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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Major Jacob Sanders Clinton

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 751-752 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Major Jacob Sanders Clinton, an honored veteran of the World war, is the capable incumbent in the position of superintendent of the water department of the city of Schenectady, to which he was appointed on the 1st of January, 1924. His birth occurred in Albany, New York, on the 4th of November, 1879, his parents being Thomas and Anna (Lawless) Clinton, the former a native of Glenville, Schenectady county, this state, and the latter of Albany. Thomas Clinton, after devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits for a number of years, became an employe of Jacob Sanders, a capitalist of Albany. Subsequently he returned to the work of the farm, which claimed his time and energies until he passed away on the 9th of December, 1893, at the comparatively early age of thirty-six years. His widow died June 29, 1924.

Jacob Sanders Clinton obtained his early education in the grade schools of his native city and afterward spent two years in preparatory school. It was on the 25th of June, 1895, that he came to Schenectady from Castleton, New York, and secured a position in the wire and cable department of the General Electric Company, being thus employed for a decade. On the expiration of that period, in 1905, he entered the general accounting department of the corporation and four years later became connected with the credit and collection department, there serving until called to the Mexican border for military duty in June, 1916.

Mr. Clinton enlisted in the National Guard on the 3d of March, 1898, and served as a private of Company F, Second New York Volunteer Infantry, during the Spanish-American war. After demobilization he rejoined the Thirty-seventh Separate Company, which became known as the Second New York Infantry of the National Guard. He served in various non-commissioned grades until commissioned second lieutenant on the 23d of December, 1909, while on December 27, 1911, he was commissioned first lieutenant in the same organization. On the 15th of April, 1915, he was commissioned captain of the Second New York Infantry and assigned to the command of Company E in Schenectady, of which he was at the head during its service with the United States army on the Mexican border from June 19, 1916, until the 20th of October following. Captain Clinton continued his service in the National Guard until March 25, 1917, when he again entered the United States service with Company E of the Second New York Infantry, guarding public utilities. Upon the entry of thc United States into the World war on the 6th of April, 1917, he was placed in command of garrison troops at Madison Barracks, said troops comprising Company I of the Second Infantry and Company D of the Third New York Infantry. Captain Clinton remained on special duty with the First Officers Training School at Madison Barracks until August 1, 1917, when he rejoined Company E and proceeded with the regiment to Spartanburg, South Carolina. There the regiment became the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry of the Twenty-seventh Division. On the 1st of October, 1917, Captain Clinton organized and was placed in command of Headquarters Company of the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry, and on January 1, 1918, he was selected by the division commander as senior instructor of infantry of the Third Officers Training Camp, located at Camp Wadsworth. When his work in this connection was completed on the 1st of May, 1918, he proceeded overseas with the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry and remained in command of his company in defense of sectors in France and Belgium until July 1, 1918. On the latter date he was placed in command of the Twenty-seventh Division Signal School, assigned for instruction to the Nineteenth British Corps. After the completion of the work of the school Captain Clinton rejoined Headquarters Company, of which he was in command during the battle of Vierstraat Ridge, in the Ypres sector, near Mont Kemmel. The Twenty-seventh Division was then assigned to the Fourth British Army under General Rawlinson, operating on the extreme right flank of the British line between Cambrai and St. Quentin, known as the Hindenburg line, which was considered by the German high command the most impregnable part of their defensive system. From September 27th until October 1, 1918, Captain Clinton was in command of the Third Battalion of the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry, occupying the left flank of the division on the battle line. He remained in command of this battalion until gassed and wounded on the 12th of October, 1918, and sent to an English hospital. He rejoined his regiment on the 23d of December, 1918, and was assigned to the command of the Second Battalion. When the division was returned from overseas for demobilization he was reassigned to his original company, which he brought home. While in France he received letters of commendation and citations and was recommended for the highest government decorations. Following his return to his native land he was commissioned major and placed in command of the Second Battalion of the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry of the Federalized National Guard of New York.

Major Clinton was appointed commissioner of public works in Schenectady under Mayor Simon, and when that administration went out of office in 1920 he was elected supervisor of the second ward. At the same time he acted as instructor of the New York State Military Training Commission in the Schenectady zone. He was also made special representative of the United States Veterans Bureau and in addition engaged in the life insurance business. Since 1919 Major Clinton has been actively connected with the American Red Cross, occupying the chairmanship of the home service section of the Schenectady County Chapter of that organization. He has likewise been a member of all civic relief commissions since his return from overseas and was one of the organizers of Schenectady Post No. 21 of the American Legion, of which he has since been an active officer. Major Clinton belongs to the Society of Veterans of Foreign Wars and to General Eugene Griffin Camp of the United Spanish War Veterans. On the 1st of January, 1924, he was appointed to his present position as superintendent of the water bureau of the city of Schenectady, in which connection he is making a very creditable record.

On the 7th of December, 1903, Major Clinton was united in marriage to Miss Grace Simpson of Granville, Washington county, New York. They reside at No. 29 North Wendell avenue in Schenectady. Major Clinton gives his political allegiance to the republican party and in religious belief is a Catholic. He is a charter member and past president of the Schenectady Kiwanis Club and the Chamber of Commerce, while fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

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