Jackson County
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Biography - James C. Clarke

JAMES C. CLARKE is the President and general manager of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, his office located at Mobile, Ala. A native of Maryland, he was born in Montgomery County in 1824, and at the age of twenty years entered the railroad service, with which he has been connected continuously since. From 1844 until September, 1854, he was with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. For eighteen months he was engaged on repairs of tracks and in the machine shops, and for two and a-half years was fireman, and for five years was road engineer. The two succeeding years of his life were passed as station agent and conductor, and for three years he occupied the position of trainmaster. In 1855 he was Superintendent of the Central Ohio Railroad, and in 1856 was made Superintendent of the Northern Division of the Illinois Central Railroad.

As the result of his capability and faithfulness, Mr. Clarke continually won promotion, and from 1856 until 1859 served as General Superintendent of the Illinois Central. From that year until 1862 he was Superintendent of the Northern Central Railroad, and in that year he embarked in the iron business, with which he continued his connection until 1870. During the two succeeding years of his life he was President of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Company, and from 1872 until 1874 was Vice-President and general manager of the Erie Railroad.

In September of the latter year, Mr. Clarke was made Superintendent of the Northern Division of the Illinois Central Railroad, and so acted until 1876, when he became General Superintendent of the same road, filling that position until 1879. He then again took a step upward, and from that time until August, 1883, filled the responsible position of Vice-President and general manager of the Illinois Central and the Chicago, St. Louis & New Orleans Railroads. From the last date until May, 1887, he was President of the Illinois Central Railroad, and from January, 1888, until April, 1889, he was Vice-President and general manager of the road with which he is now connected. He was then made its President, and is still at its head, serving also as general manager.

Mr. Clarke has also been interested to some extent in other business affairs, and is connected with the Clarke & Logan Addition to Murphysboro. He also owns stock in the City National Bank of this place. He began at the lowest round of the ladder, and has steadily worked his way upward. From the machine shops he has steadily arisen until he is now at the head of one of the leading roads in the Mississippi Valley. Those who facilitate transportation should receive the unbounded gratitude of the public, for it is well known that the introduction of better modes of travel has done more to promote civilization, advance commercial interests and secure prosperity than any other means known to the nineteenth century.

Extracted 26 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, page 593.


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