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William's History of Frederick County

Jesse C. Clagett

Jesse C. Clagett, a well known citizen of Motters, Emmitsburg District, Frederick County, Md., son of Thomas and Cynthia (Norwood) Clagett, both deceased, was born on his fatherís plantation, Urbana District, Frederick County, Md., May 15, 1851.

Jesse C. Clagitt is the eighth child and the third son of his parents. He attended the country schools until his parents removed to Frederick when he was sent to Mount St. Maryís College, where he spent four years under Father McCaifray and Father McCloskey. However, Jesse was of a restless, roving disposition, and left school against his fatherís wishes to go to Texas, where he became a cowboy on a ranch in MeCennan County. He rode into Dallas when it was a straggling village with one old countrified hotel with steps on the outside leading into it. He spent four years in Texas and, after a short visit at his home in Maryland, went to St. Louis, Mo., where he secured a situation as night clerk in a hotel. Not long after this, he was taken sick with typhoid fever, and was removed to the Sistersí Hospital on Grand Ave. When he was discharged, at the end of nine weeks, he secured a position with a firm of wholesale grocers to build up their city trade.

Some time this, Mr. Clagett accepted a position as street broker for a firm dealing largely in tea and coffee. He soon decided that he could sell for himself as well as for others, and began business for himself, and was very successful. He was finally made a partner in the first firm which he had served, the firm being, Churchil, Rearick & Claaett. This partnership lasted almost three years, when Mr. Clagett withdrew from the firm after making the largest coffee deal ever made in St. Louis, at that time, through B. C. Arnold & Co, of New York, then known as the Coffee King of Wall Street. Mr. Clagett now went to New York, speculated in Wall Street and lost, returning to his home in Frederick City, and afterwards going to Baltimore to seek a position. There he approached Levering & Co., large dealers in coffee, without success. However while at the old "Maitby House," he was offered a position as salesman for a dealer in paper collars at $75 per month and expenses.

This offer he accepted and remained with the firm for five or six years. Mr. Clagett was next employed by a firm in Troy, N. Y., to sell shirts and linen collars. After having spent twenty-one years as traveling salesman Mr. Clagett gave up the business and, returning to Maryland, settled in Frederick City. About 1890 he purchased his present home, a farm of 40 acres, known as "Windy Castle." At the breaking out of the Spanish-American War, Mr. Clagett responded to the call for volunteers and enlisting in the Rough Riders under Col. Roosevelt, served until the close of the war and, after the surrender, was taken sick with yellow fever. He is a member of the Society of the Army of Cuba. Mr. Clagett was a Democrat, but left the party at the time it divided on the silver issue, and is now an independent voter.

Jesse C. Clagett was married in 1880 to Miss Price, daughter of the late Thomas W. Price, of Philadelphia, Pa. They have two children, Thomas, aged twenty-seven, and Jesse, deceased. On November 5th, 1903, Mr. Clagett was married to Mrs. Etta L. Spicer, daughter of Mrs. Florence Shipley, of Baltimore, Md. They have one child, Cynthia Norwood, born on October 4th, 1904.

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