Clagett PYLES, my first cousin thrice removed, was born 27 December 1859 in Poolesville, Montgomery County, Maryland. His father was Richard T. PYLES, a successful merchant I wrote about here. I previously wrote about three of Clagett’s half-siblings as well: Joseph T. Pyles, Richard G. Pyles, and Lottie Pyles.
Clagett’s early life
Clagget’s mother, Laura HAWKINS PILES passed away when Clagett was five and his sister, Nannie, was four. Clagget’s father married again to Laura’s sister, Fannie, who raised Clagget as and Nannie as her own along with the five children she had with Clagett’s father.
Richard, Clagett’s father, made sure his children were educated. Clagett attended St. John’s Academy in Annapolis. According to his obituary in The Frederick Post, soon after graduation, Clagett ‘was appointed to the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore. In 1884 he passed the Civil Service examination and received his appointment in the Custom House in Baltimore.’
Friends in high places
Clagett was appointed to this position by the former governor of Maryland, Edwin Warfield, who was in charge of the Naval Office at the time of Clagett’s appointment. The Post reports that Clagett was intimate friends with Warfield. Clagett ‘also enjoyed the friendship of President Grover Cleveland.’ I imagine Clagett came to know the president through his association with Warfield.
Clagett worked as the chief liquidating clerk at the Naval Office at the U. S. Customs House in Baltimore for 27 years. The Post reports that ‘at the time of his death he was one of the most efficient and popular men in the service in the city.’
Family is important to Clagett
Clagett married Mary MIDDLEKAUF PYLES (1871-1937) in Baltimore in 1892. He was 32 years old. Clagett and Mary had two sons and a daughter between 1893 and 1898. I couldn’t find Clagett in the 1900 census, but I found him in 1910 living in Baltimore in a rented house on Lanvale Street.
Clagett loved his family and faithfully visited his family in Montgomery County including his stepmother, Fannie, and his half-siblings Percy and Lottie. Clagett’s sister, Nannie, and Nannie’s husband, Thomas O. White, owned the family home in Barnesville in Montgomery County.
Clagett takes ill
In late May, 1911, Clagett took a month’s leave of absence because of an unnamed illness. He went to Nannie and Thomas’ home to rest and recover, but ‘his illness took a turn for the worse and he died’ there on 30 July 1911. His address at the time of death was 1625 North Calvert Street, Baltimore. I believe his house is one of the ones behind the tree.
Clagett is buried at Monocacy Cemetery in Beallsville, Montgomery County, Maryland, along with his father, two sisters, and two brothers.
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