Biographical Sketch of

Rev. Clarendon Dwight Belden

Rev. Clarendon Dwight Belden was born near Providence R.I., May 3, 1848, son of Stanton and Antoinette Percival (Manchester) Belden.

His father was born in Sandisfield, Mass., January 15, 1808, and died in Providence, R.I., February 11, 1890. His mother was born at Little Compton, R.I., May 14, 1815, and died at Providence, R.I., April 10, 1900. They were married December 9, 1835. The father was a graduate of Yale College and was principal of a private New England academy which he owned. It was situated at Fruit Hill, just north of Providence.

The subject of this sketch was educated in his father's academy. He graduated from the Lyons University Grammar School in Providence in 1864 and in 1868 graduated in the four-years course from Brown University with the degree of B.A., taking an M.A. later in the course. He was principal of a village public school for three years and then entered Crozer Theological Seminary at Upland, Pa., graduating in 1874.

In June, 1874, he was ordained as a Baptist minister in the Memorial Baptist Church of Philadelphia. In November, 1874, he located as pastor of the Baptist church in Austin, Minn., resigning in January, 1882, to become county superintendent of schools for Mower County. He continued in this office for nine years, during which time great progress was made in grading the rural schools so that pupils might make continuous advancement in their studies to prepare for higher schools. Mr. Belden was pastor of the Baptist church of Windom, Cottonwood county, Minnesota, on year, 1891-1892, during which time he completed their new house of worship and it was dedicated free of debt.

In October, 1893, he purchased a half interest in the Mower County Transcript, forming a partnership with N.S. Gordon, and took the entire editorial management of the paper. In December, 1898, he purchased Mr. Gordon's interest, becoming sole proprietor of the Transcript, which he still continues to own and edit.

Mr. Belden was married at Austin, Minn., June 27, 1877, to Mrs. Francelia Louise (West) Crandall. She was the daughter of Lewis and Miranda B. (Husbrook) West, and was born in the town of Stockton, Chautauqua County, New York, November 7, 1843.

Her father was a native of Stockton, N.Y., and came to Mitchell county, Iowa, at Otranto, in 1854. Her mother was born in Addison, Vt., November 29, 1819, and died at Carpenter, Iowa, July 20, 1896. They were married in Chautauqua County, New York, September 24, 1837.

Mr. and Mrs. Belden have one child, Antoinette Griffith Belden, who was born in Austin, June 24, 1882. She graduated from the Austin high school, class of 1900, and from the University of Minnesota, class of 1900, and from the University of Minnesota, class of 1905. She was married to C. Earl Varco, of Sidney, Mont., August 5, 1908.

Mr. Belden, in addition to his newspaper work in these later years, has continued regularly in ministerial work and has charge of the Baptist churches at Brownsdale, Blooming Prairie and Lansing at different times. He has probably officiated at more weddings and funerals than any other minister who ever lived in Mower County. He has also taken much interest in agricultural work and was one of the organizers and became general manager of the Austin Co-operative Creamery Association in 1893. He was for years a member of the Austin board of education and its clerk. He has been vice president of the National Editorial Association, vice president of the National Creamery Buttermakers' Association and president of the State County Superintendents' Association.

He has traveled considerably, having visited the chief parts of Canada, the United States and Old Mexico. He has a wide acquaintance with people in all parts of Mower County as few have. He is much interested in horticulture and finds enjoyment among his flowers and fruits. He has come into close relation with his community in many ways.

Note: Rev. Belden died Aug. 22, 1915

[The History of Mower County 1911]

Transcribed by: Jessica Erwin, submitted to MnGenWeb by Kathy Pike, Oct. 2006