Hon. Hugh Wilson McClellan
Hon. Hugh Wilson McClellan

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

HON. HUGH WILSON McCLELLAN is the oldest son of the late Dr. Samuel and Laura (Cook) McClellan. Dr. McClellan was, for forty years, widely known in Rensselaer and adjacent counties for his skill in the medical and surgical profession, to which he devoted his life; he is well remembered for his eminent moral character and Christian practice; for his great mental endowments, liberal culture, broad aud comprehensive understanding of men and events; and was beloved in every household, for his sympathetic advice and manners, where he was known as the genial, kindly gentleman.

A sketch of Dr. McClellan appears in this history, as also his portrait

Hugh Wilson McClellan, the subject of this notice, was born Dec. 2, 1820, in Schodack (Nassau village), Rensselaer Co., N. Y. He married Miss Emma F., daughter of George Marvin, Esq., of Nassau, at Albany, New York, Jan. 17, 1846. They have three children:

1. Mary Elizabeth, born Oct. 22, 1846; married Lewis Potter, of the city of Troy; has two children.

2. Samuel, born Aug. 25, 1850; married Elizabeth Brockway, June 5, 1878, and, having the name and profession of his distinguished grandfather, is in the successful practice of medicine at Nassau village, New York.

3. George, born Oct 10, 1856, is a lawyer, associated with his father, at Chatham village, New York.

Judge McClellan was given and improved the opportunity to acquire an education. From the village school, in his boyhood days, he pursued his studes at the academy, when, being fully prepared, passed the requisite rigid examination, and was entered with the junior class at Union College, Schenectady, then under the presidency of the celebrated Rev. Dr. Eliphalet Nott. He was graduated at the annual commencement of 1839, at nineteen. Soon after he entered upon the study of the law in the office of the Hon. John Koon, then at Troy, and afterwards at Albany; when, after three years of hard study, he was, in 1842, admitted to practice as an attorney and solicitor in chancery.

Judge McClellan opened his first law-office in Bethel village, Ontario Co., N. Y., remaining there two years. He then removed to Chatham, practicing law until 1856. Removing to Albany, he entered upon a large practice, continuing until 1866, when he removed to Chatham village, where he has since continued in his profession with a large clientage and successful business. His practice of his profession is characterized by thorough honesty. Well read in the law, full of courage, self-reliant, he makes his client's cause his own. With careful preparation, his causes are perspicuously and with judgment to the court. By judicious array of evidence, clear, effective, and eloquent argument, he seldom fails to convince juries of the correctness of his position.

Being a gentleman of pleasing address and popular manners, Judge McClellan has been frequently honored with important public trusts. He has occupied several town and county official positions. Was town superintendent of schools; town clerk in 1851, and supervisor of Chatham in 1853-54; surrogate, 1867-71, and county judge of Columbia county in 1877, elected for six years; all of which positions have been administered with marked ability. Always acting with the Democratic party, he has been honored by it with entire confidence in his party fealty. His private and social life has been most agreeable and upright, and his public career is marked with personal integrity and official fidelity.

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