heart free from Sin

  1. are you Right? Do not turn

Are you Rich? Do not hoard

have your health? Praise the Lord

  1. are you poor? Work and trust

are you proud?  you are but dust

Are you Wrong? Live and Learn

  1. Every Day Look within

Every Day of the Seven

Let your prayers arise to Heaven’[7]

Thomas Henry’s Roots: 

Thomas Henry Clark was born May 7, 1805in Acton Beauchamp, Worcestershire, England. His 7TH Great Grandfather Walter Probert, “High Sheriff”,[8] was born in Pantglas, Monmouth Wales, and died in 1558; Walter Proberts mother Joyce Herbert was the grand-daughter of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. T.H.C.‘s Grandmother Rebecca Carwardine descended (5th great-grandfather) from Walter Carwardine, Mayor of Herefordshire. T.H.C. is a descendant from old royal lines including Syssilt ap Difnwall and Ynr King of Gwent (11th and early 12th centuries).

His mother was SarahPlain, who died when Thomas Henry was about six years old, his father Thomas Probert (Clark) used the surname Clarkonly during his first marriage, (to Sarah) all his vital records were accompanied by his title (Clerk-of Holy Orders Probert).[9] “After Sarah’s death in 1811, it was convenient for Thomas (Probert) to marry his cousin Anne Carwardine[10] in 1813 and continue to have his little boy of a previous marriage cared for with many advantages. Young Thomas (there was no Henry in his baptism information) was well educated.”[11]

There are several references to Thomas Henry having been a noted athlete in his youth, “a boxer with no mean ability” but my personal favorite reference to this fact was found in a wedding announcement of his grand-daughter Annie Clark in her marriage to Eugene Truman Woolley. It states; “The grandfather of Mrs. Woolley was bishop of Grantsville….In his younger days he was a noted athlete and boxer and was reputed to be able to take good care of himself in any kind of company.”[12]

There are references to Thomas Henry having been a Wesleyan Methodist minister or that he was “traveling through his neighborhood preaching the Methodist religion until 1840”.[13] During this time he “had withdrawn from fellowship with this sect and had joined with many other seekers after truth in a religious organization known as the United Brethren…was also a minister of this new organization whose chief purpose was to search for truth and light.”[14]

 The Clarks immigration info: 

Ship:     Caroline

Date of Departure:        Feb 1841         Port of Departure:        Bristol,England

LDS Immigrants:           181      Church Leader: Thomas Clark

Date of Arrival: Apr 1841         Port of Arrival: Quebec,Quebec

Source(s):         CA, p.159; AF (various families); research notes compiled by Jay Burrup

Notes: “EMIGRATION….We understand that another ship company was to sail fromBristol, about the same time. These would be from Herefordshire and the surrounding country….”

<MS,1:10(Feb 1841), p. 263>

“FIFTH COMPANY.— 181 souls. About the same time as the Sheffield sailed from Liverpool (February, 1841), another company of Saints from Herefordshire and the surrounding country sailed fromBristol, but I have been unable to learn the name of the ship, or the number of emigrants going on it. However, basing my calculation on Apostle Parley P. Pratt’s statement to the effect that one thousand people had emigrated up to April, 1841, we have grounds for believing that about one hundred and eighty-one souls sailed fromBristolon that occasion.”

<Cont.12:12(Oct. 1891), p.443> 

Whether or not theClarks“Caroline” voyage left in February is possible but doubtful. Wilford Woodruff’s journal say’s “March 22, 1841, 137 members at Froomes Hill – Thomas Clark in Charge” Most histories giveApril 6, 1841as their departure date.

TheClarksshow up (except the younger children) in the Nauvoo Census. 

SURNAME                 GIVEN NAME                        REF                 ORIGIN                      PAGE 

CLARKTHOMAS                                LDS                 2ND WARD                  021

CLARK CHARLOTTE                         LDS                 2ND WARD                  021

CLARKJHON (JOHN)                        LDS                 2ND WARD                  021

CLARKELENOR                                 LDS                 2ND WARD                  021 

CLARKELIZA  ANN                           LDS                 2ND WARD                  021 

Thomas Henry and Charlotte Gailey Clark had 9 children, 2 young girls, seven year old Sarah and three year old Ann died in Nauvoo, 2 girls were born in Nauvoo so 7 children married and had many children. Their posterity numbered in the thousands in the 1950’s and would obviously be even more numerous today.

“At the time of the Exodus from Nauvoo, the Clarkfamily were forced to go. Mob leaders gave them 16 hours to get out of Nauvoo under penalty of lashing the father, Thomas Henry, 30 lashes with a whip by each man present. The family took with them what few possessions they could on so short notice. They were poorly prepared for the long journey ahead. A friend (non Mormon) allowed them to remain in his cornfield for the night, then helped them across the Mississippi River, where they joined other saints and soon arrived in Winter Quarters”.[15]

The exact time the Clark’s left Nauvoo and traveled to winter quarters is unknown for sure but we have clues that may help in figuring out about when they left, and where they went. We do know that they left Nauvoo sometime after February 7, 1846, John William Clark’s biography say’s “At the time of the exodus from Nauvoo his father was threatened by mob leaders and with others of the saints they crossed the Mississippiand took their journey into the wilderness. They had been given only sixteen hours to prepare to leave their home and so they were not prepared for the long journey ahead. This added greatly to the hardships of the trip”.[16] Another account say’s this: “After the Prophet Joseph Smith was slain some leaders of a mob came and notified Great Grandfather Clark (Thomas Henry) to be out of his home and out of the County within twenty-four hours or he would be ridden out on a rail and his house burned. Great Grandfather became angry and stubborn and declared he would not stir a step, but would stay and fight it out. Great Grandmother (Charlotte Gailey Clark) knew there would be trouble if they did not leave so through her pleadings and his own calmer judgement, the family left their home…”[17] Charlotte Gailey said “We left a large portion of our possessions in Nauvoo.”[18]

We don’t know a lot about theClarksjourney to Winter Quarters but I did find this:

In a Reminiscence of Elizabeth Terry Kirby Heward I found this to be very interesting. “On June 25th we overtook Thomas Clark and family; this was the first time we ever saw them. We traveled with them to the bluffs. On the 25th we got to Mount Posgah (Pisgah). I gave Bro. Clark two sovereigns, which is nearly ten dollars, for a cow; cattle were cheap then. On June 30th we started again on our journey. July 4th we met Bros. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, who were going back to Pisgah to get volunteers to go to California in the United States Army to fight the Spaniards”[19].

In John William Clark’s biography: “Shortly after the Clark family arrived in Winter Quarters, John’s father was called on a mission to Missouri. This was in 1846 and one year later he was called to go to England. The responsibility for the care of the family now rested wholly upon John who was twenty one years of age. His father was in Englandfor two years and during that time John worked on a ferry which crossed the Missouri Riverand also at a lumber camp nearby. In 1849 the family moved to FlorenceNebraska, (across the river) where they were later joined by the father who had just returned to Americaas the captain of a party of English saints”.[20]

“Thursday, February 4, 1847-Winter Quarters, Nebraska: In the evening, Wilford Woodruff called his company together and organized it according to the pattern given in the revelation received by Brigham Young. Abraham O. Smoot was appointed captain of hundreds. Zera Pulsipher was named captain of fifties. The captains of tens included: John Benbow, Elijah F. Sheets, Chaucy W. Porter, John M. Wooley, Thomas Clark, David Evans, Robert C. Petty, and Andrew J. Stewart.

A wedding was held. Charles F. Decker and Vilate Young were married. Vilate was the seventeen-year-old daughter of Brigham Young.”[21]

While Thomas Henry Clark’s family remained at Winter Quarters “he was called on a mission to travel among the branches of the Church in Iowaand Missouri, and on his return from that mission he was called to Europe, which he filled honorably and returned in the fall of 1849, bringing with him a company of immigrating Saints”.[22] Another account states “When the great Mormon migration started west, the Clark family was eager and anxious to go. Just then a call from Brigham Young came to Great Grandfather to go on several missions. One was to go to several of the states and the other to England. He immediately gave up the idea of going west and went on the missions… He left his family camped on the banks of the Missouri River at Council Bluffs”.[23] Another history states “Brigham Young called him to go to England to preach the gospel on July 17, 1848. He labored in England and baptized a large group of saints”.[24] 

In England there are several people that were listed as he having baptized:

Michal Jordan,  (male) birth 1782, Baptism Date: Dec 9, 1848Officiator Thomas H.Clark.(comments:Michal attended the Cheltenham, England Conference).[25]

Elizabeth Reves (female), Baptism Date: October 6, 1848Officiator Thomas Clark.(comments:Elizabethattended the Cheltenham, England Conference)[26]

Eliza Trapp (female) birth 1821, Baptism Date: November 13, 1848Officiator Thomas H.Clark.(comments: Eliza attended the Cheltenham, England Conference)[27]

The British Mission at this time “continued with great success following the short mission of Parley P. Pratt , Orson Hyde,  and John Taylor in 1846-47. Thereafter, Orson Spencer and then Orson Pratt directed the mission. Thousands of converts entered the church between 1847 and 1850. Elder Pratt also supervised the emigration of over three thousand people to Kanesville, Iowa, in the first use of the PEF (Perpetual Emigration Fund) in England”.[28]

From the “Millennial Star” conference minutes written by Orson Pratt, President, G.D. Watt and T. D. Brown Clerks, “Resolved, that Thomas Clark-being a High Priest from America, and laboring in Cheltenham with Elder John Johnstone, who is about to emigrate to America, in January, 1849 – go and preside over the Cheltenham Conference.”[29]

From “The Millennial Star editorial page, November 1, 1848, “Arrival – James W. Cummings, one of the presidents of the seventh quorum of seventies, has just arrived from the Bluffs. He is appointed to preside over the Cheltenhamconference, and our beloved and faithful brother Thomas H. Clark will act as his counselor. Brother Cummings, being a faithful, persevering, energetic man of God, is recommended to the Saints in that conference; and they are requested to uphold him, and also Brother Clark, by their faith and prayers. We desire Brother Cummings and the Saints generally to use every exertion to spread the gospel in new places. We anticipate a great work in that region.”[30]

Throughout the following days written in the Millennial Star are “Lists of Monies Received from the 8th to the 25th of November”, and many dates after where T. H. Clark is mentioned each time giving money in pounds that was probably collected selling Book of Mormons and other tracts. 

We learn that returning from his mission in 1849 Thomas H. Clark returned on the ship James Pennell with 236 Saints.

James Pennell

Ship: 51 tons: 137’x30’x15’

Built: 1848 by Charles S. Pennell atBrunswick,Maine

The square-rigger James Pennell carried two Mormon emigrant companies fromEngland toAmerica. The first voyage began at Liverpool on2 September 1849 under the command of Captain James Fullerton ofPortland,Maine, a part-owner of the vessel. The ship accommodated 236 Saints led by Elder Thomas H. Clark. He organized the emigrants into ten divisions with a president over each. These presidents were responsible for good order and cleanliness of their passengers…

In the Mormon Immigration Index – A Compilation of General Voyage Notes – it says:

Ship:                             James Pennell

Date of Departure:       2 Sep 1849

PortofDeparture:        Liverpool,England

LDS Immigrants:           236

Church leader:              Thomas H. Clark

Date of Arrival:22 Oct 1849

PortofArrival: New Orleans,Louisiana

Sources:           BMR Book #1043, pp. 20-55 (FHL #025,690): Customs #388 (FHL #200,162)

Notes: “The Ship James Pennell sailed from this port for New Orleans on the morning of the 2nd of September, carrying 236 souls of the Latter-day saints….”<MS, 11:18 (Sep. 15, 1849),p.284>

“FORTY-THIRD COMPANY. –James Pennell, 236 Saints. The ship James Pennell sailed from Liverpoolfor New Orleanson the morning of September 2nd, 1849, carrying two hundred and thirty-six souls of Latter-day Saints, under the presidency of Thomas H. Clark…who in a letter dated New Orleans, October 22, 1849, gives the following account of the voyage:’…The company arrived in New Orleans on the twenty-second of October, where the emigrants were received by Elder Thomas McKenzie, who had succeeded Elder Scovil as church emigration agent at New Orleans: he rented a number of houses for some of the emigrants who stopped temporarily in that city; the majority of the Saints continued the journey up the river. (Millennial star, Vol. XI, pages 284, 363.)”

<Cont., 13:6(Apr. 1895), pp.278>

“Sun. 2. [Sep. 1849]—The ship James Pennell sailed from Liverpool, England, with 236 saints, under the direction of Thomas H. Clark, bound for G.[Great] S.[Salt] L.[Lake] Valley. It arrived at New OrleansOct. 22nd.”      <CC, p.38>

A letter and more details can be read in “The History of Thomas Henry Clark” by the Author.

After arriving in Winter Quarters and operating a Ferry for a few years:

From: The Legacy of Charlotte Gailey Clark. “The whole family set about the task of preparing for the journey to the Rocky Mountains. My husband and John William operated a ferry at Ferrysville, Iowa. We sold the operation on Jul 11, 1852 to get funds and we began the long trip westward”. Thomas Henry Clark “went to Florence Nebraska where he joined his family. They started across the plains in 1852 and Thomas H. Clark was captain of the company. Cholera broke out among them and many died. He was stricken but because of great faith, he recovered”.[31]

From: The History of John William Clark. “In the later spring of the year 1852 they leftFlorencefor the journey across the plains. They arrived atSalt Lake Cityon October 10, 1852 The Journey across the plains was uneventful except that an epidemic of the plague broke out in the camp and many died. John’s father, the captain of the company, took the disease, but due to his great faith, recovered”.

The name of the “Pioneer company” theClark’s came with and other details are still elusive, however this was found:

Emigration of 1852 – 4th Company

#22 T. Clark, son (Sen.) (4 adults, 4 children, 1 wagon, 2 cows, 2 yoke of oxen)

#28 Wm Clark (5 adults, 1 able man, 1 horse, 2 cows, 2 sheep)

#89 (see Deseret News of Sep 18,1852– arrived 3rd of October 1852)

14th Company John B. Walker, Captain,  (Thomas McKenzie wife & 3 children).

(Chester Southworth, wife and 4 children fromupper Canada).

The Thomas Henry Clark family arrived in Salt Lake City October 10, 1852 from their long trek across the plains where most histories have them going directly to Grantsville (which was called Willow Creek but had been referred  to as Grantsville as early as March 1852). I’m sure it’s no coincidence that when Elders Woodruff and Benson were needing some tough able families to be sent  to a troublesome spot like Grantsville, the Thomas Henry Clark Family were sent by these inspired men for a divine purpose. Edward W. Tullidge, the historian, writes


“Thomas H. Clark was appointed the first Bishop, second presiding Elder, of Grantsville in the autumn of 1852. He died Oct. 14, 1873, having been Bishop (Presiding Elder) over twenty years, with the exception of six years, from 1858 to 1864, in which William G. Young acted in that capacity. He led a practical, useful life and left the world better for his having lived in it, and passed away lamented by his people.”[32]

There are so many details of his life that can be read in “The History of Thomas Henry Clark” by this author.

About Thomas Henry Clark this was written…”When the long tiresome trip was at an end, Great Grandfather (Thomas Henry Clark) reported to Pres. Young who said ‘do not stop in SaltLake. Go west to preside over the Saints at a town known as Grantsville’. He presided there the rest of his life, about 20 years. He was much loved and known to all as ‘Daddy Clark’. On his dying bed when his voice had sunk to a faint whisper he bore a powerful testimony to the truthfulness of the Gospel, saying he knew that his Redeemer lived for he had seen Him”.[33] 

Thomas Henry Clark had indeed “Left this World aBetter Place.”

United Brethren Preachers Plan CHL105983small

[1] Thomas Henry Clark Account Book, 1857-1871, MSS 496 (Special Collections and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library,BrighamYoungUniversity,Provo,Utah84602)

[2] There are some histories that show Thomas Henry Clark bornMay 7, 1806 (Christened 31 May 1806) but that would put him even closer in age to Joseph Smith Jr. who was bornDec 23, 1805.

[3] Joseph Smith and the Restoration, A history of the LDS Church to 1846, Ivan J. Barrett, Ch. 3  p. 45.

[4] Biography of Thomas Henry Clark (Clark News, Aug 1955 #27), (“The Nauvoo Mansion” and “The Nauvoo House” were separate buildings, The Clarks most likely worked on the Nauvoo House)

[5] Biography of John William Clark (Clark News, July 1958 vol. 2  #4)

[6] Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol 1 p.196 (Biography, written by John William Clark)

[7] Thomas Henry Clark Account Book, 1857-1871, MSS 496 (Special Collections and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library,BrighamYoungUniversity,Provo,Utah84602)

[8] The Office of High Sheriff is at least 1,000 years old having its roots in Saxon times before the Norman Conquest. It is the oldest continuous secular Office under the Crown. Originally the Office held many of the powers now vested in Lord Lieutenants, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Local Authorities, Coroners and even the Inland Revenue. (The Association of High Sheriffs of England & Wales (The Shrievalty Association)

[9] Lineage prepared by Pamela Smith Werner,7 Leisurewood Dr.MaumelleArkansas,72113USA

[10] See Appendex B for a genealogical story about Ann Carwardine and Thomas Probert.

[11] Probert, Plain  and Clark,April 25, 1984 (Letter to Jay and Gwen Wrathall from Charlotte Elizabeth Rowberry wife of James Leishman Wrathall)

[12]Utah Since State: Historical and Biographical, Volume II.

[13]Clark News, Biography of Thomas Henry Clark, Aug 1955 #27.

[14]Clark News, Biography of John William Clark, July 1958 vol. 2  no. 4.

* John Gailey’s history says he was born inHerefordshire Suffolk,England.

[15] Clark News Vol 2 #7, May 1960, History of Mary Ann Clark Anderson, written by Janet Hale Anderson and Helen Ann Smith Orr

[16]Clark News, Biography of John William Clark, July 1958 vol. 2  no. 4.

[17] Probert, Plain  and Clark,April 25, 1984 (Letter to Jay and Gwen Wrathall from Charlotte Elizabeth Rowberry wife of James Leishman Wrathall)

[18] Legacy of Charlotte Gailey Clark, Pg. 9.

[19] Reminiscences of Elizabeth Terry Kirby Heward, pages187-188  “In Their Own Words: Women and the Story of Nauvoo” Carol Cornwall Madsen, Deseret Book Company Salt Lake City, Utah Excerpt taken from “A sketch of the Life of Elizabeth Terry Heward”, typescript copy, LDS Church Archives. It is also published in a family history, “Parshall Terry Family History,” Typescript, compiled by Mr. and Mrs. Terry Lund (Salt Lake City, 1956, 1963), 66-78.

[20] Ibid

[21] Saints Find the Place-a day-by-day Pioneer Experience, David R. Crockett, LDS Gems Pioneer Trek Series, vol. 3 Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley, LDS Gems Press Tucson, Arizona, 1997.

[22] Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol 1 p.196 (Biography, written by John William Clark)

[23] Probert, Plain  and Clark,April 25, 1984 (Letter to Jay and Gwen Wrathall from Charlotte Elizabeth Rowberry wife of James Leishman Wrathall)

[24] Legacy of Charlotte Gailey Clark, quoting the Clark News, June 1969.

[25] Early Membership Series, Susan Easton Black

[26] Ibid

[27] Ibid

[28] Church History In The Fullness Of Times Religion 341-43, 1989 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Educational System. Pg. 349.

[29] “The Millennial Star” Vol. 10, pg. 254

[30] “The Millennial Star” Vol. 10, pg. 331

[31] History ofTooeleCounty, by the Tooele County Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City-1961-pg 438

[32] Tooele Stake History p. 163-164

[33] Probert, Plain  and Clark,April 25, 1984 (Letter to Jay and Gwen Wrathall from Charlotte Elizabeth Rowberry wife of James Leishman Wrathall)