MJH, Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project © 2000


JOSEPH CLAYTON was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, in 1844. His father, Henry Clayton, was also a native of Ohio, and was born in 1808. He moved to Indiana in 1852, and engaged in farming, but when the war broke out was one of the first to enlist. He served three years and lost a foot at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek. He also bore an honorable record as a soldier in the Mexican War. He married Margaret Young, by whom he had four children -- Henry, Martha, Mary and Joseph.

After the death of his mother in 1850, Joseph Clayton, then a lad of six years, lived with Thomas Alexander for eight years. When the war began he was one among the first to offer his services, and although but a mere boy, enlisted August 17, 1861, in the First Ohio cavalry, and performed four long years of honorable service. His first experience in a battle was had at West Liberty, Kentucky. He also participated in the siege of Corinth. His company for some time served as special escort to General Mitchell while at Cincinnati. He was shot in the lung at the terrible battle of Russellville, Ala., on the 3rd of July, 1862, and for several months afterward was closely confined in a hospital. He was mustered out of the service January 20, 1865.

After the war he spent a few years at farming in Ohio, from which state he went to Iowa, where he remained two years.

The spring of 1873 found him on a homestead in Cedar township, Buffalo county, Nebr. He was one of the first actual settlers in the township, and there was but one house on the road between his homestead and Kearney, the county seat. He built a good, comfortable sod house, and proved upon his claim in 1875. The Pawnee Indians frequently passed through the settlement during the first year or so of his residence there, but he never experienced any difficulty with them. He had more fault to find with the grasshoppers in 1874 than with the occasional presence of a few Indians. The former took, without asking, everything he had that was green, while the latter usually begged hard for what little they got.

Joseph Clayton was married May 8, 1879 to Miss Rosey Ewer. She is the daughter of Rural and Ellen (Wamsley) Ewer, and was born in Grant county, Wis., March 9, 1859. Her father was a Pennsylvanian by birth, but emigrated to Wisconsin when a small boy. He was a soldier in the late war, and died in the service at Helena Ark. Her mother was born in England, but when a mere child came to America with her parents.

Three bright children bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clayton -- Raymond E., born July 9, 1882; and Mary May, born May 5, 1887; and Earnest, born March 4, 1890.

Mr. Clayton owns a splendid farm in the Cedar Creek valley, and has it well improved. He has always had great faith in the future development of this country, and even when the grasshoppers robbed him of his crop he did not become discouraged. He always believed exactly the opposite from the man who said, "It is simply a fight between the grasshoppers and drought on the one hand and the plow on the other, and he believed the former would win." He has held various local offices, and is commander of Cedar Mountain Post, No. 220, Department of Nebraska, G.A.R.

From BIOGRAPHICAL SOUVENIR of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, and Phelps in Nebraska, Chicago, F.A. Battey and Company, 1890.
Submitted by Rodney Stover.

Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project