Records show as early as 1818 that a Mr. Elliot laid claim to land in the southeastern part of Illinois now known
as Clay County. In 1842, Clay County, named for Mr. Henry Clay, was created from areas of Lawrence, Fayette and
Wayne counties with Maysville as the first seat of government. This was most likely due to Maysville’s location
on the national road between St. Louis and Cincinnati.
Even though Clay had some early settlers, it wasn’t until the late 1830’s that signs of real growth started showing
with the arrival of Judge Apperson, Judge S. Hopkins, Mr. Stanford and Mr. Lee followed by the Tender, McCollum
and Cochran families. New development meant changes and amongst them came the relocation of the county seat to
Louisville in 1842.
Penetrated diagonally by the Little Wabash River, Clay County is known for its fine Oak & Ash lumber. With
over one-half of the county under cultivation, everywhere you look there are fields of Indian corn, flax, tobacco,
oats and hay.
Making up the county of Clay are Blair, Bible Grove, Clay City, Harter, Hoosier, Larkinsburg, Louisville, Oskaloosa,
Pixley, Stanford, Songer and Xenia Townships. The town of Flora, located in Harter Township, was and is still considered
today to be one of the largest trading centers in Clay County.
Please check the time period your Ancestors were in Clay County as the present area, or parts of it, were formerly
included in the following Counties (links are provided to each County):
Clay County Courthouse
P.O. Box 160
Louisville, IL 62858
Townships of Clay County:
Bible Grove Township
Clay City Township
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