County, East Texas
315 and FM 1970
16 Miles SW of Carthage
79 (figure used since 1990)
|History in a Pecan
Georgia-born Jacob Cariker is credited with being the first
resident of what was to become Clayton. Reed's Settlement, an earlier community
was a mere two miles from Cariker’s homestead, but in the 1870s, an influx of
residents from Reed’s Settlement relocated here.
In 1874 the community
needed a post office which opened under the name of Clayton, said to be after
the Alabama town of that name.
A man by the name of Pleas Fite opened the
first store in Clayton, hedging his bets by also opening the town’s first saloon.
By the mid 1880s, Clayton had most essential businesses, a school and two churches.
The population was given as 130, reaching 200 by 1914.
During the Great
Depression, the population of Clayton dropped to 175 and it slowly declined from
there – eventually reaching 125 in the late 1960s. The 1990 census count of 79
continues to be used to the present.
view of First Baptist Church|
Photo courtesy Gerald
Massey, March 2009