John Clark was born at Airdrie, Scotland, near Glasgow, in 1856 He was from a family of 12 children, but only four survived through infancy. His brothers were James, William and George and they all immigrated to Australia.
John Clark was 25 years of age when he made the decision to come out to Australia. In1883, he worked for the Adelaide Steam Ship Company for one year as 3rd Engineer onboard the steam ship Otway and was engaged in coastal work between Melbourne and Western Australia before settling in Tasmania. In August 1885 he gained work at Salisbury Foundry Company, later Salisbury’s, Scott & Co., working his way to the position of foreman. John Clark then returned to sea for a few years on the steam ships Corinna and Devon until 1892, when James Scott formed a partnership with John Clark, and contracted J & T Gunn to make considerable alterations to a galvanised iron flock mill in William Street, this was to become the Tamar Foundry. On June 13 1889 he married Florence Mary Hutchinson and they had two daughters and one son.
In 1896 John Clark contacted his brother William, who was fully qualified as a blacksmith and toolmaker by trade, to come to Tasmania and assist with the manufacture of the Tamar Street Bridge. William Clark, his brother, was to eventually become Mayor of Launceston from 1944 to 1945. His younger brother George came out later with their mother also to assist in the Tamar Street bridge project. Unfortunately their mother became very ill on their voyage to Australia and died, she was buried in the Red Sea.
By 1902 John Clark had left Tamar Foundry and obtained a position as marine engineer with the shipping company Stephenson and Gunn. Stephenson and Gunn were supplying trade to King Island with the vessel S
John William Clark passed away on August 27 1918
An excerpt from the Daily Telegraph August 31 1918
Mr John Clark, a well-known and highly respected citizen, died at his residence, 139 Invermay road, on Tuesday. The deceased, who was a marine engineer, came to Tasmania about thirty-three years ago, prior to that he was engaged on the coastal trade from Melbourne to Western Australia. Subsequently he and Mr Bogle were partners in the firm of the Glasgow Engineering Company, and one of their most important undertakings was the construction of the Victoria Bridge near the railway station. Up till recently the deceased was an engineer on the river steamer Agnes. He was an enthusiastic bowler and a prominent member of the Invermay club. The deceased leaves a widow and two daughters and a son. The funeral is appointed to leave his late residence at 2.30 this afternoon for the Carr Villa Cemetery