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Born near Brookville, Indiana, Clements attended the common schools. He was graduated from the Indiana Asbury College (now De Pauw University), Greencastle, Indiana, in 1859. He studied law in Greencastle. He moved to Illinois and taught school. He entered the Union Army in July 1861 and served as second lieutenant of Company G, Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He remained in the service over three years. He was twice promoted. He was appointed register in bankruptcy in June 1867.
Clements was elected as a Republican to the Forty-third Congress (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1875). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1874 to the Forty-fourth Congress. He was appointed a United States penitentiary commissioner in 1877. United States pension agent at Chicago, Illinois, from March 18, 1890, until November 4, 1893. He moved to Normal, Illinois, in 1899. Superintendent of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home at Normal, Illinois. He died in Danville, Illinois, May 31, 1909. He was interred in Home Cemetery.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.