Clayton History 1936
Clayton History Written in 1936
Two years before Texas declared her Independence, Rev. Isaac Reed of Tennessee moved to Nacogdoches and began to visit among the earliest settlers and preach although forbidden to do so.
In 1835, before the organization of Panola County, he purchased a league of land located near the present town of Clayton, moving his family with married sons and daughters to the new home. Here built log houses and cleared farms.
In 1838 Rev. Reed organized Old North Church near Nacogdoches, the oldest living Baptist Church in Texas. In 1834 Lemuel Herrin, from Camden, Tennessee, came to Texas. Reverends Reed and Herrin were the first two Baptist ministers in Texas.
On Saturday before the fourth Lord's Day in September, 1843, these two ministers organized the Old Bethel Church in Reed's home. The original minutes of this meeting are still in possession of the Bethel Baptist Church in Clayton. They located this church on the old Shreveport and San Antonio road near Rev. Reed's home, two miles northwest of the present town of Clayton.
The early pioneers of East and Southwest Texas hauled with ox-teams and wooden skein wagons, (greased with pine pitch) lumber and other materials over this road as far southwest as San Antonio—from the boat landings at Jefferson, Texas, and Shreveport, La.
This old Baptist Church was the second Baptist Church organized in Texas. This church later moved to the present site in Clayton, where "Clayton Home Coming Day" is held. The negroes now have a church on the old site.
Rev. Isaac Reed was killed by an Indian in 1848 and was buried on the old church ground. Aunt Lizzie Reed as she is affectionately called by the citizens of Clayton said, "Isaac had made camp at Old Bethel and one afternoon when he returned an Indian was in his camp. As he went in the Indian ran out and hid in some bushes He shot an arrow through Isaac's breast. The latter shot and killed the Indian. Isaac did not live long after receiving his wound."