William Cluett
William Cluett

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer County, New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

WILLIAM CLUETT was born in the county of Salop [Shropshire], England, Dec. 6, 1806. He was eldest and the only son in a family of four children of William and Mary (HARRIS) CLUETT, both of whom were also of English birth.

Mr. Cluett received a good education while young. For several years he taught at a private school, and for 20 years he was a bookseller in England. In the year 1828 he married Ann, daughter of Thomas and Mary BYWATER, of Salop County. She was born in the year 1805.

This sketch is being written on July 17, 1879, it being the 29th anniversary of his residing at Troy with his family, consisting of his wife and six children, viz., John William Alfred, George B., Mrs. Rev. J. N. Mulford, Edmund, Fred H., and Robert. His eldest daughter, Mrs. Cadby, remained in England; but upon her decease her remains were brought to this country and interred in Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, N. Y. Upon reaching Troy the ill health of his wife prevented his carrying out his intentions - to settle in one of the western states - and after a short time he opened a grocery store, which, however, he continued only one year. For three years he was a bookkeeper for Mr. L. Van Valdenburgh, a shirt- and collar-manufacturer. In 1854, Mr. Cluett again entered into business for himself, and opened a book- and piano-store, which he carried on until 1858, when he associated with him in business his son, J. W. A. Cluett, with the firm-name of William Cluett & Son. Their business rapidly increased; the firm became widely and favorably known, and was continued until about the year 1862, when another son, Edmund Cluett, was taken into the partnership, and the firm-name was changed to Cluett & Sons.

In the year 1870 the book department of the trade was dropped, and the piano and organ business, which was still becoming more extensive, was continued. The firm-name is still retained, although only the junior member of the firm remains with his father in the business.

Mr. Cluett has never been active in politics or public matters, yet, interested in local and state legislation, he regards the right of suffrage the great bon of the American people. He has been unswervingly identified with the Republican party since its formation [in 1854], and prior to that time, after coming to this country [in 1850], was a member of the Whig party. He has avoided all public notoriety, being contented with the quiet routine of a business life. His industry and judicious management have given him rank among the substantial businessmen of Troy, and his integrity and correct habits have secured the confidence of all who know him. He is a member of the Episcopal Church and a liberal contributor to all enterprises having for their object the good of society.

Mrs. Cluett died in January 1876.

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