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Jefferson F. Clyde


Posted By: Allamakee co. coordinator
Date: 3/2/2004 at 07:53:06

CLYDE, Jefferson Fern, of Osage, is one of the judges of the 12th judicial district. He is he son of Samuel A. Clyde, an early pioneer of Wisconsin, whose ancesors were Scotch-Irish, having come to this country some time before the Revolution. The grandfathers of Samuel A. Clyde, who were Samuel Clyde and Samuel Campbell, settled in Cherry Valley, New York, about 1760, and were members of the committee of safety for that village during the war. Both were Colonels in the militia and both had their houses burned in the Indian massacre of 1778, though they and their families escaped, Samuel Clyde was a member of the first New York legislature, and his son Joseph, the grandfather of J.F. Clyde, was a member of the New York consitiutional convention of 1824. Mr. Clyde's mother, Elizabeth Fern, was a native of Derbyshire, England, and came to Otsego county, New York, when she was years old. Judge Clyde's parents came by way of the Erie canal and the lakes to Wisconsin in 1844, and settled near Aztalan, Jefferson county, where their son was born May 24, 1850. When he was five years old the family moved by ox team to Mitchell county, Iowa, where they settled on a farm near St. Ansgar. Here his father became county judge in 1862. Mr. Clyde secured his early education in the common schools of Mitchell county. His mother had been a successful teacher in New York, and she continued at this work in Iowa, so that the Judge received much of his early education from her. After he had outgrown the common school he attended the Cedar Valley Semnary at Osage, where he fitted himself to be a teacher. In 1872 he entered the State University, and graduated from the collegiate department in 1877, second in a class of twenty-four, first honor being won by John Campbell, now judge of the supreme court in Colorado. After graduating Judge Clyde taught schoool several years. In 1881 he entered the law department of the University, from which he graduated in 1882, as one of the ten speakers from a class of 131.

While attending the University he was a member of the Zetagathian Society. After completig the law course he remained a year at the University as instructor in mathematics under Prof. Leonard. He began practicing law in September, 1883, at Osage as a member of the firm of Clyde & Vanderpoel. He afterwards practiced alone several years, and from 1887 to 1889 was in partnership with State Senator J.H. Sweney. In 1889 he formed a partnership with Hon. W.L. Eaton, which continued until his election as judge.

In politics the judge is a Republican. He cast his first presidentail vote for General Grant. In 1889, when Senator Sweney was elected to congress, Judge Clyde was chosen to fill the vacancy in the state senate, servig as amember from the Forty-first district in the Twenty-third General Assembly. In the fall of 1896 he was a candidate for the office which he now holds. He was nomiated after a spirited contest, and was elected by more than 10,000 majority. He is a member of the Baptist church, and was president of the Iowa Baptist State Convention in 1893-5.

The judge was married July 19, 1877, to Harriet L. Wedgewood, of Waukon, Iowa, she having been a student at the Cedar Valley Seminary. They have eight children; Mary E., Ray W., Frank S., Alva B., John J., Flora H., Arthur W. and J.F. Jr.

-source: Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa, Leaders in Business, Politics and the Professions; 1899, Volume II
-submitted by Roseanna Zehner
-transcribed by S. Ferrall


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