Thomas S. Clarkson

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Thomas S. Clarkson
Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson III.jpg
Born
Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson III

(1837-11-30)November 30, 1837
DiedAugust 19, 1894(1894-08-19) (aged 56)
EducationSt. Lawrence Academy
Known forNamesake of Clarkson University
Parent(s)Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson II
Elizabeth Clarkson

Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson III (November 30, 1837 – August 19, 1894) was an American businessman and philanthropist who was the namesake of Clarkson University.

Contents

Early life

Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson was born in 1837 to Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson II (1799–1873) and Elizabeth Clarkson (1810–1883), who were first cousins. [1] He had one brother, Levinus Clarkson (1835–1876), and three sisters, Elizabeth (1833–1918), Frederica (1846–1909), and Lavinia Clarkson (1842–1926). [2]

His paternal grandparents were Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson (1763-1844) and Elizabeth Van Horne (1771-1852). [3] [4] His uncle, David Augustus Clarkson, was married to the former Margaret Livingston (the daughter of Edward Philip Livingston, the Lt. Governor of New York from 1831 to 1832). His cousins included Elizabeth (née Clarkson) Barnwell and Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson. [4] [5]

He attended the St. Lawrence Academy and then received private tutoring.

Career

While the Clarkson family was wealthy from stock investments and real estate holdings, but required all of the sons to learn a trade, so Clarkson and his brother Levinus operated the family's farm until Levinus' death.

At this time, Clarkson engaged in other business endeavors in Potsdam, New York including developing local electrical power plants and the first sewer system in the area and operating large sandstone quarries on the Raquette River in 1877. Clarkson and a cousin founded the Potsdam Public Library and Reading Room and a tuition-free night school teaching mechanical drawing. Clarkson made a large donation to Trinity Episcopal Church in Potsdam in honor of his father. [6]

Death

Clarkson was accidentally killed while working in his sandstone quarry not far from Potsdam. When a worker was in danger of being crushed by a loose pump, Clarkson pushed him out of the way risking his own life. Clarkson was crushed against a wall by the swinging pump, sunstaining severe internal injuries. He died five days later. The Clarkson family realized great wealth in the development of such quarries, and Potsdam sandstone was highly sought after by developers of townhouses in New York City and elsewhere. The family were important benefactors in the Potsdam area.

After his death, Clarkson's three sisters decided to fund a school, which would be named after their brother. The school was founded in 1896 and was called the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology before it later became Clarkson University. [7] [2] Upon his niece, Annie Clarkson's, death in 1929, [8] she made the College her chief beneficiary. [9]

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References

  1. "BEQUEST TO A CHURCH IN POTSDAM". The New York Times . November 30, 1883. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  2. 1 2 "History & Facts". www.clarkson.edu. Clarkson University. Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  3. "Elizabeth Van Horne Clarkson | Honeycomb Quilt | American | The Met". metmuseum.org. The Metropolitan Museum of Art . Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  4. 1 2 Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1331. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  5. "Obituary 1 -- No Title". The New York Times . December 14, 1898. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  6. Curtis, Gates (1894). "History of Potsdam, NY Religious Societies". history.rays-place.com. The Boston History Company. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  7. "Potsdam People". www.potsdampublicmuseum.org. Potsdam Public Museum. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  8. "MISS ANNIE CLARKSON.; Benefactress of Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y., Dies at 73". The New York Times . October 3, 1929. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  9. "FOUNDERS' NIECE AIDS CLARKSON COLLEGE; Miss Annie Clarkson Made It Chief Beneficiary of Her Estate of More Than $300,000". The New York Times . October 8, 1929. Retrieved July 14, 2017.