ELI CLAYTON.-An enterprising and well-to-do agriculturist. Eli Clayton is prosperously engaged in his free and independent vocation on one of the pleasantest and most desirable homesteads in Cass township. It has a fine location in section sixteen, and with its fertile land and comfortable and convenient set of buildings invariably attracts the attention of the passer-by, and indicates to what good purpose the proprietor has employed his time and means. Coming from pioneer stock, he was born August 31,. 1866, in Cass township, a son of William Clayton.

Francis Clayton, grandfather of Eli, was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Acquiring a practical education in the public schools, he in company with his brother George subsequently embarked in the coal business, and for several years operated a number of mines. Visiting America in 1842, he looked about for a favorable business location, and spent a short time in Sullivan county. Going back to his native land in 1843, he remained there a year, and in 1844 returned to this country with his wife and five children, being eight weeks and three days in sailing across the ocean to New Orleans. From that city he came by steamer up the river to Evansville, Indiana, from there journeying with two four-horse teams to Greene county, bringing with him his household goods and provisions enough to last his family a year. At first he found shelter with friends, but ere long he bought a tract of land in Jefferson township. Several acres of the tract had been cleared, an orchard had been set out, and a two-roomed frame house and a log house had been erected. He soon built a mill, which he operated by horse power, and there ground both wheat and corn, the bolt being operated by hand. Selling that place in 1851, he purchased land on Burrow creek, in the north part of Cass township, and having improved the water power, built a grist mill in the place now known as Caledonia. There he lived as a farmer and miller until his death in December, 1853. He was twice married. His first wife, the grandmother of Eli Clayton, was a lifelong resident of England, and at her death she left three children: William (father of Eli), Eli and Jeremiah. By his second marriage he had two children: Frances, now Mrs. Snow, and John. All of his children were born in England.

Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, William Clayton attended school when young, and afterwards assisted his father in the mines. Soon after coming with the family to Indiana, he married Ann Lunn, who was born in England, and came to Greene county, Indiana, with her parents, Thomas and Christiana (Dolby) Lunn, who there improved a farm on which they spent their remaining years. He then settled on land that is now included in the home property of his son Eli, who was born in the cabin made of round logs that he then built. Laboring with unceasing toil, he cleared a large part of the wild land, placed it under cultivation, and later erected a set of frame buildings, and here resided until his death. To him and his wife eleven children were born, namely: Mary, Sarah, Christiana, Thomas, Francis, Rachel, Martha, Fanny, Emma, Eli and William.

Reared on the home farm, Eli Clayton gleaned his early education during the short terms of the district school, and as soon as practicable was initiated into the mysteries of farming. At the time of his marriage he bought forty acres of land in Jefferson township, but a few years later sold out and purchased the parental homestead, where he has since been busily employed in general farming, his labors being substantially rewarded by the abundant crops that he raises each season.

Mr. Clayton married, April 23, 1890, Mabel Shepherd. She was born July 30, 1870, in Haddon township, Sullivan county, which was also the birthplace of her father, Francis M. Shepherd, and the place in which her grandfather, William Shepherd, settled as a pioneer. Receiving excellent educational advantages, Francis M. Shepherd taught school when a young man, and afterwards turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, for a number of years being one of the leading farmers of Jefferson township, where his death occurred November 14, 1889. The maiden name of his wife was Sarah Willis. She was born in Haddon township, a daughter of John A. Willis, who was born in 1800 in Virginia, but was reared and married in Kentucky. Coming from there to Indiana about 1830, he entered one hundred and sixty acres of government land in Haddon township, and from the wilderness hewed out a farm. He built first a cabin of hickory logs, riving the boards to cover the roof, and putting in a stick and clay chimney. He had no stove for many years, his wife cooking by the open fireplace. He raised sheep and flax, and his wife, carded, spun and wove the cloth used in making garments for the family. In 1859, having succeeded well in improving his land, Mr. Willis built a substantial house from oak logs, with a good brick chimney and a porch. He subsequently bought the brick school house which had been erected on his land, and converted it into a good dwelling house, in which he resided until his death, at the age of eighty-six years. He was twice married. His second wife, Mrs. Clayton's maternal grandmother, was Sarah Boatman. She was born in 1812, in Jessamine county, Kentucky, and died aged eighty-three years. By this marriage Mr. Willis reared ten children: Ann E., Mary, William, Sarah, Marion F., Tilghman H., Margaret, James A., Ruah L. and Laura. By his first marriage he had two children: John and Richard. He joined the Methodist church after coming to Indiana, and became a licensed exhorter, and his wife and all of his children belonged to the same church. Mrs. Sarah (Willis) Shepherd is still a resident of Jefferson township. Mr. and Mrs. Clayton are the parents of three children, namely: Iva, Hazel and William Russell. Politically, Mr. Clayton is a loyal supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, and religiously both he and his wife are adherents of the Christian church, and the wife is a devout member of that denomination.