CLIFFORD, WILLIAM H. (8 Apr. 1862-10 Jan. 1929), a black Republican politician, as an Ohio legislator played an important role electing MARCUS A. HANNA to the U.S. Senate, casting the deciding vote in Hanna's favor in Jan. 1898. A native Clevelander, Clifford worked 7 years for the Woodruff Palace Car Co. before embarking in public service and politics. In 1888 he took a job in the county clerk's office; in Sept. 1888 he become cost clerk, the highest-paid black man in local, county, or state government up to that time. He held various offices in the Republican party, served as asst. sergeant-at-arms at the 1896 and 1900 Republican national conventions, and served in the Ohio House of Representatives twice (1894-95, 1898-99). In 1902 he graduated from Cleveland Law School, and ca. 1908 was appointed to a position in the auditor's office in the War Dept. in Washington, DC, which he held until his death.
Clifford married CARRIE WILLIAMS CLIFFORD in 1886; they had two children, Joshua and Maurice. Clifford was buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.