After Clark’s mother Adeline died in her hometown of Meadville, Pennsylvania, in November 1901, his father left him in the care of Addie’s sister, brother-in-law and parents, and went back to Ohio to continue oil drilling. In the small village of Hopedale, he met Jennie Dunlap and became instantly smitten. Everyone was surprised that she returned the rough Bill Gable’s advances and accepted his proposal. They were married on April 16, 1903. Soon afterwards Bill went back to Meadville to collect his son. Addie’s family was not happy to give up the boy and many tears were shed, but Bill was his father and had found his boy a mother.
Childhood in Hopedale was happy for young Clark. The new family moved into a small home on Church Street and attended the Hopedale Methodist Church.
In 1911, Bill built a house on Mill Street. This house has the honor of being where Clark spent the happiest years of his childhood. It still stands today as a beautiful home. It has been added on to and now has a detached garage. Different from Clark’s time certainly, as it is now across from a food mart.
It is said that Clark would often walk up the street to Hopedale Mill, which was just by the train tracks. Well, up the street were train tracks and some abandoned coal cars, which I believe signifies where the mill used to be.
Some pictures around Hopedale:
We drove from one side of Hopedale to another in under ten minutes. Not exactly a thriving metropolis, but a quaint little town, the kind where everybody knows everyone else’s business. My friend and I stood out like sore thumbs, walking around and snapping pictures. People stopped and stared at us. (Oops)
On the way, we passed the Hopedale Cemetery and stopped in to visit the Dunlaps.
Maria was Jennie’s mother, Lizzie, Lucy, Edson, John and Mary were her siblings.
In 1916, the family fell on some rough financial times and Bill was forced to sell the house in Hopedale. Much to young Clark’s chagrin, Bill decided to move the family to a farm near Ravenna, which is over 100 miles north of Hopedale.
That is up next!