Clinton, George William - Erie County

GEORGE WILLIAM CLINTON, son of De Witt Clinton and founder of the Buffalo branch of the family, was born in 1807. He adopted the profession of the law, first practicing in Canandaigua, N. Y., where he lived for several years, his law partner at the time being John C. Spencer, son of Chief-Justice Ambrose Spencer, of Albany, Laura Catherine Spencer, John C. Spencer's daughter, becoming about this time Mr. Clinton's wife.

Shortly after his marriage, in 1836, George W. Clinton removed to Buffalo, where he spent most of the active portion of his life. Mr. Clinton was soon recognized as one of the leaders of the Western New York bar. When thirty-five years old he was elected Mayor of Buffalo, serving in that capacity during the year 1842. He served as Judge of the Superior Court of the City of Buffalo, from the time of its organization in 1846 until he arrived at the age limit in 1877. He was also for some years Collector of Customs and for many years was a Eegent of the University of the State of New York, furthermore acting as Vice-Chancellor of that body.

During the Civil War, Mr. Clinton was an ardent supporter of the Union cause. Being one of the leading Democrats of the State, his speeches had a powerful influence in holding the State Democratic party loyal to the support of President Lincoln and the prosecution of the war.

Mr. Clinton was an accomplished naturalist, devoting himself more particularly to botany, in which science he had a national reputation. He was the leading spirit among the founders of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, being chosen its first President and continuing in that office for many years until he voluntarily declined to serve longer.

The death of Mr. Clinton took place in Albany in 1885. He was considered one of the most illustrious citizens Buffalo ever had.

The children of George W. Clinton were four sons, De Witt Clinton and Charles Clinton, now deceased, and Spencer Clinton and George Clinton, of Buffalo; also three daughters, Elizabeth Spencer, now Mrs. Henry S. Clinton of New York City; Catherine, afterwards Mrs. Albert J. Wheeler, now deceased, and Mrs. Abram H. Baldwin of Albany.

SOURCE:  Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I