MsC 419

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1855 -- 1923
(Bulk Dates: 1860s)
2 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: November 1997

Acquisition Note: These papers were a gift of Mildred I. McCall in 1982. (Ella Clark married into the McCall family.)

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Box 5

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Table of Contents

Biographical note

Scope and contents

Box 1 Business and calling cards -- Correspondence, 1862

Box 2 Correspondence, 1863 -- September 1864

Box 3 Correspondence, Ocober 1864 -- March 1866

Box 4 Correspondence, April 1866 -- Incomplete dates

Box 5 Correspondence, undated -- Photographs

Biographical Note

Originally from Pennsylvania, both the families of Tillie Wise and Sam Clark moved west. Most of the Wise family settled around Wenona Station, Illinois, which they fondly referred to as Prairie Eden. The Clarks went on to Southeast Iowa where they lived in the Mt. Pleasant/Winfield area. Before their marriage in March 1865, Matilda taught school in Pennsylvania and Illinois. Sam Clark, after teaching for a short while, took over his uncle's farm during the war. His uncle was Captain Samuel McFarland, 11th Regiment Infantry, Iowa Volunteers--Mt. Pleasant Zoaves and was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 19th Iowa Volunteers. In 1864 Clark served a term as a clerk for the state legislature in Des Moines and later that year joined the 45th Regiment, Iowa Volunteers for a ninety day enlistment as a quartermaster sergeant. After their marriage he farmed near Winfield, Iowa, and became a breeder of Poland China pigs. They had three children, Edwin (1866-1867), Ella (1868- ), and Wahneetah.

Their large and close knit familes were prolific correspondents and vivid letters were exchanged, especially during the war. A number of Matilda's relatives and friends fought in the seige of Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1862 and 1863. Her nephew, Thomas Jefferson Hoge, and close friend, Will Kemp, both serving in an Illinois Regiment, were wounded during the Perryville, Kentucky, battle of Chaplin Hills (1862), part of the larger assault on Murfreesboro. Kemp, who was shot in the foot, later rejoined his regiment. Hoge's injury kept him in military hospitals for many months. He returned to duty, first with the 77th Company Invalid Corps in Kentucky, then as a lieutenant in the 125th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment. Tillie's brother, George Wise, and brother-in-law, Irv Colvin, probably belonged to the 104th Illinois Regiment. During the struggle Wise was hurt while Colvin survived without injury to take part in the Stone's River campaign of 1863. Lycurgus Grim, Matilda's nephew, was a captain in Company C, 101st U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment. His letters described Murfreesboro after the conflict. Her cousin, William Ream, who also saw action there, was later promoted to lieutenant in the 12th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment. He and his wife Hattie were frequent correspondents.

In May of 1865, George Wise was stationed in Washington D.C. where he guarded Lincoln's accused assassins. He wrote his sister a detailed description of the prisoners and his own role in the proceedings.

Other major correspondents in the Wise-Clark family papers include Matilda's sisters, Bell Wise, Mag Colvin, and Elizabeth Grim. Sam Clark's sisters, Jennie Grant and Debbie McClelland were also frequent letter writers. Exchanges between friends, relations, and business acquaintances from 1855-1923 make up the bulk of this collection.

Scope and Contents

The Wise-Clark family papers consist of two linear feet of material, primarily correspondence regarding life in rural Iowa and Illinois in the second half of the nineteenth century and Civil War experiences. The collection is arranged chronologically within alphabetical divisions. Matilda (Tillie) Wise and her husband, Samuel Andrew Clark, are the two major correspondents.

Box 1

Note: See also Map Case 2, Drawer 6 for letter of October 6, 1861

Business and calling cards


1855 -- 1858




January -- August 1862

September -- December 1862

 Box 2

 Correspondence (cont.)

January -- April 1863

May -- December 1863

January -- February 1864

March -- April 1864

May -- July 1864

August -- September 1864

 Box 3

 Correspondence (cont.)

October -- November 1864

December 1864 -- February 1865

March -- April 1865

May -- July 1865

August -- December 1865

January -- March 1866

 Box 4

Correspondence (cont.)

April -- August 1866

September -- December 1866


1868 -- 1869

1870 -- 1923

Incomplete dates

Box 5

 Correspondence (cont.)


Diary, 1863 -- 1875, probably Tillie Wise Clark

Infant's gown

Miscellaneous. Including checks, sketch, clippings, and evelopes of the Sam Clarks.


Photographs. Including Tillie Clark, Jeff Hoge, and Sam McFarland.

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