Skip to main content

MSS 94-5

Clay Family Memorabilia Collection


Clay family memorabilia collection. Contains diplomas, photographs, engravings, portraits, and other material belongings.

1892-1925 [Inclusive]
16 items

Scope & Contents

Collection Description

    Biographical / Historical

    Buckner Clay was 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, 31 December 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, 1 December 1840. He left college to enter the Confederate army, became a colonel of cavalry, and was an 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 was 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 went to Charleston, where for a number of years he was the junior member of the law firm of Price, Smith, Spilman & Clay.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

itemGold (18k) pocket watch with initials "WC" on case, inscribed "Woodford Clay from Mother, Sept. 20 - 1892", Sept. 20 - 1892MSS 94-5
item3 U.Va. Law Diplomas belonging to Buckner Clay, 2 dated 1899, and 1 dated 1900; signed by William M. Lile and Raleigh C. Minor, 1899-1900MSS 94-5
itemSilver urn with horn handles; black wooden standMSS 94-5
itemFramed photo of Ezekiel Field Clay and his motherMSS 94-5
itemMatted photo of "Mr. Spilman"MSS 94-5
itemOil portrait of Buckner Clay, painted by Wilford S. Conrow, 1925; 47" wide, 41.5 " tall; gold frame with light mounted above, 1925MSS 94-5
itemShot gun manufactured by L.C. Smith, in black and white caseMSS 94-5
itemBronze memorial plaque honoring Buckner Clay's work for the Edgewood Country Club (no date), along with a photograph of the plaqueMSS 94-5
itemWooden 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"MSS 94-5
itemEngraving of Major General Cassius M. Clay (from a photograph by Brady) in oval wooden frameMSS 94-5
itemEngraving of John Marshall in oval wooden frameMSS 94-5
itemPhotographs of Buckner Clay alone (3) and with Buckner, Jr. (3)MSS 94-5
itemObituaries of Buckner Clay from various newspapers and in typescript by "M.J."MSS 94-5
itemPrinted program for testimonial dinner for Buckner Clay, June 15, 1914MSS 94-5
itemPrinted memorial for Buckner Clay, [1923]MSS 94-5
itemTen dollar gold coin, 1899MSS 94-5