Alfred Gilman CLOUGH
Contributed by: Carol Lackey
Alfred Gilman CLOUGH. The county assessor of Merced county has the distinction of being the son and grandson of pioneers of 1849 and is himself not only a native of California, but also of the county where he now makes his home. His father A.W., was born in Hopkins, N.H., being a son of Gilman Clough, of New England ancestry. At the time gold was discovered in California he was a young man ambitious to get a start in the world and eager for adventure. At once he decided to join the throng of gold-seekers on the coast. Taking passage on a vessel he sailed around Cape Horn and landed in San Francisco, September 20, 1849. From there he proceeded at once to Mariposa county and took up the work of mining, which engaged his attention for several years. On abandoning that occupation he began to work at the blacksmith trade, which he followed at HORNITOS, Mariposa county, and at PHILLIPS FERRY on the Merced river. In 1874 he went to Merced and conducted the Mariposa hotel until his retirement from business cares. His death occurred in 1891 when he was sixty-two years of age.
After coming to California A. W. CLOUGH married Thirza PHILLIPS, who was born at Mineral Point, Wis., and died at Merced, Cal., in 1902. Her father, John PHILLIPS was a native of England and in 1849 crossed the plains to California, where he met with indifferent success as a miner. Soon afterward he started PHILLIPS FERRY in Mariposa county. Returning east overland in 1851, the next year he brought his family to California and settled at the Ferry, but later went to Hornitos, Mariposa county, where he engaged in stock-raising and farming. Until his death in 1864, In the family of A. W. and Thirza Clough there are four sons, namely: A. G. of Merced; E. F., who is a manufacturer of acetylene gas machines at San Jose; C.W.M a real estate dealer in Watsonville; and S. B. who is connected in business with his brother at San Jose.
The earliest recollections of Alfred Gilman Clough are associated with the locality where he has always made his home. He was born January 3, 1857 and passed the years of his youth at Hornitos, where he attended the public schools. At twenty years of age he came to Merced and for two years worked in a livery barn. In 1879 he bought a furniture business on Main street, where he engaged in the sale of house furnishing goods and also conducted an undertaking establishment. Reliable as a business man, and honorable in every transaction he won the confidence of associates. From the time of attaining his majority he has voted with the Republican party and maintained a warm interest in its success. On that ticket in 1892 he was elected county coroner and public administrator, and two years later was reelected to the office., which he filled from January, 1893, to January, 1899. Meanwhile he had been called to another office, his election as county assessor taking place in 1898, when he was elected by a majority of one hundred and thirty-two At the expiration of a term in that office, in 1902 he was elected by a majority of one hundred and ten over his opponent. In order that he might devote his entire attention to his official duties in 1902 he disposed of his furniture and undertaking establishment, and since then has given his time wholly to work connected with the assessorship.
The first marriage of Mr. Clough took place in Merced in 1879, his wife being Mary E. Tinney, who was born in New York state and died at Merced in January, 1892. Two children were born of their union namely: Alfereta, the wife of L. E. Gosner, of Salinas; and Winslow T. The present wife of Mr. Clough is a native of Merced county and bore the maiden name if Mary A. BLUNT. By this union there are two daughters, Lucile and Ruth. It has always been characteristic of Mr. Clough that he has maintained an interest in the educational affairs and is a stanch friend of the public school system. For seven years he served as a trustee of the city schools and during the period of his service the west side school was erected a work in which he aided materially. On the organization of Parlor No. 24, N. S. G. W. he became a charter member, but has not retained his membership in the body. Fraternally he holds membership in the Woodmen of the World, the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in which lodge he was a Past Master Workman.
The History of The State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California," by PROF. J. M. Quinn, A. M.