Biography of Charles W. Clifford
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Clifford, Charles W., son of John H. and Sarah Parker (Allen) Clifford, was born in New Bedford, August 19, 1844. He prepared for college in the old Friends Academy, then in charge of T. Prentiss Allen; at the age of seventeen he entered Harvard College and after winning a flattering record for ability and high scholarship was graduated in July, 1865. He had early decided upon the law as his profession and now began his legal studies, under Hon. E. H. Bennett of Taunton, Hon. John C. Dodge of Boston, and later at the Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the Bristol bar in June, 1868, and began practice in New Bedford in the office formerly occupied by his father: He practiced alone until 1869 when the firm of Marston & Crapo was formed, of which he was a member until its dissolution in 1878, since when he has been an active partner of the firm of Crapo, Clifford & Clifford. one of the strongest law firms in southern Massachusetts. Early in his legal career Mr. Clifford exhibited a maturity of thought and judgment which made him a wise and valued counselor and which led to his appointment as one of the commissioners to revise the judiciary system of the Commonwealth in 1876. In 1891 he received the most hearty and nearly unanimous support of the bar of Massachusetts for an appointment as judge of the Circuit Court of the United States. He was a civil service commjssioner of Massachusetts, November, 1884, to July, 1888, being one of the original board which established the present system. Mr. Clifford has served as a commissioner of the United States Circuit Court; a member of the standing committee upon Commercial Law, American Bar Association; and as one of the standing examiners of applicants for admission to the Bristol bar. He is president of the Southern Massachusetts Telephone Company; the Masonic Building Association; and of the Harvard Club of New Bedford; vice president of St. Luke's Hospital; trusteee of the Swain Free School, the Wamsutta Club, New Bedford Institution for Savings and of several estates; and one of the advisory committee of the Association for the Relief of Aged Women and the Ladies' branch of the New Bedford Port Society. Mr. Clifford has always been loyal in his support of the Republican party; he has served several times as chairman of the Republican City Committee, managed the campaign of Hon. William W. Crapo for the gubernatorial nomination in 1882, has been a member the Republican State Central Committee, and in 1880 was a delegate and assistant secretary to the Republican National Convention at Chicago. He is a man of delightful social qualities and is held in high esteem not only by members of the bar but by the entire community. Mr. Clifford married, May 5, 1869, Frances Lothrop, daughter of Charles L. Wood of New Bedford, who died April 28, 1872. For his second wife he married, on March 15, 1876, Wilhelmina H., daughter of the late Governor Crapo of Michigan and a sister of his partner, Hon. William W. Crapo. He came of good old Puritan stock, being on his father's side a lineal descendant of Governor Mayhew of Martha's Vineyard, and on his mother's side in the ninth generation of Captain Myles Standish of Plymouth.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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