The City of Clayton, Missouri is located in Mid St. Louis County. It became the St. Louis County Seat in 1877, one year after the City of St. Louis separated itself from the County. Important roads for Clayton are Interstate 170, Forest Park Parkway, Big Bend Blvd, Clayton Road, Brentwood Blvd, Meramec Ave, Maryland Ave and others. The population for Clayton has remained fairly steady over the decades.
Clayton is the location of many business and the headquarters of several corporations. One of the oldest, Caleres, formerly known as the Brown Shoe Company, was founded in 1878 had its headquarters on Maryland Avenue. Barry-Wehmiller Companies, another company headquartered in Clayton, has been in business since 1885. Other companies and businesses in Clayton are Belden, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Centene Corporation, Spartech Corporation, Graybar, and Olin Corporation.
The Clayton School District serves the residents of Clayton Missouri. Clayton High School is located adjacent to Clayton's city park "Shaw Park" and shares facilities with the city's community center "The Center of Clayton Recreation Complex". The Clayton School District has one Middle School and three Elementary Schools, along with the one High School. Clayton is also home to three higher education institutions, Washington University, Fontbonne University and Concordia Seminary.
Year round recreation and entertainment can be found in Clayton. Ten parks are maintained by the city of Clayton with Shaw Park being the largest. Shaw Park is named after Charles Shaw, the mayor of Clayton from 1933 to 1940, who was instrumental in the creation of the 47 acre park. Shaw Parks was the beginning of Clayton's Parks and Recreation Department and was created with grants from the Works Progress Administration during the Depression. The park features the Center of Clayton Recreation Center, an outdoor Aquatic Center with a 50-meter competition pool, a seasonal outdoor ice-skating rink, tennis courts, ball fields, Sand Volleyball courts, picnic facilities and pavilions and playgrounds. Another unique park in Clayton is the Oak Knoll Park. Although not as large as Shaw, Oak Knoll is home to the St. Louis Artist Guild that is located in the renovated stone mansion that was the home of Alvin D. Goldman and built in 1929. It also features a playground, a picnic area, gardens and a lake. The other parks in Clayton are small neighborhood parks that were created either as the subdivisions that they are located in were developed or as with many of them, on land donated for that specific purpose. Residents of Clayton also have access to the Ruth Park Golf Course, a public 9-hole golf course, located in University City.
At one time, the busy business district of Clayton was rural forest and farmland. In 1876, when the newly formed St. Louis County was looking for a location for the county seat, Ralph Clayton offered to donate some of his land to the County for the Courthouse with the condition that the area be named after him. The offer was accepted, county voters agreed, and Clayton was born! Martin Frederick Hanley, another resident in the area, also gave adjoining land, for a total donation of 104 acres, which today is Clayton's Central Business District. Clayton grew slowly over the years with a few residents and most businesses being in the area because of the courthouse. The City of Clayton was incorporated in 1913 and a period of rapid growth, due to residents moving from the City of St. Louis, began. By 1925, the population of Clayton had more than doubled to 7,000 residents from 3,000 in 1920. Today large suburban areas surround the Central Business District.
Clayton has many Historical Landmarks and Historic Districts within its boundaries. The Martin Hanley House is a St. Louis County Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the home of Martin Frederick Hanley and his family. The home was built on Hanley's farm and he and his family moved into it in 1857. Members of the Hanley Family lived in the home for 113 years until it was sold to the City of Clayton in 1968. It has been cared for and preserved in an almost original condition and is now a house museum. The Haarstick-Whittemore Houses are two elegant homes located side-by-side at 6420 and 6440 Forsyth. Henry C. Haarstick, a successful St. Louis businessman and President of the St Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company, had the homes built in 1912 and then gave them as gifts to his two daughters and their husbands, Emma and Clinton Whittemore and Ida and Oscar Herf. They were designed by James P. Jamieson, the designer of the buildings on the Hilltop Campus of Washington University, which is located across Forsyth from the homes. Both homes were donated by the Haarstick family to Washington University. They are both County Landmarks and on the National Register of Historic Places. Other landmarks are the Seven Gables Building and the Shanley Building. The Historic Districts located in Clayton are Brentmoor Park Historic District, Carrswold Historic District, Hi-Pointe - DeMun Historic District, Moorlands Addition Apartment District, Washington University Hilltop Campus Historic District and the Wydown - Forsyth District. (See the link below to the Missouri Department of Resources for more information on the National Register Listings)
Clayton Missouri City Hall
10 N. Bemiston
Clayton, MO 63105