LaVega Clements

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LaVega Clements, a worthy descendant of a family of patriots, and a distinguished young attorney of Owensboro, is the eldest son of Samuel A. and Laura (Wagoner) Clements, and was born near Philpot, Daviess County, Kentucky, December 35, 1868. His father was born in Daviess County on March 31, 1839, and was educated in the county schools, and after reaching manhood engaged in merchandising at Philpot, but subsequently removed to Owensboro, where he now resides. His mother, Laura (Wagoner) Clements, is of German descent, and a daughter of Harry Wagoner, who in his day was a worthy and prosperous farmer of Spencer County, Indiana. She was born January 8, 1854, and had the misfortune to lose both of her parents in her early childhood. She was married to S. A. Clements in January, 1868.

La Vega Clements spent his early days in the country, receiving such educational advantages as could be had from the Kentucky public schools. To these and the public schools of Salisbury, Missouri, he is indebted for his education, his parents being unable to afford him any better facilities for his early training. But with this he entered the office of Judge Wilfred Carico of Owensboro in March, 1887, as a law student. After diligent study for more than a year he was admitted to the bar in July, 1888, when only nineteen years of age. He remained with his preceptor until December, 1891, when he formed a law partnership with T. F. Birkhead, with whom he is at present associated. The firm enjoys a large practice, and both are prominent as members of the Owensboro bar. Mr. Clements was elected city attorney of Owensboro in November, 1893, for a term of four years, carrying over his opponent every voting precinct in the city, a compliment which was due to his personal popularity and an evidence of the high esteem in which he was held by the community as a lawyer of ability, a man of upright character and a Christian gentleman. He was married November 16, 1890, to Maggie Brown, daughter of Thomas Brown of Knottsville, Kentucky. They have one child, Gerald S., born October 16, 1894.

Mr. Clements’ grandfather, Charles O. Clements, was born near Baltimore, Maryland, January 29, 1808, and emigrated to Kentucky at an early day and settled in Nelson County, near Bardstown; he soon afterwards removed to Daviess County, where he resided until his death, December 29, 1879. He was a soldier in the war with Mexico, and had the honor of serving with General Winfield Scott at the siege of Vera Cruz. His wife, Susan Philpott, was also a native of Maryland, and was born January 12, 1811, and died January 11, 1872. She was a daughter of John S. Philpott, who was born in 1780 and died in 1839, and who was a descendant of a family prominent in the early settlements of Maryland.

William Clements, the father of Charles O. Clements, lived and died in Maryland, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war under General Marion. He and his brother Charles joined the patriot army at the beginning of the War for Independence, one leaving home one day and the other the next. Charles served under Washington, and, strange to say, they never saw each other during the entire struggle for independence, and at the end returned home as they had left, one day apart. William Clements married Winfred Hardy, a daughter of Frederick Hardy, who lived arid died near Baltimore. The Clements family have always been Democrats, and are of English descent, the progenitor of the family in this country being one of the party who accompanied Lord Baltimore in settling the first colony in the wilderness of Maryland.

Source: Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. John M. Gresham Company, Chicago, Philadelphia, 1896.