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The current locations of the York County Human Services Center, is where the home of Major John Clark's home once stood. Clark may be best known today for the spy network he operated in Philadelphia for George Washington, but he was also a Yorker. A printing press in his home printed official documents, the "Pennsylvania Gazette," and Continental currency.

  • Sketch of Major John Clark by Lewis Miller.
  • The building to the left is the York County Human Services Center. This is the site where John Clark's house once stood.
  • A seven dollar bill printed at the press that was set up in Major Clark's home.
  • An 1830 view of Clark’s house, from northeast corner of Market and Beaver, by William Wagner. Across the street, you can see part of the building on the northwest corner, which became temporary headquarters for “Mad” Anthony Wayne in spring of 1781.
  • Sketch of Clark’s house by nineteenth-century folk artist Lewis Miller.

Today the York County Human Services Center stands over a historical location, the southwest corner of Beaver and Market Street. In 1912, this site was home to the Bon Ton's original flagship store and before then it was the location of the home of Spymaster Major John Clark. The Major is perhaps best known for the spy network he operated in Philadelphia for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Clark had his network firmly in place when Philadelphia fell to the British in September of 1777, after the Battle of Brandywine. From within Philadelphia, Clark's network was able to provide intelligence about British strategies and troop movements, as well pass on false information to the British.

In December, Clark requested permission to return to York to see his wife and allow a shoulder injury heal.  Washington granted the request and provided a letter of recommendation to Henry Laurens, President of Congress.  Part of the letter from January 2, 1778 reads as such:

“He is active, sensible and enterprising and has rendered me very great assistance since the army has been in Pennsylvania by procuring me constant and certain intelligence of the motion and intentions of the Enemy.”

Clark writes Washington to thank him for his recommendation and says that he was appointed as an auditor,  “to settle and adjust the accounts of the main army.”

In December 1777, a printing press was set up in his house. While the press was in Clark's home, it was used to print official documents, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and over a million dollars in Continental currency.