Claude B. Clements. Among the men who have won success in the Mid-Continent oil fields, one whose prosperity and present position have been gained solely through hard, unremitting labor and specialized knowledge and ability in this vocation, is Claude B. Clements, of Peru, Kansas. A man of large personal interests, which demand steadfast and undeviating attention, he had managed to reserve a part of his time for public official duties, and at this time is mayor of Peru, an office in which he had gained a reputation that assures him of the confidence and respect of his fellow townsmen.
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Mr. Clements was born in Union County, Kentucky, January 27, 1871, being a son of B. J. and Alice (Williams) Clements, and a member of a family which originated in England and whose first American member came to this country during the colonial era and located in Virginia. B. J. Clements was born in 1848, in Union County, Kentucky, and resided there until 1879, when he became a pioneer farmer of Crawford County, Kansas, but in 1884 removed to Chautauqua County, where he engaged in farming until the close of his life. His death occurred at Niotaze, Kansas, November 17, 1885. Mr. Clements was content to devote himself to his agricultural interests, and never sought public position. He was an unassuming man, but energetic and resourceful in his work and had started upon the highroad to success when his early death closed his career. In politics he was a democrat. Mr. Clements married Miss Alice Williams, who was born in Union County, Kentucky, in 1853, and still survives her husband, being a resident of Rupert, Idaho. Seven children were born to their union: Claude B., of this review; Nannie, who is the wife of John Davis, a railroad employe of Manteca, California; Willie, who is engaged in banking and resided at Phoenix, Arizona; Bettie, who died at the age of eight months; Hattie, who married Nat Thomas, a railroad employe of Rupert, Idaho; Aaron, of Hailey, Idaho, sheriff of Blaine County; and Etta B., who is an assistant in the postoffice at Rupert, Idaho.
Claude B. Clements received his education in the public schools of Crawford and Chautauqua counties, Kansas, and attended the high school at Independence. Reared on his father’s farm, he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until reaching the age of twenty-three years, at which time he embarked in the oil business in the Mid-Continent field. His start was necessarily a modest one and he was possessed of only limited financial resources, but his hard, intelligent and well-directed labors more than made up for his other lack of advantages and he steadily advanced himself to a leading place among the men in this field. At the present time he had several producing leases in Chautauqua and Montgomery counties, including twelve oil wells in the former and two in the latter, and that these have been very successful is shown in the fact that he was recently offered $100,000 for his interest in one of his leases alone. He owned his own home in the south part of Peru, and is a stockholder in the Eucalatum Company. He had always been a stanch republican, and in the office of mayor of Peru, to which he was elected April 15, 1915, is rendering the city good service. He is fraternally affiliated with Peru Camp No. 1470, Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Clements married Miss Effie Floyd, who was born April 25, 1873, in Ohautauqua County, Kansas, and to this union there had been born one son: Paul, born April 25, 1896, a graduate of Peru High School, class of 1915, and now a sophomore at Kansas University, Lawrence, Kansas.
Mrs. Clements is of Scotch-Irish descent on her father’s side of the family, while her mother is from the same branch of the Arnolds as was Benedict Arnold. Her grandmother on her father’s side was a Miss Chaney, who was a cousin to Gen. Winfield Scott. Her father, Dr. William Floyd, was born November 6, 1822, in Somerset County, Kentucky, was reared in Indiana, returned to Kentucky and was married, and became an early settler of Iowa. During the Civil war he gave his services as a surgeon in the pest house at Keokuk, Iowa, when such service meant great hardship, self sacrifice and the greatest danger. In 1870 he came to Chautauqua County, Kansas, as a pioneer physician and surgeon, being a graduate of the Iowa State Medical College, Keokuk, degree of Doctor of Medicine, although in his younger years he had been a school teacher and instructor in music. He was a man of fine intellectual attainments, a brilliant scholar and a man whose pure and upright life was a powerful influence for good in the community. When he died at Peru, July 25, 1908, the locality lost one of its best and most helpful men. In politics he was a republican, fraternally he belonged to Peru Lodge, No. 106, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while his religious connection was with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Doctor Floyd married Miss Martha Arnold, who survives him and resided at Peru, born in 1828, in Pulaski County, Kentucky. They became the parents of the following children: Elizabeth, who died at the age of eight years; F. M., who is a retired farmer of Peru, Kansas; Mary, who died at Syracuse, Kansas, March 3, 1908, is the wife of Mr. Dix, who conducts a meat market at Lawton, Oklahoma; W. J., who is engaged in farming in Morton County, Kansas; John, who died in infancy; Martha Ellen, who also died as a child; James, who is a carpenter of Peru, Kansas; Addie M., who married George W. Baker, a farmer of Peru; Emma, who died in infancy; Harriet F., who is the wife of John W. Mertz, an attorney of Sedan, Kansas; and Effie, now Mrs. Clements.
Mrs. Clements graduated from the Peru High School in 1891, following which she attended the Kansas University, at Lawrence, Kansas, for one semester in 1891. She then began teaching school and continued to be so engaged until the time of her marriage. She is one of the best known and most popular ladies of Peru, where she is active in social and religious work, as a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Royal Neighbors and the Women’s Relief Corps, the latter of which she attends at Sedan. Mrs. Clements had a fine, clear soprano voice and her services are greatly in demand upon all occasions where a musical program is offered. She is possessed of much literary ability, and in addition to several papers upon timely subjects, which she had read before clubs and societies, she had written a number of books of poems, and those already published have received high commendation. Among these latter may be mentioned the collection published under the heading of “Home Poems,” which included “Father,” “Mother,” “Husbands,” “Paul,” “Children,” “Winter,” “Home,” “Blackie,” “Temperance,” “Arkansas Fruit,” “Peru,” “Brown,” “Christian Church” and “Wild Flowers.” The limits to which this review is necessarily confined does not permit of the presentation of these poems, but they all breathe a spirit of lovely thought and of an appreciation of the world’s finer things.