during 1890 Clark Lane wrote Reminiscential, which means of
recollections. The hand-written manuscript was really in the
nature of a diary or autobiography. Its foreword began, Of a
busy lifenow far spent, and with daily reminder of the closing
thereofwhich surely will come.
of Hamilton County, Clark Lane was born 5 April 1823, the son of John
Lane. He was born in a one-room log cabin on the farm of his parents.
The property at the junction of Hamilton Avenue and Mill Road was
still in family hands at the time of his death in 1907. His parents
had come to Ohio from New Jersey in 1793 and settled 10 miles north
of Cincinnati. According to a page compiled from a Lane family Bible,
he was named Robert Clark Lane, but the first name was seldom if ever
recollection of a positive and business nature, he wrote, was when
he was six or eight and his father required his service in the blacksmith
shop. I stood upon a half-bushel to blow the bellows, heating
the links and watching the forge fire, while father did the welding
of same into trace chains for our neighbors. He advanced, at
intervals, into making nails, rivets and chains.
Lane's formal education, he recalled, went on to the point of reading,
writing and ciphering. He wrote, my education was indeed
very inconsiderable. Although few probably realized it at the
time, his first experience with a significant historical event took
place in 1835 when he was 12. Clark Lane, his eldest brother Isaac,
and their father helped in making the first reaping machine ever constructed
and successfully operated in the Northwest Territory. The work took
place in his father's stone blacksmith shop. The building, believed
to be built in 1813, still stands a mile north of Mt. Healthy.
1837 to about 1845 Clark Lane and his brothers and father made many
of the common styles of farm wagons as well as doing general smithing
and plow work. In 1841, with his brothers starting out on their own,
he was put in charge of his father's shops.