Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
PATRICK J. CLINTON, who
is now retired from active life, is to be numbered with the leading pioneers
of the Big Bend country, and it is with pleasure that we accord him representation
in the volume that purports to mention the prominent citizens of this favored
section. To recount all his experiences would require a volume of
more extended pages than this, and we shall give but an epitome of his
career. But to be the proud possessor of the title of "pioneer" is
a fact that stamps a man of Mr. Clinton's characteristics as a real leader,
for his energy, fearlessness, and wisdom have combined to bring forth results
that have not only made him a wealthy man, but have also made him a benefit
to his fellows in that he has stimulated much worthy labor and encouraged
other in the good work of development.
Patrick J. Clinton was born in Ireland, on
August 15, 1838, the son of James and Mary (Holland) Clinton, also natives
of the Emerald Isle. The father brought his family to Rome, New York
in 1848, and later went to Columbia county, Wisconsin, where he settled
and remained until his death. The mother died in Wisconsin also and
both are buried at Portage.
Our subject was the third of a family of six
children, and after a training in the common schools, went to work in a
cotton mill in New York state. He continued until 1860, then went
to Wisconsin, also. He assisted his father on the farm until 1863,
when he started across the plains to Virginia City, Montana. He got
there in July and immediately went to mining gold. The Indians were
by no means peacable and many are the thrilling times experienced by Mr.
Clinton in various encounters. For four years he sought the treasures
of earth amid the golden sands of Virginia City, and then on the crest
of the wave hurried to Helena. These were days never to be forgotten.
Rich discoveries daily, all the dangers from savages, the wild recklessness
of excited miners, all combined to make it a time of importance in the
history of the great west, and Mr. Clinton is familiar with the ins and
outs of the country and its progress there for some time. In 1864,
he went to Silver Bow and worked in various camps until 1868. In
that year he chartered the hurricane deck of a cayuse and rode the uncertainties
of the Bitter Roots to Walla Walla. The winter of 1868-9 was spent
on Mill creek, near Walla Walla, and then he bought a team and freighted
from Umatilla Landing to Boise and Silver cities. Then he wrought
on the Central Pacific, later crossed the Sierras to see the famous Golden
Gate, was occupied in the state for a time and lived in SanFrancisco and
Oakland until the spring of 1872, when he came to Walla Walla, landing
there on the fifteenth of March. He took a ranch fifteen miles from
Colfax, later returned to Walla Walla, and in the spring of 1874, bought
cattle and located on Rock creek, which is in the territory now embraced
in Lincoln county. He settled on unsurveyed land and held it by squatter's
right for three years, then secured title. To this nucleus he added
by purchase until he had about one and one half sections. This was
given to general crops and Mr. Clinton also did stock raising continuously
for years in this section and finally in 1902, sold the estate for twenty-two
dollars per acre. One year he threshed thirteen thousand bushels.
Mr. Clinton has shown consummate wisdom in his labors here and has won
excellent success, as could but be, since energy, wisdom, and thrift are
sure to bring their reward. After selling his ranch, he went to Spokane,
where he is living a more retired life at this time. He owns residence
property on Madelia street, besides considerable other property.
He has been on the frontier all his life and has show excellent fortitude,
pluck and progressiveness, while he has so conducted himself that he has
won the esteem and confidence of all who may have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
He has never married.
In early days Mr. Clinton received mail usually
but once a year as it required a trip of one hundred miles to Walla Walla
to get it.