Nevada County









            Charles E. Clinch is the honored mayor of Grass Valley and one of the representatives of commercial interests in northern California.  He is a self-made man who has not despised the day of small things, but has used the obstacles in his path as stepping-stones to higher successes and has a right to regard his advancement with pride.  It is comparatively easy for a man of reasonably good ability to achieve a business success on capital, either borrowed or inherited; but it requires real force of character to earn a capital by hard, persistent work and save it and invest it successfully.  This, however, Mr. Clinch has done, and he enjoys the distinction of being one of the leading merchants not only of Grass Valley but even of this section of the state.

            He was born in El Dorado County, California, October 31, 1858, and is the eldest of the two children of Patrick and Elizabeth (Gill) Clinch.  His father was of Irish birth, and in 1850 came to California, where he was actively engaged in mining up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1866.  His wife, who is a native of Australia, came with her people to California in 1850.

            Charles E. Clinch, of this review, was a lad of eight years when he came to Nevada County, where he has since made his home.  He is indebted to the public school system of Grass Valley for the educational privileges which were accorded him.  Since his early manhood he has been connected with merchandising, first as a salesman and afterward as the proprietor.  About sixteen years ago the present grocery firm of Clinch & Company was formed, and our subject has since been the manager of the business, which is one of the most extensive in its line in this part of the state.  In additional to the large and well selected stock of staple and fancy groceries, the firm carries glass, crockery, tin and agate ware, also the highest grade and best brands of bottled liquors for medical purposes.  Steadily the trade has grown both in volume and importance until it has now assumed extensive proportions and a liberal income is therefore derived from the sale of their goods.

            On the 16th of March, 1884, occurred the marriage of Mr. Clinch to Miss Emily Jenkins, a native of Nevada County and a daughter of John Jenkins, of English birth, who came to California in 1849 and died in 1888.  Five children blessed the union of our subject and his wife, namely:  Charles R., Emily M., Willis W., Janet and Marian.  To the Republican Party Mr. Clinch gives an earnest support.  In 1882 he was elected public administrator for a two-year term, and in 1898 he was chosen by popular ballot to the responsible office of mayor.  He handled the reins of the city government with great care, his administration being business-like, practical and progressive.  He now affiliates with both the blue lodge and chapter of the Masonic fraternity, the subordinate lodge and the encampment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the lodge and the uniformed rank of Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Honor and Quartz Parlor, No. 58, Native Sons of the Golden West.  His standing in business and social circles is deservedly high and he is ever loyal and true to the public interests of his native state, being a public-spirited citizen who has at heart the progress and prosperity of the town of his adoption and who gives his helpful encouragement to every movement having for its objects the enhancement of the welfare of its people.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 416-417. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.





Golden Nugget Library's Nevada County Biographies

California Statewide

Golden Nugget Library