Enoch White Clark

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Enoch White Clark
Banker, founder of E.W. Clark & Co., and one of the richest men in Philadelphia at his death
Born(1802-11-16)November 16, 1802
Easthampton, Massachusetts
DiedAugust 4, 1856(1856-08-04) (aged 53)

Enoch White Clark (November 16, 1802 – August 4, 1856) was the founder of E. W. Clark & Co.,[1] a prominent financial firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that helped the U.S. government finance the Mexican–American War. In 1857, Clark was listed as one of Philadelphia's 25 millionaires.[2]

Clark also launched the financial career of Jay Cooke, who helped finance the Union's war effort in the Civil War and establish a true national currency.


Clark was born in November 16, 1802, in Easthampton, Massachusetts, a descendant of Captain William Clark (1609–1690), who emigrated from England aboard the ship Mary and John and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1630, and moved to the town of Easthampton in 1639.[3] Enoch traced his descent from William as follows: John (1651-1704), John (1679-1768), Eliakim (1707-1781), Lt. Asahel (1737-1822), to his father, Bohan (1772-1846), a merchant and miller who married Mary White (1777-?) on February 11, 1802.[4][5]

Enoch Clark got his start in finance by working as an office boy[6] at S. & M. Allen & Company, a prominent Philadelphia bank. In 1823, he was made a partner of a new branch of the bank in Providence, Rhode Island.[6] On February 1, 1826, Clark married Sarah Crawford Dodge (1806-1878), a daughter of Nehemiah Dodge.[7] (After she died, her son Edward White Clark commissioned a stained-glass window in her memory in the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.[8])

In 1832, Clark launched his own bank in Boston, Massachusetts; it failed four years later, whereupon he headed back to Philadelphia.[9]

In 1837[1], he created the E. W. Clark & Co. financial house with his two brothers, Luther Clapp Clark (July 4, 1815 - 1877) and Joseph Washington Clark (1810-1892); and brother-in-law, Edward Dodge.[10] It was described as a "general banking, commission, and exchange business."[11]

Clark's Philadelphia firm did well, earning enough to pay off his debts in seven years,[9] then to propel the Clarks to a place among the city's wealthiest families.[2] The firm opened branches in New York City, St. Louis, New Orleans[6], and Burlington, Iowa[10], and made considerable money performing domestic exchanges in the wake of the 1836 revocation of the charter of the Second Bank of the United States and the Panic of 1837. Moody's magazine, a monthly publication of the Moody's credit rating agency, later wrote:

During the first ten years of its development the firm gained wide recognition and public confidence, owing to the indomitable energy of Enoch W. Clark. The drafts of this house drawn between the various branches, were regarded as the very best circulating medium in the West. There were more than $2,000,000 worth of these drafts in circulation within a short time after the establishment of the western branch offices and they were considered everywhere as the equivalent of gold.[10]

Along the way, Clark hired a clerk who would one day shape the American financial system: 16-year-old Jay Cooke of Sandusky, Ohio. "Enoch W. Clark liked the boy's looks and he gave him a job. Cooke was assigned to the clerical department where his devotion to his work and his exceptional abilities in financial matters caused Mr. Clark to push him along," a 1914 history of the firm recounted.[11]

At the outbreak of the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), the U.S. government borrowed about $50 million (about $1,422,777,778 today[12]) from the firm, then recognized as "the leading domestic exchange house" in the country.[10]

In 1849, Enoch's oldest son, Edward White Clark, became a member of the firm. That same year, Cooke was made a partner. (Cooke retired from the firm in 1854, and went on to help to sell the bonds that financed the U.S. Civil War and push the cash-strapped American government to form a true national currency.)[11]

Enoch Clark "withdrew from the really active management" of his firm in 1850.[13] He died on August 4, 1856, of nicotine poisoning.[14][13]


Clark was the patriarch of a family that gained much prominence in Philadelphia and national affairs. He married Sarah Crawford Dodge.[15][16] Together they had at least four sons and three daughters:

1 Edward White Clark (1828–1904).[6] Edward married Mary Todhunter Sill (1835–1908)[17] on July 18, 1855. They had six children:[6]
1.1 Edward Walter Clark II (1858–1946), commodore of the Philadelphia Corinthian Yacht Club and senior partner in E.W. Clark & Co. He married Lydia Jane Clark. They had at least one child:
1.1.1 Edward Walter Clark III (1885–1939), who won golf's Presidents Cup (Harvard) in 1908.
1.2 Clarence Munroe Clark (1859–1937), U.S. tennis doubles champion, partner in E.W. Clark & Co. Married the sister of Frederick Winslow Taylor.
1.3 Joseph Sill Clark, Sr. (1861–1956), U.S. tennis champion. He married Kate Richmond Avery, sister-in-law to the inventor of Tabasco sauce, on November 26, 1896, on Avery Island, Louisiana.[18] In 2002, Mrs. Clark's will bequeathed at least $1,671,149.67 to Harvard University.[19] They had two sons:
1.3.1 Joseph Sill Clark, Jr. (1901–1990), mayor of Philadelphia and a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.[20][21] Clark Jr.'s children included: Joseph S. Clark III[22] Noel (Clark) Miller.[23]
1.3.2 Avery B. Clark (d. July 14, 1957). He had at least one daughter:[19] Kate Avery Clark.[19]
1.4 Herbert L. Clark (1865–1940). Partner in E.W. Clark & Co.[16] Opposed Prohibition.[24] His 1913 residence became the clubhouse of the Overbrook Golf Club.[25]
1.5 Marion Clark (1867–1938).[26] Married Louis Childs Madeira (1853–1930) in 1890.[15][16] They had three children:
1.5.1 Edward W. Madeira[26]
1.5.2 Crawford Clark Madeira (1894–1967). He married Sarah Claypool Neilson in 1918.[27] They had three children: Crawford Clark Madeira (1929–2009),[28] Harry R. Madeira[28] Lewis Neilson Madeira[28] (University of Pennsylvania class of 1943, non-grad.), who had at least one child: Lewis Neilson Madeira, Jr. (University of Pennsylvania class of 1967), who had at least one child:[29] David Clark Madeira (University of Pennsylvania class of 1989; M.G.A. 1996).[29]
1.5.3 Elizabeth Madeira (1906–2001)[26]
1.6 Percy Hamilton Clark (1873–1965), a top U.S. cricket player. He married Elizabeth Roberts, daughter of George Brooke Roberts, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.[30] They had at least one child:
1.6.1 Mary Todhunter "Tod" Clark (1907–1999), who in 1930 married the future New York governor and U.S. vice president Nelson Rockefeller. They had five children. They divorced in 1962, which was considered to have hurt Nelson's 1964 bid to become the GOP's candidate for U.S. president.[30] Rodman Rockefeller[31] Anne Rockefeller[31] Steven Clark Rockefeller[31] and .5 twins Michael Clark Rockefeller and Mary Rockefeller.[31]
2 Sarah Crawford Clark (1832-1835). Buried in North Burial Ground in Providence, Rhode Island.[32]
3 Clarence Howard Clark, Sr. (1833–1906). Clarence Clark married Amie Hampton Wescott, who died in 1870 during childbirth. They had at least one child:
3.1 Clarence Howard Clark, Jr. (1862–1916).
In 1873, he married Marie Motley Davis and they had a son:
3.2 Charles Clark III. Married Eleanor Townsend Clark (1899-1981), with whom he had two daughters and a son:[33]
3.2.1 Eleanor Yerkes[33]
3.2.2 daughter, name unknown[33]
3.2.3 Clarence H. Clark IV,[33] who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and married Jean E. Clark. They had a son and a daughter: Clarence H. Clark V, who married Kathleen, and had a son and a daughter:[34] Clarence H. "Chip" Clark VI[34] Betsy Clark[34] Amy Clark (d. 2012).[34]
4 J. Hinckley Clark (ca. 1835-1889). Became partner in E.W. Clark & Co. in 1872.[11]
5 Frank Hamilton Clark (1844-1882). Banker, president of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad.
6 Sarah Crawford Clark (?-?): Married Alfred Zantzinger,[35] with whom she had one son:
6.1 Clarence Clark Zantzinger (1872-1954), an architect and public servant in Philadelphia.
7 Mary White Clark (?-?): Married John Appleton Burnham.[36][37] They had at least two daughters:
7.2 Helen Clark Burnham (born in Massachusetts).[38]
7.3 Annie Crawford Grew (born in Massachusetts), who married Edward S. Grew.[38]


  1. ^ a b "E. W. Clark & Co. Observing 100th Anniversary Today". The Wall Street Journal. February 15, 1937. Retrieved December 8, 2010. E. W. Clark & Co., investment banking and brokerage house, is observing its 100th anniversary today. Founded in Philadelphia as a private bank on February 15, 1837, the firm has been continuously under the direction of its founder, Enoch White Clark, and his descendants. Of the present eight partners, three are grandsons and four great grandsons. One of the early partners of the firm was Jay Cooke.
  2. ^ a b Vitiello, Dominic; George E. Thomas (2010). The Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the City It Made. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 93. Retrieved December 8, 2010. There is obviously some confusion by the source; Clark died in 1856. But the passage was directly about fellow financier Francis Drexel.
  3. ^ Andrew Wallace Barnes (1911). History of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. The founder of the firm was Enoch W. Clark, who was born in 1802 in East Hampton, Mass., and received his business ... Enoch W. Clark died in 1856. The present partners are Edward Walter Clark, Clarence M. Clark, Herbert L. Clark, ...
  4. ^ Memorials of Elder John White, One of the First Settlers of Hartford, Conn., and of His Descendants, 1860
  5. ^ Proceedings of the New England Historic Genealogical Society
  6. ^ a b c d e Young, John Russell; Jenkins, Howard Malcolm; Seilhamer, George Oberkirsh (1898). Memorial History of the City of Philadelphia, from Its First Settlement to Year 1895: Special and biographical. New York History Company.
  7. ^ "Married". Providence, Rhode Island. Christian Telescope. February 4, 1826. p. 108. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  8. ^ Census of Stained Glass Windows in America Window: First Unitarian Church - Window L1
  9. ^ a b Barnes, Andrew Wallace (1911). History of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Banks and Banking Interests. Cornelius Baker.
  10. ^ a b c d "E.W. Clark & Company". Moody's Magazine. 17: 72. January–December 1914.
  11. ^ a b c d "E.W. Clark & Co". United States Investor. 25 (27–52): 2013–14 (43–44). 1914.
  12. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Enoch W. Clark". The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Retrieved December 8, 2010. Clark, Enoch W., banker, was born in East Hampton, Mass., Nov. 16, 1802, a descendant of Capt. William Clark, who came from England in 1630, and removed to the town of East Hampton in 1639. At the age of sixteen our subject removed to Philadelphia, and entered the office of S.tfc M. Allen, one of the leading financial houses, with main offices in Philadelphia and New York, and branches in Charleston, Louisville, Albany, and other cities. ...
  14. ^ "Death of a Banker". The Baltimore Sun. August 5, 1856. Retrieved December 8, 2010. Mr. Enoch W. Clark, of the firm of E W. Clark & Co, bankers and exchange brokers, Third street, died yesterday morning after a long and painful illness, caused by cancer of the tongue Mr Clark is extensively known over the whole Union, being connected with the house of Clark, Dodge & Co., New York, and also with houses in the West, St Louis, ...
  15. ^ a b "Clark and Madeira Family Papers • University Archives and Records Center". University Archives and Records Center. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c "CLARK AND MADEIRA FAMILY" (PDF). ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS; Clark and Madeira Family Papers, 1820 - 1942 (bulk 1850 - 1925). University of Pennsylvania University Archives and Records Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  17. ^ "Clark and Madeira Family Papers, 1820 - 1942 (bulk 1850 - 1925)". Archival Collections. University of Pennsylvania University Archives and Records Center. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  18. ^ Taylor, Charles William (1949). Eminent judges and lawyers of the American Bar, past and present. C.W. Taylor. p. 75. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  19. ^ a b c In Re: Trust, Estate of KATE R. AVERY CLARK, Settlor, No. 174 IV of 1953 (Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, Orphans Court Division April 4, 2002).
  20. ^ Grubel, Matthew (2008). "The Building of West Philadelphia: An Historical Survey of Suburban Architecture: Who's Who". West Philadelphia Community History Center. University Archives of the University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  21. ^ Current Biography. H.W. Wilson Company. 1953. p. 107. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  22. ^ Beers, Paul B. (1980). Pennsylvania Politics Today and Yesterday: The Tolerable Accommodation. Pennsylvania State University.
  23. ^ Current Biography. XXIII. H. W. Wilson Company. 1952.
  24. ^ "Prohibition: A. A. P. A". Time. June 11, 1928.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ a b c "Mrs. Louis Madeira, Welfare Leader, 70; Coal Operator's Widow Aided Many Philadelphia Charities". The New York Times. December 14, 1938. Retrieved December 9, 2010. Mrs. Marion Clark Madeira, a leader in social welfare work, died at her home in Germantown today after an illness of six months. She was 70 years old.
  27. ^ The Pennsylvania Gazette, January 25, 1918.
  28. ^ a b c "Crawford C. Madeira, Jr". Main Line Media News. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  29. ^ a b "Lewis Neilson Madeira (obituary)". The Palm Beach Post. September 20, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  30. ^ a b Hutto, Richard Jay; June Hall McCash; Stillman Rockefeller (2005). Their Gilded Cage: The Jekyll Island Club Members. Macon, Georgia: Henchard Press. p. 36. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  31. ^ a b c d Reich, Cary. The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Worlds to Conquer, 1908 - 1958, New York: Doubleday, 1996.
  32. ^ "Sarah Crawford Clark". Find A Grave. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  33. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Eleanor T. Clark, active in clubs," Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, June 16, 1981
  34. ^ a b c d "Death Notice: Amy Clark". The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News. May 27, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  35. ^ A committee of the Society of the alumni (1894). "University of Pennsylvania. Biographical catalogue of the matriculates of the college, together with lists of the members of the college faculty and the trustees, officers and recipients of honorary degrees. 1749-1893". University of Pennsylvania. p. 212. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  36. ^ Son's NYT marriage announcement, 1911
  37. ^ Lineage Book; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Daughters of the American Revolution. 1910. p. 173.
  38. ^ a b Johnston, Elizabeth Bryant (1898). Lineage Book; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Volume 6 (1894). Washington, D.C.: Daughters of the American Revolution. p. 171.

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