John Hopkins Clark was born on January 19, 1842, in Shiawassee County, Michigan, the son of John.
John stood 5’5” with hazel eyes, black hair and a light complexion, and was 19 years old and may have been living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County, when he enlisted with his parents’ (?) consent in Company A on May 13, 1861. (Company A was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, specifically the Valley City Guards, or VCG, under the command of Captain Samuel Judd, who would also command Company A.)
He was wounded in the left foot, probably on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and was subsequently admitted to the hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington, DC. In fact, he was wounded and put aboard the Elm City at White House Landing, Virginia, and transferred to the hospital in Washington, DC, where he arrived on June 5 or 6. By the first of July he was reported by one observer to be “doing well.” John remained listed as absent wounded until he was discharged on October 29, 1862 at Fort McHenry, Maryland, for a wounded left foot.
John returned to Michigan and was living in Paris, Kent County in March of 1863 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 12491) for service in the 3rd Michigan infantry; his service in the 12th Michigan (see below) was entered later.
John was working as a cooper in Niles, Berrien County when he reentered the service for one year in Company A, 12th Michigan infantry on August 29, 1864 at Niles, Berrien County, and crediting Niles, and was mustered on September 2 at Kalamazoo. He was mustered out at Camden, Arkansas, on September 9, 1865.
John eventually returned to Michigan.
John married Michigan native Julia Elizabeth Chamberlain (1845-1919) on December 4, 1866, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least two children: Frank J. (1870-1947) and Helen (b. 1891, Mrs. Saunders). Julia was possibly related to Charles and William Chamberlain, both of whom had served in the 3rd Michigan infantry, the latter also of Company A.
By 1870 this same John H. was working as a cooper and living in Grand Rapids’ 3rd Ward in 1870. John may have settled for a time in Calhoun County; Julia had been born in Calhoun County. By 1880 John was working as a railroad conductor and living with his wife and child in Joliet, Will County, Illinois.
Sometime around 1912 John was living at 204 Fifth Avenue in Joliet, Will County, Illinois and still living at the same address in July of 1917. Sometime after Julia died in 1919 John moved to Battle Creek, Calhoun County where he lived with his son. He was living with his son’s family on South Wabash Avenue in Battle Creek’s 12th Ward in 1920.
John was probably a member of Grand Army of the Republic Farragut Post No. 32 in Battle Creek, Calhoun County.
John was a patient at the Nichols Memorial hospital in Battle Creek where he died of prostate cancer on August 17, 1922, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet, Illinois next to his wife.