Information on the family of George Rogers Clark is taken from articles written for The Filson Club History Quarterly 1935-1940, by Rogers Clark Ballard Thurston. In his latter years, General Clark lived with his sister, Lucy, who married William Croghan. Their home was Locust Grove, located on Blankenbaker Road near the Ohio River. Ritchey and I love to visit Locust Grove – in addition to being open all year, special events are held – a spring garden show in May, a Jane Austen festival in July, an 18th Century Market Fair the last week in October and Christmas at Locust Grove in December. I will share some photos we’ve taken.
George Rogers Clark was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1752. Within a few years his family moved to Caroline County, Virginia. Parents John Clark and Ann Rogers had ten children, all born in Virginia: Jonathan; George Rogers; Ann; John, Jr.; Richard; Edmund; Lucy; Elizabeth; William and Frances Eleanor. Some of the general’s family moved to the Louisville area of Kentucky – including his parents. His parents home, Mulberry Hill, was on the eastern outskirts of Louisville, on Beargrass Creek. Of the six sons of John and Ann Clark, five served as commissioned officers and the youngest, William, was one-half of the Lewis and Clark duo whose famous expedition to the northwest was made 1804-1806.
George Rogers Clark was a surveyor and as early as 1772 made a trip down the Ohio River. By 1776 he stayed in Kentucky and became the one to whom others in the state looked to for advice and leadership. For a short time Clark was at Ford Harrod in Mercer County.
In 1809 General Clark stumbled and fell at the fireplace and one of his legs was burned. Erysipelas set in and his leg was amputated above the knee. It was at this time that he came to live with his sister and brother-in-law at Locust Grove. He lived an additional nine years, dying February 13, 1818. Immediate survivors were his brother William, in St. Louis, and three sisters, Ann Gwathmey, Lucy Croghan and Fanny Fitzhugh. He was buried in the Croghan family cemetery at Locust Grove.
In 1869, from a bequest from Isaac Clark, son of Jonathan, lots were procured in Cave Hill Cemetery, and many of the graves were moved to that location, including General Clark’s.