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Clement, Percival W.



PERCIVAL WOOD CLEMENT(1846-1927) was a politician, railroad owner, newspaper publisher, banker, mayor and governor.

He was born July 7, 1846, in Rutland, son of Charles and Elizabeth (Wood) Clement. His father was in the marble business. Clement attended Rutland High School, St. Paul's Prep School in Concord, NH, and graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut. He married Martha Hinman Goodwin of Hartford, CT, on Jan. 13, 1868. They had nine children.

After graduation he started as a clerk in the family marble business, which was soon sold to the Vermont Marble Company. Then he went into banking, investing in railroads. He became manager of one in 1883, selling it to the Delaware & Hudson Railway in 1887. But he continued as major owner of the Rutland Railway. In the early 1880s he became chief owner of the Rutland Herald. As Rutland Town representative in 1892 he worked on the chartering of Rutland City.

City mayor in 1897-1898, and 1911-1912, he was a Republican who opposed the faction of that party run by Redfield Proctor of the Vermont Marble Company. But he settled his differences after Proctor's death and served as governor from 1919 to 1921. Owner of a private railroad car, he attended many Republican national conventions, wearing a large cape and calling himself a "farmer."

He died Jan. 9, 1927, while on a visit to Philadelphia. President Calvin Coolidge sent a note of condolence to the family.

Kendall Wild

Rutland Historical Society

For Further Reading:

  • Resch, Tyler. The Rutland Herald History: A Bicentennial Chronicle.Rutland Herald, 1995.
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