This thorough and skillful farmer and a man of more than ordinary business capacity, is a representative of the
agricultural interests of Jefferson township, Williams county, Ohio, his home being in Section 34, where he owns
eighty acres of fine farming land under excellent cultivation. He was born in Richland county, Ohio. February 13,
1845, but in the spring of the same year, when only three months old, he was brought to Williams county, by his
parents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Glime) Clay, who located in Mill Creek township.
Jacob Clay, the great great grandfather, was born in the Principality of Hesse, Germany, and was one of the soldiers
hired to George III of England and sent to this country to fight against the Americans. He afterward joined the
Continental army, and helped to defeat the forces of Great Britain. At the close of the Revolutionary war his family
came and they settled near Hanover, York county, Pennsylvania. They reared a son, whom they named Jacob.
This son, Jacob Clay, the great grandfather, was born in Germany, January 30, 1769, and died August 17, 186o. Catharine,
his wife, was born March 30, 1772, and died September 5, 1850. To them was born a son,
John, the grandfather, September 15, 1794; died October 24, 1870. His wife, Margaret (Miller), to whom he was married
November 26, 1818, was born January 1, 1796, and died October 1, 1879. To them three sons and one daughter were
John Clay and family, together with his parents, removed from York county, Pennsylvania, to Richland county, Ohio,
in 1828. Jacob Clay, the father, was the second of the four children, the others being George, William and Catharine.
Jacob Clay was born November 21, 1821. Elizabeth (Glime), his wife, was born in Pennsylvania, July 11, 1823. Both
are enjoying good health in their home at West Unity, Ohio. They were married in Richland county, Ohio, in 1844.
One son, Jeremiah, was born here. They removed to Williams county, Ohio, in 1845, and here there were eight more
children born, four of whom died in infancy. Those who reached maturity were Jeremiah, William, Catharine, Sarah
Ann, and John H.
On the home farm in Mill Creek township, Jeremiah Clay passed the days of his boyhood and youth, remaining with
his parents until he married and removed to a home of his own. On February 15, 1864, he enlisted in Company G,
Sixty eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served until the war was ended and peace once more reigned, being mustered
out July 10, 1865. Returning to the old home in Mill Creek township, he worked at the carpenter's trade for three
On June 24, 1869, in Bryan, Ohio, Mr. Clay was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel and Sarah
Bear, both of whom were early settlers of Williams county, and are now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Clay were born
six children, three of whom died when young; those living are Sydney S., a minister of the Methodist Episcopal
Church; Martha D., now the wife of O. L. Kelly; and Charles B.
Mr. Clay has spent the greater part of his life in Williams county, but lived for nine years in Gorham township,
Fulton county, Ohio, and two years in Michigan. With the exception of six years during which he was engaged in
mercantile business in Pulaski, Ohio, he has always devoted his time and attention to farming, and has been remarkably
successful in carrying on that occupation, with which he is thoroughly familiar. No man takes a deeper interest
in the prosperity of the county, and it is safe to say that few have contributed in a larger degree in making it
one of the best in this great commonwealth. Politically he adheres to the Republican party, is one of its most
earnest advocates, and takes a great interest in its success. He is an earnest Christian gentleman, a member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which his wife and children also belong, and all take a leading and active part
in its work. The family is one of the highest respectability, and occupies a prominent position in social circles.
Fraternally, Mr. Clay is a member of Evans Post, No. i49, G. A. R., and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Northwestern, Ohio Biographies
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