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Biography - JOHN S. CLAYTON

The gentleman whose name appears at the head of this article is a representative of one of the oldest and best known families in Deer Park township, LaSalle county, Illinois, and was born on the farm on which he now resides, June 18, 1837. His father being a well-to-do farmer, John S. in his youth was given good educational advantages. He has all his life given his attention to agricultural pursuits. Now he is carrying on both general farming and a live-stock business, buying, feeding, and shipping stock to the Chicago market.

Mr. Clayton has in his veins a mixture of English and German blood and counts among his ancestors men of sterling worth. His father, William Clayton, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1806, of English parents, and spent the early years of his life in Brooke county, Virginia, now West Virginia, coming from there in 1834 to Illinois. Here he bought several hundred acres of land, including the famous "Deer Park," and although he owned much other land he made this his home until his death, in 1885. When the town was organized he was made its first supervisor. He owned a large tract of land in Iroquois county, Illinois, and in his later life he built a town upon it and called it Claytonville. He retired from business at an advanced age and during the closing years of his life made his home with his son John S. In early life he was a Free-soil Democrat, but became a Republican when that party was organized. He was a strong Abolitionist at the time when that question was a vital one. In stature he was about five feet and eight inches; his weight, one hundred and sixty pounds. His wife, nee Elizabeth Puntney, died in 1873. She was of German and English descent, and lived a life of good deeds. Like her husband, she inclined toward Universalism, but really never got very far away from true Methodism. Her children were: James W., who was robbed and murdered near Denver in 1874; Sarah E., deceased, who was the wife of David Dick; Unity A., deceased; Carrie, now Mrs. J. C. Reynolds; William R.; John S.; George W., who was murdered near Fredericksburg", Texas, in 1871; Ellen C., the wife of Captain S: A. Lodge, of Monticello, Illinois; and Manning U., deceased.

In December, 1861, John S. Clayton was married to Julia A. Surdam, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Surdam, who came to Illinois from Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Clayton's three children are Grant F., D. O., a graduate of the American School of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Missouri; he is now successfully practicing his profession in Chadron, Nebraska; Charles S., now a student in the Pacific School of Osteopathy and Infirmary at Los Angeles, California; and Glennie A., who married Charles G. Piercy, and both are living with her parents in Deer Park township.

Mr. Clayton has affiliated with the Republican party since attaining his majority, and has been one of the promoters of its interest and welfare as a private citizen.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 377-378.

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