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Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ February 2015

History Corner(s)

Clements Leaves Legacy for Our Neighborhood

By Ken Hawkins

Charles A. Clements III, 77, a longtime resident of Silver Spring and owner of Clements Landscape here, died 22 November 2014 at his home here on Dennis Avenue.  Mr. Clements had Parkinson’s disease.


Home of C. A. Clements on Dennis Avenue, 1924.  [Both photos courtesy Jimmy Clements.]

Mr. Clements was from a family that has been in the Washington area for many years.  His grandfather, Charles A. Clements (1860-1934) was a private secretary to Gov. Alexander Shepherd of the District of Columbia and a disbursing officer in the Department of Interior for nearly 50 years.  Mr. Clements’ father, Charles A. Clements, Jr. (1886-1968), was assistant chief clerk of the Court of General Sessions, and in 1921 bought the house and farm (formerly owned by William T. Read) that became known as the Clements farm.  He developed Northwood Knolls, the subdivision adjacent to the property, in 1951.

Mr. Clements III operated Clements Landscape from the property beginning in 1957 and continuing until March of last year.

“He was an honest business man and would often hire folks who needed a hand up in life,” remembered his son Billy.  Generations of Silver Spring families purchased Christmas trees and wreaths from Clements over the years.


Clements Christmas Trees, Four Corners, about 1998

“Selling the trees was a family affair and all of his children, some of their spouses, and lots of neighborhood kids would be covered in Clements Christmas Tree sap by the season end.”

He was known to get use his landscape equipment to grade ball fields, including the one at St. Bernadette’s church, where most of his children went to school.  Mr. Clements was active in the D.C. chapter of the Professional Grounds Management Society, which named a scholarship after him in 2012.

The Clements property will be subdivided this year and the old house taken down.  The memories that his family, neighbors, and customers have for this remarkable gentleman will last for a long time.   ■


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