President of the California Conference (1900-1901) and the Northern California Conference (1915-1924)
Clarence Santee was born to a Seventh-day Adventist family in the state of New York on Jan. 25, 1856. While he was still a small boy, the family moved to northern Missouri, and later, when Knox was 17 years old, they moved again to southwestern Missouri. While attending school Santee met Miss Julia Hoff, a native of Illinois. They were married on May 1, 1878, in Jasper County, Missouri, and established their new home in Kansas.
In 1879 Santee was given a license to preach by the Kansas Conference, where he also served for about two years as conference secretary and treasurer. From there Santee served the Missouri Conference as a licensed minister, and was ordained by that conference to the gospel ministry. He accepted an invitation to the Minnesota Conference in 1894, teaching at a Bible school in Minneapolis.
Santee was elected president of the Iowa Conference in 1896, serving in that role until 1900 at which time he was called to be president of the California Conference. As a side note, when Santee left Iowa, the secretary of the Iowa Conference—a woman named Flora Fait Plummer—became Iowa’s acting conference president. A year after his arrival in California, the conference (which covered the entire state) was divided into two organizations, and Santee served as the first president of the Southern California Conference. He was actively involved there with the establishment of San Fernando Academy, Glendale Sanitarium and Hospital, and Loma Linda Sanitarium.
In 1905 he became president of the Texas Conference, followed by his election in 1908 as president of the Southwestern Union Conference. Two years later in 1910, he accepted a position teaching Bible in Loma Linda at both the medical school and nurses’ training school, a role he held for five years. The Northern California Conference called Santee back to the presidency in 1915, and he led this territory for the next ten years.
Due to declining health, Santee retired and moved to Loma Linda, where he died on Sept. 11, 1930. The funeral was held at the Redlands Seventh-day Adventist church. His wife Julia died on Dec. 26, 1935, also in Loma Linda. They were the parents of four children: Olive (Smith), Florence (Casey), Orpha (Donaldson) and Rodney.
Pacific Union Recorder, Vol. 30, No. 10, Oct. 9, 1930 (obituary of Clarence Santee)
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Vol. 107, No. 53, Oct. 16, 1930 (obituary of Clarence Santee)
Banks, Rosa Taylor, A Woman’s Place — Seventh Day Adventist Women in Church and Society, p. 52.
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