GEORGE CLINTON, son of George W. Clinton, was born in Buffalo, September 7, 1846. He spent his boyhood, and gained his earlier education in this city, graduating from the Buffalo Central High School in 1865. In 1866 he entered the Columbia College Law School, graduating two years later with the degree of LL.B. He practiced for about a year in New York City. He then removed to Hudson, Wis., where he followed his profession for five years. In 1874 he returned to Buffalo, where he has since resided, continuing the practice of his profession.
Mr. Clinton was early recognized as a strong personality in politics and public affairs. In 1883 he was elected to the Assembly on the Republican ticket, and served with high credit, being characterized for independence and conscientious care for the interests of the people. He was chosen chairman of the Assembly Canal Committee, and throughout his civic career has been noted for his attention to the subject of canals and for the weighty responsibilities he has borne in connection with both State and national waterway questions. As a leading member and second president of the Union for the Improvement of the Canals, Mr. Clinton has been instrumental in bringing about the extensive improvements made in recent years on the Erie Canal. In 1898 he was made chairman of the Commission appointed by Governor Black, pursuant to an Act of the Legislature, to investigate and report on the expenditure of the $9,000,000 appropriated for the improvement of the Erie and other Canals. The same year the
Commission made its investigation and submitted its report, the result being the purification of the State Engineer's Department and the adoption of a much better system of administration in that Department and the State Department of Public Works. In 1902 President Roosevelt appointed Mr. Clinton a member of the American section of the International Waterways Commission for the purpose of settling various questions arising relative to the water boundaries between the United States and Canada and to consider and report on the advisability of constructing a dam at the eastern end of Lake Erie for the purpose of regulating the lake level. On this commission he is still serving. Mr. Clinton enjoys an international reputation as an authority on admiralty law and is retained in cases of the greatest importance.
Mr. Clinton shows a practical interest in all matters relating to the welfare of Buffalo. He helped prepare the present City Charter, and worked hard to secure its adoption. He has been Park Commissioner, and was a member of the trunk-sewer commission during the building of the Genesee and Bird Avenue branches of the sewer system. He helped establish the Buffalo Law School, and for several years was its professor of admiralty law. He is a firm friend of the public schools, and has been active in the endeavors to raise their standard and remove them from political influences. He is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, was for many years a member of its predecessor, the Merchants' Exchange, and in 1893 was the president of that organization.
Mr. Clinton belongs to the Episcopal Church, and is a member of the Masonic order. He is connected with the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, the Buffalo Historical Society, the Ellicott Club and other social and charitable organizations.
The marriage of Mr. Clinton took place in Trinity Church, Buffalo, on the 17th of January, 1872. The maiden name of Mrs. Clinton was Alice Thornton. Her parents were Thomas F. and Jane Parker Thornton. The children of the marriage are George Clinton, Jr., born Jan. 18, 1877, Laura Catherine and Elizabeth Spencer. The daughter last named was married June 5, 1901, to Chester D. Richmond. George Clinton, Jr., is his father's partner in the practice of law, the firm name being Clinton & Clinton. January 25, 1908, he married Sophie Klein.
SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I