Portrait from the Souvenir of Massachusetts Legislators, 1907.
An obscure resident of Harwich in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, Clenric Henry Cahoon served four years as a town selectman prior to winning the first of two terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Born in Harwich on February 4, 1875, Clenric Cahoon was the son of Patrick and Carrie Cahoon. A student at schools local to Harwich, Cahoon graduated from that town's high school in 1892 and afterward began study at the Bryant and Stratton College. After a brief period at that school, Cahoon became employed as a stenographer with the Enterprise Rubber Co. of Boston and later took on a teaching position at a grammar school for two years.
Turning his attention to law studies in the late 1890s, Cahoon enrolled at Boston University in 1897 and in 1901 was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. He would marry to Mertis W. Perry (1877-1960) in the early 1900s and later had four children: Doris (1903-1966), Howard Clenric (1905-1975), Oscar (birthdate unknown), and Emily (1907-1918).
Following his admittance to the state bar, Cahoon established his law practice in Boston but practiced there only briefly, removing back to Harwich in June 1901. After setting up his practice Cahoon entered local politics, chairing the Harwich Republican town committee and in 1903 won election to the board of selectmen. He served here through 1907, and in 1906 was elected to his first term in the state house of representatives. The 1907 session saw Cahoon sit on the committee on legal aid, and after winning a second term continued on the committee during the 1908 session.
Little is known of Cahoon's life after leaving state government. He continued in the practice of law in his native town and died shortly after his 82nd birthday on February 12, 1957. He was survived by his wife Mertis and his children and was interred at the Island Pond Cemetery in Harwich. In addition to Clenric Cahoon's service in the state legislature, two other Cahoon family members went on to legislative careers of their own. His son Oscar served in the Massachusetts legislature in 1948-49 and Clenric's grandson, Howard Clenric Cahoon Jr., represented Barnstable County in that body from 1971-1991.