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Wilbur Fiske Clements
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Birth: Nov. 24, 1849
Blooming Grove
Franklin County
Indiana, USA
Death: 1937


Wilbur Fisk Clements, owner of the Agency telephone system, is a businessman notably prompt, energetic and reliable in all his dealings. His activities and interests have carried him into various sections of the country, and gradually he has worked his way upward, improving opportunities that others have passed heedlessly by and winning for himself a place among the substantial citizens of the county in which he now makes his home. He is a native of Blooming Grove, Franklin County, Indiana, born November 24, 1849, his parents being Richard and Elizabeth (Webb) Clements. He has almost a complete genealogical record, showing direct descent from one of the three brothers who came to America on the Mayflower. His grandfather also bore the name Richard Clements and was an exhorter in Indiana when it was a pioneer state, traveling for miles through the wilderness to a little settlement, where he would preach the gospel. Wilbur F. Clements traces his ancestry in the maternal line back to the period of the Revolutionary war. His father was a native of Maryland and his mother of Indiana. After residing for some years in the latter state following their marriage they came to Wapello county, where they settled upon a farm, here continuing to make their home until called to their final rest. They had a family of five children: Altis, now a resident of Red Oak, Iowa; Wilbur F.; Virginia, the wife of George W. Fair of Red Oak; and Howard and Mary F., both residents of California.

Wilbur F. Clements pursued his early education in the common schools and afterward attended a seminary. He was but fourteen years of age when he started out in life on his own account, and since then he has depended entirely upon his own resources. He first learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for several years, becoming quite expert in that line. He has pronounced mechanical tendencies, which have been developed until his skill in that direction is marked. In 1878, he went to Colorado, attracted by the excitement over lead discoveries, and there he remained for two years. He then returned to Wapello County, where he was again connected with building interests until 1902, in which year he went to New Mexico. Having taken up the business of mechanical engineering, he was engaged in the construction of municipal waterworks and in setting up machinery of various kinds. He built some gold reduction mills and also was the builder of creamery plants in six different states. Following his return to Wapello County in 1904, he became identified with telephone interests and established the Agency exchange. He owns the entire line and in this connection gives excellent service to the public, at all times striving to improve the system, which is today recognized as an indispensable factor in the community. His possessions also include one hundred and sixty acres of land in Montana and town property in Agency, in addition to the telephone system.


On the 8th of October 1871, Mr. Clements was married in this county, to Miss Rebecca Fair, a native of Maryland and a daughter of John and Rebecca (Fisher) Fair, who were also natives of that state. They came to Iowa during the early development of Wapello County, however, and here settled upon a farm, which continued to be their home throughout their remaining days. In their family were nine children. To Mr. and Mrs. Clements have been born three children: Avonia K., now the wife of Rev. W.H. Perdew of Newton, Iowa; Melville F., who married Minnie Coover and is a civil engineer of Oregon; and Gladys M., the wife of Lorne Parks of Burns, Montana. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Clements gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He has held numerous township offices, has also been assessor and a member of the city council of Agency. The cause of education likewise finds in him a stalwart champion, and he has done effective work in its behalf while serving on the school board. While his business interests have taken him into other sections of the country, he has spent much of his life in Wapello County, where he has a wide acquaintance and an extensive circle of friends.

Taken from the History of Wapello County, Iowa, Volume II, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1914, Pages 284-286

Son of Richard & Elizabeth Webb Clements.



Posted By: Pat Sincox (email)
Date: 11/17/2002 at 12:55:57

Source Info: Ottumwa Courier Wednesday February 02, 1937

WILBUR FISKE CLEMENTS, 87, founder of the Agency Telephone exchange and for sixty years a resident of Agency, Iowa, died at his home there at noon.
He had also been township assessor, an Agency, Iowa City Official, a member of the Agency School
Board and of the Agency Methodiest Episcopal Church. He was born in Blooming Grove Ind. November 24, 1849 the son of RICHARD & ELIZABETH WEBB CLEMENTS. He came to Agency, Iowa when he was still young attending Agency Public Schools, later seminary. For a number of years in his early manhood MR. CLEMENTS was a carpenter. From 1878 to 1880 he was in Colorado, during the rush to the lead mining county. After his return to Wapello County, Iowa he became interested in building. Leaving again in 1902, he spent two years in New Mexico as a mechanical engineer building municipal waterworks gold reduction mills. He had been builder of creamery plants in six different states. Following his return in Wapello County, Iowa in 1904, MR CLEMENTS became interested in telephone work, established the Agency Exchange which he owned outright. He was married to REBECCA FAIR on Oct 8, 1871. Surviving are his wife REBECCA at home, two daughters MRS. W.H. PERDEW of Ripley, Calif, a former Ottumwan, and MRS LORNE PARKS of Afton. One son MELVILLE FISKE CLEMENTS of St Paul Minn, eight grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and one sister MISS MARY CLEMENTS of Clendora, Calif.

The body was brought to the Daggett Funeral Chapel today pending completion of funeral arrangements. Photo of him in recent fishing trip adjoins obit.

Thanks Pat 
Family links: 
  Elizabeth Webb Swift Clements (1825 - 1891)
  Richard Clements (1819 - 1909)
  Rebecca E. Clements (1851 - 1942)
  Ava Kyle Clements Perdew (1872 - 1956)*
*Calculated relationship
Agency Cemetery
Wapello County
Iowa, USA
Record added: Aug 02, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9256937
Wilbur Fiske Clements
Wilbur Fiske Clements
Added by: Mike Webb
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 Added: Mar. 9, 2011

- Sarah Quinn
 Added: Oct. 29, 2005

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