The township was named after James Clark, one of the greatest sufferers from the incursions of the British in the Revolutionary War. His loss was in the amount of 1,048 pounds, 6 shillings and 8 pence. On 2 Mar 1818, New London Township was organized by the county commissioners to comprise the townships of Ruggles, New London and Clarksfield. On 8 Mar 1820, the townships oF Clarksfield and Hartland were organized into a separate township by the name of Bethel. The first election of (Clarksfield) township officers was held in April,1822. In 1826, the two townships (Clarksfield and Hartland) were organized as independent townships under their present names.
Stephen Post and family are believed likely to be the first to settle in Clarksfield, arriving in late 1816 or 1817. Samuel Husted and Ezra Wood came to Clarksfield from Danbury, Connecticut in the summer of 1817. They erected a log cabin in the township. After completion of the house, they returned to their homes in the east. While these two were preparing to return to Clarksfield, two new settlers -- Smith Starr and Simeon Hoyt--arrived in Clarksfield with their families ca 1817. It has been reported that Stephen Post and family were already located in Clarksfield when Starr and Hoyt arrived. Smith Starr was a son of Peter, son of Samuel, son of Samuel, son of Josiah, son of Thomas, son of Dr. Comfort Starr who came from England to Cambridge, Massachussetts in 1634 , and later to Boston.
Subsequent to these events, other early settlers. and their dates of arrival in the township, were:
|Samuel Husted 1818.||Ezra Wood 1818.||Hester Paul 1818.|
|Jachim Morris 1818.||Eli Seger 1818.||Benjamin Benson 1818.|
|Benjamin Stiles 1818.||Solomon Gray 1818.||Aaron Rowland 1818.|
|Obadiah Jenney 1818.||Eli Barnum 1819.||Ebenezer Barnum 1819.|
|Ezra Wildman 1820.||Sherman Smith ca 1821.||Major Smith ca 1821.|
|Asa Wheeler ca 1821?||Levi Barnum ca 1822.||Joseph Osyer 1824.|
|Abram Gray 1825.|
Alma Post, daughter of Stephen and Sally Post, was the first child to be born in the township on 1 Jun 1817. Following this event, Samuel Stiles, son of Benjamin and Hannah Stiles, was born on 13 Nov 1818.
The first wedding, between Zara C. Norton and Cynthia Post, occurred on 14 Oct 1818. It was held in the first log house to be built in Clarksfield. The next to be married were Obadiah Jenney and Hester Paul, an adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Husted. The marriage took place at the residence of the bride's father on 25 Dec 1821.
Ephraim Seger, the 12 year old son of Eli and Jane Seger, was the first to die in Clarksfield, the result of a rattlesnake bite, on 27 Aug 1818.
The first post office was established in 1821, with Smith Starr as postmaster. A mail route was laid out from Norwalk to Medina, and a Frenchman named Seboo carried the mail through the woods on foot between the two towns.
The first brick building was built by a man named Mead, and stood east of the "Hollow."
Obadiah Jenney planted the first orchard in 1821--it consisted of some 50 trees.
The first trading establishment was opened by R.T. Huyck in the "Hollow. " He sold rum, a few articles of stoneware, and a few groceries.
Samuel Husted began holding religious services in his home soon after his settlement in 1818. He was of the Presbyterian faith.
Alvin Coe and William Westlake, Presbyterian and Methodist ministers respectively, were the first regular ministers in the township.
The first church organization--that of the Congregationalists--took place on 24 Oct 1822.
The first log school house was erected in 1819. There, Miss Alzina Barker taught a term of school and was paid by the inhabitants according to the number of children sent by the parents. The building was burned in 1829. A frame building was then built soon afterward.
Samuel Husted built the first grist mill in 1818
In 1821, Smith Starr erected the first saw mill in the township. Both the grist mill and the saw mill received their power from the flow of the Vermillion river.
The first tannery was started at the "Hollow" by Omar Nickerson as early as 1820.
The first physician to settle in Clarksfield was Andrew McMillan. He arrived in July 1822.
In May 1825, the trustees of Clarksfield divided the township into four school districts and made a list of the householders. They numbered 44.
1840 Census-- 1,473
1880 Census-- 1,042