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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM L. CLAYTON, editor of the Times-Chronicle, which is printed at Jenkintown, and ranks among the very best of the country weeklies of Eastern Pennsylvania, and a member of the Pen and Pencil Club, Philadelphia, is one of the best known journalists in Montgomery county. He is a native of Lower Gwynedd township, born at Springhouse, April 4, 1866, a son of Levi R. and Cecelia (Scarlett) Clayton, grandson of William and Ann (Roads) Clayton, and great-grandson of Abraham and Margaret (Lukens) Clayton. The latter named couple resided on a farm located on Byberry Road, in Moreland township, and the greater part of the business career of Abraham Clayton was devoted to agricultural pursuits.

William Clayton (grandfather) was born on the homestead farm, in June, 1801. He acquired an education in the ordinary schools of the neighborhood, and on attaining manhood he devoted his attention to teaching in the winter months, that being the only time the schools were kept open in the rural districts, and farming during the summer months. He was a highly educated man, and greatly esteemed in the community in which he resided. He held the office of justice of the peace for a number of years, discharging the duties with credit to himself and satisfaction to all who were concerned. He succeeded his uncle Ezekial on his father’s farm, whereon he resided up to the time of his decease, in 1848. His wife, Ann (Roads) Clayton, daughter of Samuel and Abigail (Jenkins) Roads, and a descendant of an old Moreland family, bore him the following named children: Edwin, a resident of Philadelphia; Samuel R., a hotel keeper at Edgehill; Dr. A. H., a resident of Richboro; Levi R., deceased, mentioned at length hereinafter; Margaret, deceased, who was the wife of Harman Lauer.

Levi R. Clayton (father) was born in Moreland township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, September 5, 1843. The greater part of his life was spent at Springhouse, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits. In politics Mr. Clayton was an earnest Republican from the time of the organization of the party in the year 1856, He was deeply interested in the success of its principles and candidates, and made it a point never to fail in his attendance at the primaries and at the elections. He held the office of school director in Gwynedd township for a number of years, and also filled other minor positions, but was in no sense an office seeker. He married Cecilia Scarlett, daughter of Robert Scarlett, an old resident of Gwynedd township, and a well known contractor and road builder. Their children were: 1. William L., born April 4, 1866, mentioned hereinafter. 2. Clifford J., who married Minnie Wheatland, daughter of William Wheatland, and his death occurred April 28, 1902. 3. Levi J., born February 19, 1870; he obtained his educational training in the schools of Montgomery county, and upon laying aside his text books he served an apprenticeship at the printer’s trade with the Hatboro Spirit, a local paper of his native county. Later he entered the employment of the Philadelphia Press, and has continued with that enterprising journal to the present time. He married, August 26, 1896, Della Wilgus, born August 16, 1870, died October 27, 1901, a daughter of Ellwood and Ellen Wilgus. 4. Carrie G., who died at the age of fourteen years. 5. Robert, who died at the age of two years. Levi R. Clayton, father of these children, who was a most estimable citizen and highly valued in the community, died in 1895. He survived his wife many years, her death having occurred in December, 1876.

William L. Clayton received a public school education which thoroughly qualified him for the activities of life. He began his active career in the office of the Hatboro Spirit, remaining for four years. In 1886 he went west and was employed in printing offices at Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California. After a residence of five years on the Pacific coast, Mr. Clayton came east on account of the serious illness of his father, and subsequently became employed on the Philadelphia Inquirer. On April 7, 1894, he entered into co-partnership with his brother, Levi J. Clayton, in the publication of the Jenkintown Times. On January 1, 1895, they purchased the Jenkintown Chronicle, and at once changed the name of their paper to the Jenkintown Times-Chronicle. Mr. Clayton is pre-eminently a self-made man, and has risen entirely by his own exertions to his present responsible position. He is fearless and independent in his management of the paper, and under his editorship the enterprise has prospered to a wonderful degree, and the circulation has increased year by year. He is thoroughly respected and esteemed by all who have the honor of his acquaintance. Mr. Clayton is a member of Friendship Lodge, No. 403, Free and Accepted Masons; Abington Chapter, No. 410, Royal Arch Masons, of Jenkintown; and Peace and Love Lodge, No. 337, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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