John William Clark was born in 1856 at Airdrie, near Glasgow, Scotland, one of 12 children of John Clark (1793-1864), although only four sons survived to adulthood. John William first came to Australia about 1881 at the age of 25 and worked as a 2nd engineer on the intercolonial trading vessels Otway and Corinna. He settled in Launceston in Aug 1885, securing employment at Salisbury's Foundry. In early 1892 he formed a partnership with James Scott, establishing the Tamar Foundry in William Street.
Two of John's brothers, William and George, came to Launceston to assist with the construction of the Tamar Street Bridge. Their mother died in the Red Sea on the voyage out from Scotland. From 1895 until 1907 John was in partnership with Edwin Bogle in the company Bogle and Clark, electrical and mechanical engineers. This company later evolved into Glasgow Engineering which is still in existence today.
John married Florence Mary Huchinson on 13 Jun 1889. They had three children: Helen (Nell) Florence, 1890-1964; William John, 1891-1950s and Lorna, 1904-1987. John Clark died on 27 Aug 1918 in his 62nd year and was buried at Carr Villa in Section C 437. Florence died aged 72 on 1 Oct 1938 and was buried next to her husband.