Clarksville is situated on the plateau in the southwest part of the town and takes its name from Adam A. Clark, who settled there about 1822. Early settlers at this point were William Bose (or Bouse), Samuel Ingraham, who kept a tavern in the upper part of the village, and Joseph Bright. At a later date Henry L. Mead settled there, became a prominent citizen, held the office of justice of the peace and was postmaster of the new village. The name of the place was originally Bethlehem at the time before New Scotland was taken from the Town of Bethlehem.
After the charter of the Albany and Delaware Turnpike company in 1805 and the improvement of the road, travel greatly increased from Rensselaerville, and as Clarksville was about half way between that place and Albany, it became a convenient and popular stopping place.