Collection Summary

Creator: Clay Family
Title: Clay Memorabilia
Accession: MSS 94-5
Description: 16 items
Location: SC - Oversized
Photograph Collection: View 0 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 0 objects

Collection Description & Arrangement

This collection of memorabilia contains diplomas, photographs, engravings, portraits and other material belonging to the Clay family.

Biographical & Historical Information

Buckner Clay is in fact one of the younger members of the distinguished Clay family of Kentucky, and the early associations of his life and the beginning of his career as a lawyer were in old Bourbon County.

He was born near Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, December 31, 1877, son of Col. Ezekiel and Mary (Woodford) Clay. He is a descendant of John Clay, who came to America from England in the first years of the Virginia colony. 

Col. Ezekiel F. Clay, father of Buckner Clay, was a son of Brutus J. and Amelia Clay, and was born in Bourbon County, December 1, 1840. He left college to enter the Confederate army, became a colonel of cavalry, and was a gallant officer until taken prisoner in the spring of 1864. After the war he settled on his estate, known as Runnymede, in Bourbon County, a place he made celebrated as the home of some of the finest Kentucky thoroughbreds. Col. Ezekiel Clay married in 1866 Mary L. Woodford, a daughter of John T. and Elizabeth (Buckner) Woodford, representing another noted family of Kentuckians. The fourth of their six children is Buckner Clay.

Buckner Clay graduated from Kentucky University A. B. with the class of 1897, and received his degree in law from the University of Virginia in 1900. He was admitted to the bar at Paris, Kentucky, but in June, 1903, came to Charleston, where for a number of years he has been the junior member of the law firm of Price, Smith, Spilman & Clay.

Acquisition Information

Date Received 1994
Donor Information This collection was donated to the Law School by the Clay Family through the UVA Foundation in October of 1994.

Content List

  • Gold (18k) pocket watch with initials "WC" on case, inscribed "Woodford Clay from Mother, Sept. 20 - 1892"
  • 3 U.Va. Law Diplomas belonging to Buckner Clay, 2 dated 1899, and 1 dated 1900; signed by William M. Lile and Raleigh C. Minor. [Oversized cabinet]
  • Silver urn with horn handles; black wooden stand
  • Framed photo of Ezekiel Field Clay and his mother
  • Matted photo of "Mr. Spilman".  Ovresized cabinet
  • Oil portrait of Buckner Clay, painted by Wilford S. Conrow, 1925; 47" wide, 41.5 " tall; gold frame with light mounted above
  • Shot gun manufactured by L.C. Smith, in black and white case
  • Bronze memorial plaque honoring Buckner Clay's work for the Edgewood Country Club (no date), along with a photograph of the plaque
  • Wooden box with hinged lid (11 x 25 x 6.5 cm) made from ash grown on the estate ("Ashland") of Henry Clay.  Contains an unmounted brass plate bearing name "Juliet Staunton Clay"
  • Engraving of Major General Cassius M. Clay (from a photograph by Brady) in oval wooden frame
  • Engraving of John Marshall in oval wooden frame
  • Photographs of Buckner Clay alone (3) and with Buckner, Jr. (3)
  • Obituaries of Buckner Clay from various newspapers and in typescript by "M.J."
  • Printed program for testimonial dinner for Buckner Clay, June 15, 1914
  • Printed memorial for Buckner Clay, [1923]
  • Ten dollar gold coin, 1899

Use Policy

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Use Restrictions There are no restrictions.
Preferred Citation
Unless otherwise stated, digital materials in our collections are available for use under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 License (CC-BY-4.0). For Use and Citation guidelines, see Special Collections Use Policy.