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Biography of Cyrus F. Clapp

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CYRUS F. CLAPP. – This leader in the business circles of the Lower Sound was born in Piscataquis county, Maine, July 29, 1851, and was the son of Stephen and Alvina Hunt Clapp. He lived in Maine until 1865, receiving the foundation of an education at the public school and continuing his studies at Hanover Academy of Massachusetts. Still ambitious for further acquirements, he crossed the Atlantic and spent two years at the Royal Institute of Belfast, Ireland, and completed his course at Saint Andrews College in Scotland. Returning to his home in America, he soon found a business situation in Boston, Massachusetts, in the house of Jordan, March & Company, of extensive fame.

By 1870 he had reached the conclusion that the best place for young men of ability and ambition was in the great West, and in the spring of 1870 came to California, remaining during the summer, and finishing the journey to Port Townsend in the autumn. Although having no capital in money other than a five-dollar gold piece, he easily made financial headway, first accepting a position as clerk in the Cosmopolitan Hotel, and later as clerk in the lace house of D. Samuels, in San Francisco, and again as hotel clerk. He accumulated means sufficient to purchase of J.J. Hunt the Cosmopolitan, and in 1876 assumed the proprietorship of the hotel. In this semi-public capacity he made himself of great service to the city, maintaining a management ever sagacious and popular, and preserving a refined sanitary and dietary regime.

Disposing of this property in 1879, he entered into merchandising in New Dungeness; and in this business, in which he dealt more exclusively in financial affairs, he met with astonishing success. Concentrating his attention once again, and narrowing his operations, he assumed in 1887 a special guardianship of the liquid stream of gold and treasure whose circulation in business channels is the condition of business life. He established in that year a private bank with J.H. Feuerbach, the institution a state bank known as the Merchants’ Bank of Port Townsend, himself being president. In this position he has maintained the highest integrity, and gained the confidence of the whole state.

He is a man much esteemed in social and religious circles, and six years as postmaster at New Dungeness served the public acceptably. He also served Clallam county as treasurer for the term beginning with 1880. He was married in Port Townsend January 21, 1875, to Miss Wilhelmina M.T. Lacy. Their attractive home is blessed by the presence of five children.

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