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 Texas : Towns / East Texas : Clayton

CLAYTON, TEXAS

Panola County, East Texas
Highway 315 and FM 1970
16 Miles SW of Carthage

Population: 79 (figure used since 1990)

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Clayton Texas First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2009
History 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 the present.
Clayton Texas First Baptist Church
Another view of First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2009
Clayton Texas Church Bethel

Church Bethel
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2009
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Clayton Texas Church Bethel centennial marker
Church Bethel centennial marker
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2009
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Clayton Texas Cemetery
Clayton Cemetery
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2009
Clayton  Cemetery gate,  Clayton Texas
Clayton Cemetery Gate
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, March 2009
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