Current markers

Clayton, W. L. and Susan

Main Image
Year: 2004
Marker Number: 00102
Street: 5300 Caroline
City: Houston
Zip Code: 77004
Longitude: 29 43.579
Latitude: 95 23.130
Key Map: 493W
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Mississippi native William Lockhart Clayton (1880-1966) left school early to become a court reporter. His skill attracted an executive of the American Cotton Company and he moved first to St. Louis then to the New York office the following year. He soon became Assistant General Manager in 1904. He organized a partnership with his sister's husband Frank E. Anderson and the latter's brother Monroe D. Anderson in forming Anderson, Clayton & Company in Oklahoma City. The were joined in 1905 by Will's brother Benjamin. By 1916, two years after the Houston ship channel opened, and in the midst of World War I, the firm moved its headquarters to Houston. During the war Clayton served on the Committee on Cotton Distribution of the War Industries Board, then returned to the firm, which greatly expanded into international markets. Before World War II, he returned to government service, later becoming Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (1945-47) under George C. Marshall. He is widely recognized as a principal architect of the Post-World War II Marshall Plan. Susan Vaughan (1881-1960), born in Kentucky, wed Will Clayton in 1902. She worked with noted architect Birdsall P. Briscoe on their home at this site, later advising him on other family homes in the River Oaks subdivision. Noted for her architectural taste, Sue was also known for philanthropic work, raising funds for the Fine Arts Museum, supporting women's suffrage and helping build low-income housing. The Claytons bequeathed their nearby home to Houston's public library. It is now the site of one of the country's foremost centers for genealogical research. The Claytons' legacy continues to enhance Houston culture and resources and their descendants still support programs and institutions the couple began. (2004)



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