Born in 1880’s San Francisco, Rue came to South San Francisco as a teacher prior to World War I. Female teachers were not allowed to marry at that time, so her devotion became her community and students throughout her long life.
The first member of the South San Francisco High School faculty, hired in 1913. She taught there for 43 years. She taught English, music, glee club, and staged all the school plays. She began the first journalism classes in 1936. Thousands of residents recall the works of Shakespeare and Chaucer because of the valiant efforts of their beloved “Cliffie.”
The coveted “Clifford Katie” was awarded to those who proved their prowess during high school football days, and Clifford Field was named after this avid fan.
Pioneer residents remember how “Cliffie” roamed the area on horseback to
obtain the necessary number of signatures for a Carnegie grant to build
the Grand Avenue Library. She was secretary of the library board for 37
During World War II homesick soldiers enjoyed the
Hospitality House at Grand and Linden Avenues, which Miss Clifford made a
“home away from home.” Many a romance began there that later blossomed
She was a charter member of the South San Francisco
Women’s Club and northern director of the San Mateo Historical Society
(which now houses a collection of her correspondence with presidents and
Hall of Fame Induction
Rue died in 1964, and in 1986 she was made a member of the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame.