Benjamin V. Clench


Benjamin V. Clench was born about 1764. He was the second son of Schenectady innkeepers Robert and Hannah Vernon (Vernor) Clench. Like his older brother, he was named yet effectively barred from inheritence in the will filed by his father in September 1781. Robert Clench was dead by the end of the year. Benjamin's brother was a notable Tory.

By 1790, he had married Albany native Mary Shepard. Beginning in that year, their children were christened at St. Peter's Episcopal church where both parents were lifelong members. In March 1794, he was named in the will filed by his father-in-law.

Perhaps his budding family was included under the first ward household of his father-in-law on the census in 1790. A decade later, his household at the same location was configured on the Albany census. Assessment rolls valued his holdings modestly.

During those years, he was an Albany mainstay - juror, fireman, bank director, and attendant at community events. He was known as an auctioneer with an address of 88 State Street and then at 94 North Pearl.

In 1819 and in April 1820, he was identified in the newspaper as an auctioneer along with a number of other Albany businessmen.

In December 1822, a fire destroyed a row of buildings on South Market Street owned by Clench and James Caldwell.

Mary Clench passed on in February 1834 and was buried in the St. Peter's cemetery plot. Benjamin V. Clench died in May 1837 at the age of seventy-three.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Benjamin V. Clench is CAP biography number 7653. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. We seek definitive information on his background and early life.

first posted: 5/10/09