Colonel Lewellen Clay

Colonel Lewellen Clay came to Kiowa County with his family at the age of 15, from Charlotte, MI. He was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 1899 and admitted to practice in the Supreme Courts of the Territory in 1903. He came to Hobart in 1901 and started his law practice. He was especially prominent in the Masons.

On Dec. 31, 1902, Mr. Clay married Miss Edna Finley, daughter of the first county Judge of Kiowa County, Harris Finley. Immediately after the wedding they moved into the new house Mr. Clay had built for at 215 N. Randlett. The Clay children were Lillian (Mrs. Lyle Nunn), Leslie, Donice and Muriel.

Many of the pioneers had a tendency toward superstition. One day, when several were visiting in Mr. Clay's office, they started talking about superstitions such as walking under a ladder; throwing salt over the left shoulder; looking at the new moon over the left shoulder; black cat crossing the path; broken mirror bringing 7 years bad luck, etc. One man made the statement that if you wanted assisstance in solving your problems, you could get it by picking up a Bible, closing your eyes, opening it at random, placing your finger on a passage, opening your eyes and reading the verse. The men didn't believe him and he said he would illustrate it. He told them he had been worrying about finances and could get help this way. To prove it, he picked up the bible, closed his eyes, opened it at random, placed his finger on a verse and read: "And Judas went forth and hanged himself". He decided he had not concentrated enough and tried it again. This time the verse read: "go thou and do likewise".

Mr. And Mrs. C. L. Clay
The News-Republican

On New Year's Eve, 1902, C. L. Clay and Miss Edna Finley were united in marriage at the residence of the bride's parents. Reverend Upshaw officiated. The bride was dressed in white silk and the groom wore the conventional black. The ceremony was performed at 7:27 p.m., and was followed by a supper. The rooms were beautifully decorated with holly wreaths, evergreens and mistletoe. The table was beautifully decorated for the feast.

Clay had built a nice little cottage in the new addition north of Hill's addition and they will be at home to their many riends after the first of February. A number of costly and useful presents were received by the newly-married pair from their many friends and relatives who wish them all happiness and prosperity through life. The News-Republican joins with them in wishes for future happiness and welfare.

The following is a note and some excerpts from the journal of C. L. Clay, sent by Mr. Clay's granddaughter. This information remains the property of Sallie Groves

"Your suggestion to write up something about my grandparents was revived when I remembered some pages passed down to me. My uncle, L. B. Clay, better known to Hobart people as "Stub", typed up stories told him by both my grandparents. They are written in the first person, as they were told to my uncle. One of the exciting things about this "journal" of sorts, is that my grandfather died in 1936, my grandmother in 1946, and my uncle died in 1952. So to have these writings at all is a blessing. So I give you excerpts from this document."

From Colonel L. Clay: (He came to Oklahoma in 1889)

"I was born in Michigan, my father was English, and my mother was French-Canadian. When I was born, a neighbor offered my father a sheep to let him name me. My father accepted, and I received the name of Colonel Lewellen Clay, which was all that either my father or I received out of it. No sheep was ever given."

"I was 15 years old when we decided to sell out and leave Michigan and come down to Oklahoma, where the land was new and there was plenty of work. I did not know that I would never see Michigan again. We stored our furniture in one end of a box car and boarded up the other end, and put what wheat we had into that. We all slept on the wheat coming down from Michigan to Guthrie, OK."

"When we got to Guthrie, we had to buy new tickets to Kingfisher. My father did not have enough money to buy all of us tickets, so he bought tickets to Kingfisher for himself, my mother, my brother and my sister. I was to try to get to Kingfisher with some teamster."

"But.....I actually beat them there. I slipped around to the front of the train, and when the engineer was not looking, I climbed on the cow catcher and rode that into Kingfisher. My folks were surprised when I was there to meet them. In fact, I beat them into Kingfisher by two box cars and a chair car."

"Here is another quick one from these wonderful pages:"

"About the only time that I ever carried a gun was when I took the family to the circus and everyone carried a gun then. All were hoping deep down in their hearts that a lion or tiger would break out and they would shoot him. If one had broken out, he would have received so many slugs of lead, they could melted him, and poured him back in the cage, because everyone would have taken a shot at him."

"And this one from my grandmother, Edna Finley Clay."

"One time Colonel and I were out riding in a buggy locating section lines in Kiowa County, (Colonel was an abstracter). We came onto a friendly Indian, Harry Something or other with his wife. Harry, after talking to my husband, turned to his wife and said, "Maybe so, me trade em squaw". Without changing facial expressions at all, the squaw answered, "Maybe so, me cut your head off"".

"Thanks for the opportunity to share these tales.......Sallie Sue Nunn Groves."

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