Biographies/Wilton Van Clute

Tags: Rochester High School University of Rochester Work Progress Administration Musician

Researcher: Kayla Sheriff, Stuyvesant '23

Wilton Van Clute, also known as Wilton Morris, was born March 21 1897 in Hopkinton, St. Lawrence, New York.His father was Poke Amos Clute who had no prior military service. As far as siblings, Wilton only had a twin brother named Walker Van Clute who served in World War l.

He graduated from Rochester High School as class of 1915. He the continued his education at the University of Rochester. However this only lasted one year, until 1916. He was employed at WPA(Work Progress Administration) Federal symphony orchestra in new york city as a cellist. Ever since he became a member of Rochester symphony orchestra he had a very strong desire to travel to Barcelona on pilgrimage to “master.” Which could imply his religion implications.

Following that, he joined the communist party of the United states in 1933. He received his passport May 25, 1937 on which his address was 457 West 123rd Street, NYC. This implies that he moved from St. Lawrence to the city.

A month later, June 2, 1937, he set sail to Spain aboard the Aquitania. He arrived there on June 19th,1937. He served with the XV BDE, Mackenzie-Papineau Batallion and then transferred to Lincoln-Washington Batallion on September 10th 1937. There he ranked as a soldier. While his batallion was at rest behind Sierra Caballs August 23 1938, he was wounded in action by artillery shrapnel in his leg . He then spent one week in military clinic number two in Barcelona. He was then in Santa Coloma Farney del Selva for two months and Benicasim for five.

Lastly, he continued to serve at Fuentes de Ebro, Retreats, and Ebro Offensive until his return to the U.S. on December 20th 1938 aboard the Ausonia. He died December 30, 1968 and was buried in Verdugo Hills Cemetery in Tujunga, Los Angeles County, California.


“Clute, Wilton Morris.” The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, July 5, 2022.