Ellen Drew Gemmell Clarke was born November 22, 1839 in Larges, Ayrshire, Scotland to Peter Gemmell and Charlotte McClain Gemmell. She and her mother were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints early in Ellen's life, and Ellen was baptized in 1849. Following, she went to live with the family of Isaac Fox in Glasgow. She migrated to America in 1861 and crossed the plains with Uncle Sidney Tanner's Company. Upon reaching Lehi, Utah, she lived again with the Fox family. While there, she met James Clarke, whom she married on March 15, 1862 in polygamy, his first wife being Amelia Hardesty. Ellen and James had five children: James Hill, Sidney Tanner (who died in infancy), Ann Lloyd, Jane Drew, and Peter Gemmell. Upon James's death in 1873, Ellen and Amelia struggled together to provide for their family. Ellen was one of the first milliners in American Fork, and she also worked as a clerk. Ellen died April 19, 1910 in American Fork.
This is a photocopy of a microfilm copy of a typewritten three-page biography as copied by Ellen's daughter-in-law, Vilate Green Clarke, and compiled by Ellen's granddaughter, Sadie Boyer. As a basic biography, it follows Ellen's life, from birth to death. It provides details as to her activities in the community and in church: she played a part in attaining free schools for American Fork; she was a member of the American Fork choir for 25 years; she was President of the Relief Society for 13 years, and a counselor for 8; she was one of the first to work in the silk industry, raising even her own silk worms; and she was a member of the first Old Folks Committee. She is described as being loyal and supportive in the church, and also sociable and hospitable.