Clark House
329 North 4th St.
Lot ::
Key ::

329 4th


   This house, located just north of the old Central Fire Station , was built in 1834 by Dr. Othniel Looker Clark a doctor who began practice in Lafayette in 1826. Originally a Federal Style house, the front wall was torn off in the 1890's and the house was made into a duplex. The dormwers were altered at this time and windows were added to the side walls. The house was used for many purposes including the first bank and the first doctor's office in Lafayette.

   Dr. Clark began construction of this combination residence and office in 1834, the same year the first regular banking house, the Lafayette branch of the State Bank of Indiana, received its charter. The bank was welcomed by area residents because it meant they would no longer have to rely on mattresses or hotel safes to safeguard their money. However the bank had no place to set up operations. Clark's house was completed about the same time that the bank was ready to open its doors, so Dr. Clark gave the use of the building to the bank until funds for a permanent bank were available. The bank remained at this site until 1838 when it moved to its new location on the southwest corner of Sixth and Main Streets.

   In 1838, Dr. Clark moved into the building and began practicing medicine there. He lived there until his death. Dr. Clark was born in West Virginia in 1805, and received most of his training apprenticing with his brother-in-law. He also superintended the construction of the first courthouse and held several offices including eight years as a member of the State Legislature. He was one of four men to form the first medical profession society in Tippecanoe County in 1846. He and two other men from Lafayette were delegates to the state's Constitutional Convention in 1851-1852. In 1860, he visited President-elect Abraham Lincoln in Springfield. Four of his five sons where Union Army soldiers. Dr. Clark died of dropsy in 1866 and is buried in the Greenbush Cemetery.

   In 1935, the house was purchased by the Lafayette Motor Club, a forerunner of the present Hoosier Motor Club. The motor clubs were good stewards of the property and around 1960, the club notified historical authorities that the building was wearing out. Over the years preceding, the building had been roofed several times, painted often and two aluminum additions were appended to the east. The building was converted to a duplex apartment house and was rented to two families. In spring of 1965, the house was condemned and demolished shortly after.

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