Question: How old was Albert Clark when he served in the Mormon Battalion in 1846?
Answer: Albert Clark was born 9 March 1824, in Antwerp, Jefferson, New York, the fourth child of Hiram Clark and Mary Fenno. Albert’s mother died in May 1828, when Albert was four years old. In 1829, Albert’s father remarried Thankful Gill.
Hiram Clark and his family became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1835, when Albert was about eleven years of age. His father moved his family to Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock County, Illinois, in the summer of 1839. Albert’s father was ordained a Seventy and called on a mission to England, where he served until about 1841. Albert, age 16, and his brother, John, just one year older than him, were left in charge of the family. The family lived in the Nauvoo Ward while their father was gone. Hiram built a small nice brick home for his family in Nauvoo.
When Albert’s father, Hiram, returned from his mission, he was appointed first lieutenant in the Nauvoo Legion on 1 May 1841. He was also elected steward of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge. Albert’s father was then ordained a high priest and was called to serve another mission to England, from 1844–1846. While living in Nauvoo, two of Albert’s sisters, Caroline and Harriet, both married William D. Huntington.
When Albert’s father, Hiram, returned from his mission, the Saints were being driven out of Nauvoo to Winter Quarters and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Albert moved with his family to Council Bluffs. By this time, Albert was twenty-two years of age, and when Brigham Young called for men to enlist in the Mormon Battalion, Albert volunteered. Albert was assigned as a Private in Company E. In July of 1846, the Battalion marched to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here Albert was assigned to Capt. Brown’s sick detachment and marched back to Pueblo, Colorado. In May of 1847 the sick detachment marched by way of Ft. Laramie to the Great Salt Lake Valley arriving 29 July 1847. Here Albert was released from duty, and didn’t have to go on to California.
It is not known if Albert went back to Council Bluffs or if he stayed in Utah. Albert’s father, Hiram, migrated to the Salt Lake Valley in 1849 in the Silas Richards Company, so Albert may have joined up with them in the Salt Lake Valley. Hiram’s wife, Thankful, and their two sons, George (18) and Horace (17) were in that Company. During the journey, Hiram served as a Captain of Ten. Hiram then served a mission to Hawaii, from 1850–1851.
The Hiram Clark family lived in Springville, Utah County, Utah Territory for a few years, and Albert may have lived there with them. Then in 1851, the family moved to San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California, along with other Saints. Albert’s father, Hiram, died in San Bernardino on 28 December 1853 at age 58.
It appears that Albert may have married a Mary Ann, and had three children, as there is an Albert Clark listed in the 1860 census of Ophri, Butte County, California. In 1880 Albert is living with a second wife named Amelia, who was born in Kentucky. More research needs to be done on Albert’s family.
Albert died in San Bernardino on 13 July 1893, and was buried in the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in San Bernardino.