in a Pecan Shell
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
| Another view
of First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald
Massey, March 2009
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