Born: January 11, 1846

Died: 1918

Married: Lillia Babbitt Hyde

Children: Clara Hyde

Clarence M. Hyde was a New York lawyer and served as President of the Babbitt Soap Company, manufacturer of Babbitt's Best Soap.

New York Times, June 22, 1904


Ruins Best of C. M. Hyde's Pictures, Sparing Less Precious.

Clarence M. Hyde, President of the Babbitt Soap Company, is of the opinion that lightning has a malicious knowledge of art, because when it sought out his house at 284 Madison Avenue, the northwest corner of Fortieth Street, it not only set fire to his house, but utterly destroyed two paintings, not only of large value, but precious to their owner because they were the favorites of his collection. The lightning did not hurt some other pictures which Mr. Hyde referred to yesterday as "frames."

The ruined pictures were Jules Breton's "Returning from Work" which Mr. Hyde bought from the artist two years ago, and which had never been exhibited, and a marine scene by W- T. Richards. During the storm early yesterday morning a bolt struck the cornice of the house, ran down a weather vane, and entered the drawing room down the wire supporting the two pictures, devouring them, and then escaping to the ground. It set fire to some valuable tapestries. The blaze was soon in a roar in several rooms, destroying almost everything but the pictures which Mr. Hyde described as "frames."

Mr. Hyde and his family were at their country place in Greenwich, Conn., and the house was in the care of Carl Antoine and his wife. They were slightly shocked, but escaped to the street in their night clothes. The firemen found it necessary to tear out a part of the parlor wall to get at the flames. It took them some time to get the best of the fire, and when it was over they estimated the damage at not less than $10,000, exclusive of the value of the two prize pictures of Mr. Hyde's collection, tie was unable yesterday to place an estimate on their value other than his own appreciation of their beauties.

During the height of the storm lightning struck the belfry of the Union Reformed Church, on Ogden Avenue, between One Hundred and Sixty-eighth and One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Streets, doing damage estimated at $100. The firemen were summoned by a policeman of the High Bridge Station. They prevented a spread of the flames. The lightning started fires in several of the suburbs.