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Cary E. Clendenny - "History of the Illinois River Valley"
One of the leading citizens and prominent business men of Baytown, Calhoun county, is Cary E. Clendenny, who has conducted a general mercantile business here for many years and has been rewarded with well merited prosperity. He was born on the 14th of July, 1866, near the line between Pike and Lincoln counties, Missouri, and is a son of James W. and Jane (Kitson) Clendenny. His father was a native of Kentucky and his mother of Missouri, their marriage occurring in Missouri. In 1871, when Cary E. was a boy of five years, the family came to Illinois, locating on a farm two miles east of where Mr. Clendenny's store is now located. They crossed the Mississippi river on the ice on the 1st of January. James W. here engaged in farming, in which he was fairly successful, and spent the remaining years of his life here, his death occurring in 1925, at the age of eighty-eight years. His widow, who is eighty-eight years of age, makes her home with a daughter. During the Civil war James W. Clendenny joined the Missouri state militia (Union), and in later years he held various local offices, such as township trustee and member of the school board. He was a republican in his political views and a man of influence in his community. To him and his wife were born ten children, eight of whom are still living, namely: James A., who is in partnership with his brother, Cary E. ; John H., who lives on the old home farm; Cary E.; Amos, who owns and operates a farm near Belleview, Calhoun county; Charles, who also is a farmer; Logan, who lives on his farm near Jerseyville; Mrs. Anna Ball; and Mrs. William Thomas. Cary E. Clendenny received his education in the Fox Creek district school, working on the home farm and attending school until nineteen years of age, when he engaged in the fish business, to which he devoted his attention for five years, selling his fish in St. Louis. During this period he saved three hundred and fifty dollars and in 1892 he opened a general store at Baytown, which he conducted for ten years. He then sold out and turned his attention to farming and cattle breeding. Five years later he formed his present partnership under the name of Clendenny Brothers, his partners being his son Otis and his brother, James A. They carry a large stock, very comprehensive in its list of items, including about everything required by the local trade, and they also buy everything the farmers have to sell. Through their enterprising methods and fair dealing they have not only built up a large and important trade, but are also greatly esteemed by those who deal with them. Mr. Clendenny is vice president of the Bank of Hamburg and is also the owner of valuable farm land and orchards. Baytown was formerly a noted landing on the Mississippi river and Mr. Clendenny received his goods from market by the river steamboats, but the river, with the peculiar inconsistency of conduct for which it is noted, is now two miles away and Mr. Clendenny receives his goods by truck. The post office at Baytown is known as Mozier, of which Mr. Clendenny was postmaster for a number of years. Mr. Clendenny was united in marriage to Miss Celia Pontero, a daughter of Nicodemus Pontero and a native of Calhoun county. In her early childhood her parents took their family back to their native Italy, where they remained a few years and then returned to this county. To Mr. and Mrs. Clendenny have been born thirteen children, namely: Lawrence and Merril are the owners of a garage at Pleasant Hill; Otis is associated with his father in business; Gilbert conducts a restaurant in Baytown; Leo and Louis are at home; Janette, Carlina, Geneva and Celia May are at home; and Edith, Harry and Franklin died in infancy. Mrs. Clendenny is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Clendenny is a stanch republican in his political views and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He takes a keen interest in everything relating to the welfare and prosperity of his locality and is regarded as one of its leading citizens. His sons Otis and Merril are members of the Masonic order, and Otis is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Jerseyville.
Source: [Contributed by Cheryl Clendenny]