James Clark II, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: A gunsmithing compendium lists James Clark as being a gunsmith in Bedford County in 1877. I refer to this individual as James Clark II because a James Clark is also identified as a gunsmith on the 1821 tax roll of Hopewell Township, Bedford County. It seems unlikely that one individual could be a gunsmith in 1821 and 1877 and yet escape detection as a gunsmith in the intervening 55 years. I do not know which township the 1877 gunsmith James Clark lived in.

1858: I don't know if it is relevant, but the property of a James Clark that was located in or near Liberty township is mentioned in the following notice from the May 7, 1858 issue of the "Bedford Inquirer" newspaper.

1861: I don't know if it is relevant, but there is a "Jas. Clark" along the Juniata River in Liberty Township on the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1877: Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" lists a James Clark as a gunsmith in Bedford County, Pennsylvania in 1877. Sellers indicates his source for the information is a directory.

1877: I don't know if it is relevant, but there is a "Jas. Clark" along the Juniata River on the Liberty Township map in the 1877 atlas of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

Work product?

  • A full stock rifle with a Bedford County-style buttstock and a 38-inch barrel marked J. Clark was sold at auction for $1,495.00 on September 7, 2012 by RIA. It has a cap box instead of a patch box, which suggests it is a later period rifle. The consignor of the rifle described it as a rifle by James Clark of Bedford County, Pennsylvania and also of Mercer County, New Jersey.

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