Biography of William L. Clements
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM L. CLEMENTS was for many years successfully engaged in the contracting business, constructing public works both in Cleveland and elsewhere. He is a native of Cleveland, and member of a well known family of the city.

He was born at the Clements home on St. Clair Avenue. His father, James Clements, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1819, of pure Scotch ancestry. He acquired a good education, and for several years was employed by the Government as a tax collector. While collecting taxes he made the acquaintance of Jean Latimer, daughter of Robert Latimer, niece of Lord Latimer and a lineal descendant of Bishop Latimer. They were married when she was in her eighteenth year. Robert Latimer made strenuous objection to the marriage and tried to have it annulled, but the courts decided adversely to his claim.

It was about 1845 that James Clements and bride came to America: They landed from a sailing vessel at New York, and thence came West by boat up the Hudson River, and over the Erie Canal from Troy to Buffalo, being six weeks on that part of the journey. From Buffalo they came to Cleveland, which was then a small city without railroad connection with the outside world. James Clements worked at his trade as a mason, and later became a contractor on public works. He had the contract to lay the first sewer in Cleveland. Soon after coming to the city he bought a home on the north side of St. Clair Avenue, near Ninth Street, paying $3 a front foot for the property. At the same time he was offered land at the corner of Twenty second Street and Euclid Avenue at $6 a front foot. All the children were born in the old home on St. Clair Avenue. Robert Latimer, father of Mrs. James Clements, though much opposed to her marriage, sold his estate in County Tyrone, and accompanied by his several children, came to America a year after his daughter, and also located at Cleveland. He said he could not be separated from his daughter. He died about six months after coming to Cleveland, and was buried in the Erie Street Cemetery.

James Clements died in 1904 and his wife, in 1894. They reared five children: Robert, Mary (now deceased), Martha, William L. and David L.

William L. Clements was educated in public schools, one of the schools he attended occupying the site of the Union Bank Building on Euclid Avenue. After completing his high school education he became an apprentice at the mason's trade, serving five years, and then did journeyman work five years more. After that he became a contractor on public works, and did an extensive business in many towns and cities, and was active in this line until 1913, when he retired. Since then he has devoted his time to his private interests.

About the time of his marriage he began housekeeping on East Sixty third Street, between Euclid and Hough avenues. He lived there twenty five years, and then bought land in a new development on Fairmont Avenue, erecting the commodious stone residence where he and his wife now reside.

In 1896 Mr. Clements married Miss Mattie E. Forrester. She was born in Cleveland, daughter of Alexander and Annie E. (Denham) Forrester. Both her parents were of Scotch ancestry, and both families were early settlers in Cleveland. Mr. and Mrs. Clements have three sons, William Forrester, Arthur Latimer and Karl A. Mr. Clements is a member of the Cleveland Athletic Club, Iris Lodge of Masons, and is a republican in politics.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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