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1). The next owner of Cypress Trees after his father James Clark III was William Mikell Clark, the third of nine children of James Clark III and the eldest by his second wife, Ann Mikell. William Clark was the first owner we can be sure lived on the property. He may also have been the first to name the place for the native cypress trees that grew and still grow today where the original plantation road branched from the public road. We don t know exactly when William Clark acquired Cypress Trees. One possibility is that his father turned over the home, the income from the plantation, and the responsibility for managing it, about the time William Clark married. That would have been between 1810 and 1820, most likely about 1816. Another possibilityis that he inherited it after his widowed stepmother died in 1823. William Clark s first wife was Abigail Jenkins Murray, and their marriage was the first of three within two generations between the Clark and Murray families of Edisto Island. William andAbigail had only one child, a daughter, and then Abigail died. Meanwhile, William Clark s father had married again in 1806. James Clark s third wife, Sarah Webb Mikell, was a sister of his deceased second wife, Ann Mikell. They had three children, andthe youngest was Ephraim Mikell Clark 1814 1885 , who enters the Cypress Trees story later. William Clark s father died in 1819, followed by his stepmother Sarah Mikell Clark in 1823. William was the oldest surviving stepson, and he must have been close to her she named him as an executor of her will. Whether he came into possession of Cypress Trees at this time or earlier, the burials in the family cemetery suggest that this is when he actually began living on the farm. For by 1823 William Clarkwas married again, this time to Mary Elizabeth Bailey. They also had children, and two of them are buried at Cypress Trees . Two years later, in 1825, William Clark s younger sister Lydia Eaton Clark 1804 1845 married his first wife s younger brother,William Meggett Murray 1806 1866 . This was the second of three Clark Murray marriages. They lived at Jack Daw Hall, the principal Murray plantation of that day, near Frampton Inlet on Edisto Island, and raised a family before the Civil War. One of their children was Dr. Joseph James Murray 1830 1881 , who also enters the Cypress Trees story later. By 1858 ownership of Cypress Trees seems to have passed from William Clark to his younger half brother or brothers. In that year, Ephraim Mikell Clark 1814 1885 purchased a 61.75 acre pie shaped parcel adjoining Cypress Trees on the west from Thomas Baynard, who had gotten it earlier from the Presbyterian Church, which owned a large neighboring tract between the public road and the same river. William Mikell Clark, was apparently in the house at Cypress Trees with his second wife, Mary Elizabeth Bailey, by the late 1820 s. They buried two infant children there in 1827 and 1829. About 1830 Clark apparently conceived and executed the plan torelocate the main house to its present location on the river front. The evidence for dating the relocation of the main house around 1830 is architectural. An historical architect examined the present house when it was being renovated and expanded in 1990. The architect note that Cypress Trees house has many features similar to the Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island, which is documented as having been rebuilt in 1831. But the same architect noted that some details in the house, such as the ceiling moldings and the interior doors, look earlier than 1830. The 1990 remodelling also revealed that some floor lists in the oldest part of the house were recycled timbers. These facts suggest that the first house did not burn down but was either dismantled and rebuilt on the present site, or demolished with some materials salvaged for reuse in the new house. If the 1830 date is correct, then the owner of Cypress Trees who decided to build or rebuild his house closer to the river was almost certainly William Mikell Clark. He and his second wife, Elizabeth Bailey, had already lived in the old house several years, judging by cemetery records. At the same time he relocated the house, Clark apparently opened the present avenue from the public at the Steamboat Landing Road intersection. The new avenue followed the high ground along the then western edge of the plantation, straight to the point where the new house would sit. Clark also probably planted and or selected the live oaks that today so gracefully frame the last few hundred feet of driveway closest to the house. The house that Clark built had two stories and a brick foundation six feet off the ground. The main entrance had a front porch that faced the river, about where the downstairs bathroom is today. The entrance lined up with the double row of sago palms which still stand today between the house and the river. Unfortunately no photographs of that house before 1906 have been found, so we know only in general how it looked. The present dining room and kitchen, and the two rooms directly over them, were part of the first House on this site. In addition, there apparently were at least two more first floor rooms on the front river side , and possible two more bedrooms above them. The interior stairway was a 180 degree curve fitted into a rectangular space the same stairway in use today, but it opened to the opposite front side of the house. The first kitchen was in a separate, small building outside. The first indoor kitchen, well before 1900, was located where today s dining room is. The first family to live in the house at the new location was, presumably, the William Clarks themselves. But from 1840 to 1854, and possibly much longer, it appe4ars the new house was occupied by thefamily of Dr. William M. Bailey, who was related to the Clarks by marriage. In fact, there is some evidence that the Baileys were the last occupants before the Civil War evacuation in 1861 and the first occupants after the War, since Dr. Bailey himself was buried at Cypress Trees in 1868. Source The History of Cypress Trees Plantation on Edisto Island, SC by Charles S. Spencer Jr. 1995 Will dated June 21, 1830. Codicil, December 3, 1830. Proved December 15, 1830. Ref. Probate CT., Charleston, SC, Vol. 38, p. 804.
Name: William Mikell Clark Note
Born: Abt 1800 at Clark s Bay Plantation, , Edisto Island, South Carolina
Married: at Edisto Island, , , South Carolina
Died: Dec 1830 at Cypress Trees Pl Antation, , Edisto Island, South Carolina
Other Spouses: Mary Elizabeth Bailey
Father: James Clark Iii
Mother: Anna Scott Mikell
Name: Abigail Jenkins Murray
Born: Abt 1802 at Edisto Island, , , South Carolina
Died: Abt 1822 at Cypress Trees Pl Antation, , Edisto Island, South Carolina
Father: Joseph James Murray
Mother: Martha Mary Meggett
Name: Martha Mary Murray Clark
Born: 20 Sep 1821 at Cypress Trees Pl Antation, , Edisto Island, South Carolina
Died: 29 Aug 1850 at Edisto Island, , , South Carolina
Husband: William James Whaley