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Submitted by William E. Clay, Morehead, Ky

John Marston Clay and Lucinda Chewning Clay came to Smith County, Texas between 1846 and 1850. According to the Tishomingo County, MS State Census of 1845, they resided there and Sid S. Johnson in his Volume 1, 1900 book, "Some Biographies Historical, Personal and Reminiscent", pg. 314, says "John M. Clay emigrated from MS in 1849". John and Lucinda were my great grandparents and Lucinda and the children appear in the 1850 Federal Census, ("My Subdivision", 19th Sept., enumerated by Eli E. Cowsar), as household #23, family #23. The children listed are:
  1. Robert C., Age 20, male, Alabama
  2. John M. (Jr.), Age 14, , male, Alabama
  3. Frances E., Age 12, female, Alabama
  4. Edwin L., Age 10, male, Mississippi

My research indicates, that in 1850, there were four children in addition to those listed above in the 1850 Census. They are:

  1. Martha Jane, Age 27, female, Alabama
  2. William Henry, Age 24 ?, male, Alabama
  3. Matthew, Age ?, male, Alabama
  4. Caroline G., Age ?, female, ?

Edwin L (Lawson) Clay was my grandfather and he married Sue Hill, 29 October 1867, in Smith Co, Texas. They appear in the 1870 Federal Census, Tyler Beat No.1, 27 Sept. 1870. In the 1880 Federal Census, they appear as dwelling #23, family #26, as enumerated by Jeff Burns (?), on 2 June 1880. The family is:

  1. E. L. Clay, Age 37, male, Mississippi
  2. S. H. Clay, Age 31, female, Arkansas
  3. Emmet, Age 9, male, Texas
  4. Arkie, Age 7, female, Texas
  5. Benny, Age 5, male, Texas

Edwin Lawson and Sue had three more sons. Lawsie was born 28 August 1878 and died 17 November 1879 in Tyler, Texas; James Cousins was born 9 November 1880 and died 11 May 1946 in Morehead, KY.; William Thomas was born 17 January 1883 and died 20 April 1932 in Tyler, Texas. James Cousins Clay was my father.

Edwin Lawson Clay was born 22 January 1843 in Mississippi and died 25 August 1890 in Tyler, Texas. Sue Hill Clay was born 6 April 1849 in Arkansas and died 3 July 1924 in Tyler, Texas. E. L., Sue, Arkie, Benjamin, Lawsie, and Will Tom are buried in the Clay plot in the SW corner of Oakwood Cemetery, near the Cotton Belt railroad spur.

A picture of the three Hill sisters taken about 1884, and their respective families.
Sitting on the ground from left:Shuford Cousins, James Cousins Clay, Clara P. Cousins, Arkie Clay, Alta Medlin, Will Tom Clay, Benjamin Clay, Sue Medlin.
In back standing:Jennie Hill Cousins, an unknown lady in bonnet, Edwin Lawson Clay, Henry Emmet Clay, John C. Medlin, Holbert Medlin, Willard Medlin.
Seated are:Mary M.Hill, Sue Hill Clay and Jonnie Hill Medlin. I am making best guesses about everyone except for the Clays.

I feel safe with Clay identities based upon other photos in my possession. The Clays, Cousins and Medlins married Hills. I cannot place the location of the picture except that it must be in Tyler.

The Edwin Lawson Clay home was on West Ferguson., in Tyler. E. L., as he was known, ran a furniture store on North Broadway, where he sold caskets, as well as furniture. In 1883, he donated about 4 acres of land to Oakwood Cemetery and proceeded to sell plots within that area. He was one of the founders of the Marvin Methodist church, played coronet in his Confederate Infantry (Roberts' Regiment, Co. G, 11th Texas Infantry) and organized a musical group upon his return to Tyler.

E. L's brothers, Robert C. and William H. helped to found the Baptist Church at Sand Flat and Robert lived in that area and preached at the church. William H. lived near E. L on what is now Elm St. E. L's daughter, Arkie, married Judge William A. Young of Morehead, KY and moved there around 1893. My father, James Cousins Clay was brought to Morehead to keep her from being homesick. Around 1915, Arkie divorced Judge Young, returned to Tyler and married I. H. Crutcher. She died in a car wreck in 1929 in Smith County near Garden Valley. E. L.'s son, Emmet, moved to Mexico around 1892 and married there. Benjamin and Will Tom lived at home, with Sue Hill Clay, until Ben built a home on the rear of the Clay property. In 1908, Will Tom married Paulette Rather, and they lived in the Clay home until her death in 1954. At that time, the Baptist Church bought the property and razed the house. This ended the existence of E. L. Clay's immediate family in Tyler.

A photo of the E. L. Clay home on West Ferguson St.,in Tyler. I believe it was taken ahout 1890 as the four ladies on the porch appear to be, L to R, Mrs. Mary Hill, the mother of the others, Johnnie Hill Medlin, Sue Hill Clay and Jennie Hill Cousins.


John Marston Clay was the son of Samuel Green Clay (1743-1809), and Martha (Patty) Wall, of Granville County, NC, and they lived about five miles from Oxford. According to the Clay Family Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 2, dated April 1969, pg. 39-40, the family members are: John Marston Clay migrated to Madison County, Alabama and married Lucinda Chewning there in 1818 Samuel Mitchell Clay also migrated to Madison County, Alabama, around 1819 and married Eliza Henderson there, in 1839. The 1830 Federal Census for Madison County, Alabama, (Vol. 85, 976.1 D29ja), shows a John M.Clay family of: 3m under 5; 1m 30-40; 2f, 5-10; 1f 2-30. Elizabeth Clay McGehee and her husband William moved to Benton County, Alabama around 1832. Some time between 1830 and 1845, John Marston moved his family to Tishomingo County, MS. The 1845 State Census of Tishomingo County shows a John M. Clay family of 6 males and 3 females. In 1843, Caroline G. Clay was married to Robert Parker in Tishomingo County, MS. In July of 1846 an article in the "History of Old Tishomingo County", mentions Robert Parker fighting with William H. and Matthew M. Clay. Matthew was killed in the fight. Caroline had come home, and Robert Parker was attempting a reconciliation. Mrs. Lucinda Clay attempted to protect Caroline, as did her brothers, William and Matthew. This is the first mention, I have found, of some of the names of John Marston and Lucinda Clay's children. From Tishomingo County, MS, I believe John Marston Clay moved directly to Smith County, Texas. I have not located the final resting place for John Marston Clay or Lucinda Chewning Clay but believe they must be buried near Tyler.

Old Settlers - John M. Clay & Family

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