Notes for Calvin "Cap" CLAYTON: BIOGRAPHICAL TEXT: Research by: Anthony Wayne Clayton. Colorado Springs, Co. 1998. Information from personal research and: Byron Fuller of Ft. Worth, TX - Rose Clayton Cochran of New Albany and Arlington, VA - Shan Clayton of Ripley, MS - Robin Clayton of Walnut, MS - Billie Clayton of Potts Camp. MS
Marriages of Tippah County 1858 - 1899 Compiled by Tippah County Historical Society, Ripley, MS CLAYTON, C SMITH, M E Jan 17 1867 3 1 G He married one time.
1860 Tippah Co. MS July 23, p. 98 #673-667 P.O. Orizaba Samuel K. Clayton 39 farmer Real estate $3577.00. Personal property $7075.00. Nancy 41 KY Albert 18 MS Mary J. 16 MS Calvin 14 MS Angelina 12 MS Sarah J. 9 MS Emily 7 MS Robert 5 MS Josephics 2 MS
1870 Census Tippah County, MS - page 158 - household 51 Clayton C. age 23 MS M. E. 17 SC Bob 2 MS
1880 United States Census Dwelling: District 3 Census Place: Beat 3, Tippah, Mississippi 431B Calvin CLAYTON Self 33 MS Occ: Farmer Fa: TN Mo: TN Mary E. CLAYTON Wife 24 MS Occ: Keeping House Fa: SC Mo: MC Robert CLAYTON Son 11 MS Fa: MS Mo:MS Nathaniel CLAYTON Son 5 MS Fa: MS Mo:MS
1900 Benton Co., MS Census Soundex V. 4, ED. 7, Sheet 6, Line 53 Calvin Clayton Feb 1846 54 MS MS MS Mary E. Sep 1851 48 SC SC SC (Mary Elizabeth Smith) Bunnie Oct 1880 19 MS Minter Apr 1883 17 MS Allie Sep 1885 14 MS Carrie Dec 1888 11 MS Macy Aug 1892 7 MS
Speculation: Possible Battles: Peyton's Mill ( September 19, 1862) Iuka ( September 19th, 1862) near Ripley ( November 20, 1862) Operations along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad ( May 19 - July 4 1863 ) Chalmers' Raid in West Tennessee and North Mississippi ( October 4 - 17, 1863 ) Colliersville ( November 3, 1863 ) A.J. Smith's 2nd Mississippi Invasion ( August 1864 ) Tupelo ( July 14, 1864 ) Wilson's Raid ( March-April 1865 )
Information Taken from: "Compendium of the Confederate Armies: MISSISSIPPI" by Stewart Sifakis. Card Catalog Number : E 568.553 1995
THE CALVIN CLAYTON STORY. AS RELATED BY ROBIN CLAYTON.
Our story begins in the New Hope Community below Ripley, February 25, 1845. The third Child of Sam and Nancy Clayton is born, and they name him Calvin C. Clayton. Little is known of his childhood, but being the son of Sam Clayton, it isn't hard to believe that he had plenty of work to do. Virgin stands of timber had to be cut down, log burnings, tearing up plows on new ground, killing hogs in cold weather, putting it in the smokehouse, going to school in the fall, going to church and staying all day, and getting an occasional rainy day to fish of hunt. Thus was the early life of Calvin Clayton, backwoods farmboy. Bigger muscles and less stress than a modern kid. All of this changed as the Civil War Loomed overhead. Every able bodied man was expected to fight and the south figured they could "whup them Yankees" in 6 months time and still get their cotton out. War was a thing of Flory perhaps to a kid like Calvin Clayton and that might have lured him off to Shiloh. Family legend seems to say he was present at the hostilities, but the 16 year old came out without a scratch. Another family legend states that Cap went off to the war with his Uncle Thomas Clayton, but where or when can not be proven.
Another legend is that Calvin was with the Mississippi Partisan Rangers when Colonel Falkner Commanded the outfit. Documented proof shows Calvin officieally joined the 7th Mississippi Cavalry, Company D, at Orizaba, April 1, 1864. He was enlisted by Lieutenant L. G. McGill, the Assistant Surgeon of the outfit, for a 3 year hitch. Calvin was a private, had just turned 18 two months before, and was probably a surgeon's assistant. Mason, Calvin's youngest son thought he had started out learning about dentistry, but ended up studying doctoring. Calvin's father Sam was a Doctor, and probably taught his son some of the Rudiments of Medicine. From this period, Calvin was nicknamed "Sawbones". By 1864, the war had ran roughshod over Tippah County, and the country in general. The pressure of being shot at, the loneliness of being away from home, staring death in the face day after day was probably a little to much for an 18 year old.
One night the outfit was camped next to a river. Calvin's father Sam had sent Lep Clayton, one of his salves along to make sure if Calvin was killed that his body would be returned home. Calvin and Lep decided it was better back home and they were going back. They geared up their horses, and found what they thought was a likely place to cross the river. They jumped in, horse and all, only to go in over their heads. With much difficulty they got across, got turned around in the woods, and wandered around all night. When the sun rose they were back where they started, across the river from the camp.
Calvin crossed the river, rode back into the camp, and asfar as legend goes, finished the war with the outfit. After the war Calvin wandered around a little. Family stories say he found his wife Mary Elizabeth Smith in South Carolina, where she was born September 8, 1851, The writer knows nothing more of her family. Calvin composedly went through North Carolina, Tennessee, and back to Mississippi. Tippah County, Records show the marriage January 17, 1867. Their first son, Robert Percy Clayton was born at New Hope December 2, 1869. They had two girls who died in infancy named Lillian and Ora. Dates Unknown. The 1870 census taker listed Calvin and Mary as present in Tippah County, along with little Bob. Their second son, Adolphus Nathaniel Clayton was born November 28, 1874. The 1880 census listed all of these folks as residents of Tippah County, Mississippi. By this time Calvin had built a dog rot house on the east side of the Kent-Williams Road facing Sam Clayton's house. It was built of Virgin Pine Planks that ran vertically, and the roof was made of hand hewn wooden shingles. A local resident, Miss Mary Thomas said when the house caught fire years later, it burned rapidly to the ground. The next child born was Burnie "Bun" Clayton, born October 24, 1880. He is more than likely the son responsible for Calvin's nickname "Cap". Calvin would tell the older boys to perform a certain task, and one of them would respond by saying "Yessir Captain." Because of his service in the Army. They said it so much it got slurred to "Cap" and the nickname stuck. The next child born was Minter Hardy Clayton, known to most as "Mint", born April 25, 1883. The next two kids were girls, Jessie Allie Clayton was born September 1, 1885. Corrie Edna Clayton was born December 31, 1888. The last child of Calvin and Mary Clayton, Still alive at the writing of this article is Calvin Mason Clayton, born August 6, 1891. Big Hugh Clayton, the son of Calvin's brother Joe related to the author a story he heard about Calvin. It seems all the doctors in the state was required to get a license to practice medicine. Calvin had been doctoring for sometime, and even had his doctors full of medicine, when state officials got after him to get his doctor's license, which he fully did not intend to do. After several warnings state officials informed Calvin to get a license if he intended to keep on doctoring, or go to jail the next time they caught him doing so. Supposedly, Cap quit doctoring. This was probably around 1882, the year Mississippi passed a law requiring doctors licenses. The reconstruction era found bad financial times in Tippah County. Sam Clayton lost most of what he had owned before the war, due to mortgage debt and the loss of his labor force, his sons and the freedom of the slaves. People went in debt after the war to try and rebuild what had been devastated. Perhaps Calvin Clayton couldn't pay his debts by hard work, so had to use other means. January 1891 finds Calvin Clayton and Mary selling their farm to wealthy Tippah County, Land Swapper Richard J. Thurmond. Mason said, Calvin stayed in Tippah county, until 1896. It is possible Calvin share cropped for Thurmond. Evidence is lacking. What seemed to be a glorious opportunity for Calvin loomed on the horizon in some rich land over in Benton County. A poor, tired, 50 year old Calvin Clayton was determined to seek his break in life across the Tippah River from his uncles William, Thomas and Artemas in Tippah Bottom, 1896 finds Calvin in Benton County trying to make a go of his farm. Mason, Calvin's son was 5 years old at the time, and said Calvin had mortgaged 300 acres of land in Tippah Bottom from a Mrs. Wingate out of Memphis, who had a local go between by the name of John Nowlin. Attempts to find the location of this land have been futile. At any rate Calvin was doomed in this endeavor from the start. 1896 was a Disaster year for farmers all over the state. Calvin Clayton was no exception. first came the torrents of rain that ran off the hillsides and made fertile Tippah Bottom a swamp that year, to the point that only Robert Percy Clayton, Calvin's oldest boy was able to get any cotton out beaus he lived at the foot of the hills, the only place not flooded. The winter of 1896 was so cold that 8 to 10 of Calvin's mules froze to death. Then people who had borrowed money from Calvin were unable to pay because they were in the same situation. In the middle of 1896, Robert Percy married Mary Alice Clayton, Artemas Clayton's daughter. This was the beginning of the end for Calvin. Calvin's clan had been living on the Buck Ford Road on the east side of Tippah Botton, between sections 31 and 36 township 4 south range 1 west in Benton County, at the base of the hill, next to the Buck Ford Road. Nat bought a sawmill after this, he and Calvin worked at that. Nat went across the river in 1899 and married Thomas Clayton's daughter, Viola Clayton. Nat then bought 50 acres in township 4. range 1 west, section 1 in the southeast corner, which was the Brady Place. Calvin moved out of the log cabin he had been living in into a fairly decent place to live, while Nat moved in with uncle Thomas. As if Calvin hadn't had enough hard knocks, he diagnosed himself as having a tumor on his lungs. What the Civil War and crop failures didn't do, a tumor did. Calvin C. Clayton died at the Brady Place, on the present site of Brady Lake February 17, 1905. Calvin read his Bible, he could have related to Ruth 1:21; I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty. Came back to New Hope Methodist Cemetery in a Box. With no means of supporting themselves Mary and the younger kids moved back in their old home in New Hope rent free, thanks to the fact A. N. Clayton, Calvin's brother had bought it back from Thurmond in 1901. They stayed there until approximately 1907, when Nat got them a place to live over in Benton County. Nat was living at the Will Ford Place when Viola, Nat's wife, was about to give birth to their second daughter Ruby, Mason said he was pulling corn in Bowen Bottom when someone rode up on a horse and told him his mother who had been helping deliver the baby had a stroke about 5pm. Mason said he hurried over to the Will Ford Place in range 1 west, Township 4, 80acres in the West half of the Southeast quarter section of section 23. The stroke had done so much damage that Mason's mother did not recognize him, and she died later that night, November 8, 1909. She was buried at New Hope between Calvin on her left, Lillian and Ora on her right. Robert Percy settled in section 26, Mint settled in section 23, and later in 22, all in Township 4 south, range 1 west in Benton County, Nat and Bun moved off near Blytheville Arkansas in1923, taking their families. Allie married Thomas Clayton and stayed near Potts Camp. Corrie married Joe Crouch and moved to Memphis. Mason married Hildred Stone and settled around Potts Camp. Thats what happened to the Calvin C. "Cap" Clayton Family of Tippah County, Mississippi. Finished Saturday, June 3, 1989.
I met a man at the Whittentown Sing who I told some of this to. He told Me in 1980 He Farmed Tippah Bottom Across the Tippah River where Cap was. He said He had a Big John Deere witha 24 foot disc and He was Dragging up Trace Chains and stuff from the Mule Era. He said one day He got near The River and That Big Tractor Hung Something with that 24 foot disc and the Tractor went straight Up. He Could not pull it Up. This in the same section of land Uncle Nat used to work in the 1890's, Section 36, Which was in Extreme West Tippah before 1870 when the Carpetbaggers Sliced Tippah to less than Half it's Original size to make Benton and Union. Anyway, This Fellow said He went to Abels Store to get some stuff and told the Store Owner who said a Boiler for a Sawmill went under in That Vicinity and They never could get it up. Wonder if it was Calvin and Nat's ? 1896 was not a good year for The Tippah Bottom Claytons. It got rough enough R.P. went back to New Hope to work Dr. Sams Daughter's Emily and Nannie's place as they were up in Years in 1905. I saw the 3 acres they gave to Robert Percy where I think Clarence was born like Robert Percy and Calvin, all 3 Tippah County Boys. My dad was Born in Benton, My brothers at New Albany at Shands. But I was born at The Tippah County Hospital in Ripley. Maybe the water made Me and Clarence Guitar Pickers. Robin Clayton 12 28 2004
More About Calvin "Cap" CLAYTON: Burial: February 20, 1905, New Hope, MS.. Military active duty: Private .
More About Calvin "Cap" CLAYTON and Mary Elizabeth SMITH: Marriage: January 17, 1867, New Hope, Tippah, MS.
Children of Calvin "Cap" CLAYTON and Mary Elizabeth SMITH are: