County Seat of Barbour County
Clayton, the county seat of Barbour County is located geographically in the center of the county. The town was located at the headwaters of the Pea and Choctawhatchee rivers on the historic road from Hobdy's Bridge over the Pea River to Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River. By 1818 there were a few settlers in the area around Clayton but settlement began in earnest around 1823. The town was named for Augustine S. Clayton, a Georgia jurist and congressman. Clayton became the county seat of Barbour County in 1833 and was laid out on a central courthouse square plan. The first Circuit Court was held in Clayton on September 23 1833. The Clayton post office was established in September 1835 with John F. Keener as postmaster. Clayton, with a population of 200 was incorporated on December 21, 1841 by the Alabama Legislature. Its first mayor after incorporation was John Jackson.
Clayton's Architectural Heritage
Clayton has a rich heritage with four properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Henry D. Clayton House is the birthplace of Henry DeLamar Clayton Jr., author of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. The 1859 Gothic Revival-style Miller-Martin Townhouse is noteworthy for the hand-painted murals on the entrance hall ceiling depicting the four seasons as well as other designs on the parlor and dining room ceilings. The Octagon House, built in 1859-1861 by Benjamin Franklin Petty, a carriage and furniture merchant, is the only antebellum example of octagon-style architecture in Alabama and one of the few in the country. On May 10, 1872, the mission of Grace Episcopal Church was formally accepted in the Diocese of Alabama as Grace Church. Construction began in 1875 and was completed February 26, 1876. Clayton is also known for its Whiskey Bottle Tombstone, which was featured in "Ripley's Believe It Or Not."