History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, 1884
John Clemens Biography
John Clemens, manufacturer, Erie. Prominent among the enterprising men who have metamorphosed this once "sleepy borough" into the brisk, ambitious city of to-day, is John Clemens, Esq., President of the Erie Malleable Iron Works. Like a score of others who are now conspicuous for their identification with the leading business enterprises, his chief capital on starting in life was pluck and a progressive spirit, and his capital he put at the best interest. Mr. Clemens has realized practical results from a practical experience.
He remained with his parents upon the farm until he attained his full majority, when he began business on his own account in Fairview as hotel-keeper and country merchant; here he remained eight years; thence he migrated to Girard Township, and engaged in general merchandise for four years, and in 1854 opened up as wholesale grocer in this city, which he continued for fifteen years, after which he became a prominent dealer in lumber, and finally, in 1880, concentrated his capital and energies toward the establishment and building up of the large manufacturing establishment over which he presides.
Self-reliance and quiet determination, together with close application and steadiness of purpose, are leading characteristics belonging to Mr. Clemens.
Our subject's father, John Clemens, born in 1760, was married, in 1801, to Mary Irwin, who was born in 1782, and died in 1870; he preceded her in 1822. Their family consisted of Letitia, deceased; William I., deceased; Sally; Robert, deceased; Mary Ann, deceased; Elizabeth, Amelia, Sophia R. and John Clemens, Jr., who was horn Aug. 16. 1819, and married, in Dec. 1842, Lydia Hutchinson, born Oct. 18, 1822, by whom he had two children - Rinaldo Eugene, born Oct. 9, 1844, and Frances Eliza, died in 1862. Rinaldo Eugene was married, in 1874, to Anna Hayes, by whom he has John Hayes, born Feb. 6, 1875, and Hays Hutchinson, horn Jan. 13, 1884.
Source: History of Erie County, Pennsylvania; City of Erie; Chicago; Warner, Beers & Co.; 1884
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