From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Clay, John T.

(born: 1859  -  died: 1934) 

John T. Clay was a jockey who was injured riding War Jig on the Kentucky Association Track. The injuries ended his riding career, but he then became a successful trainer described as a wealthy man who owned real estate [source: "The Negro jockey on the American turf," The Freeman, 11/11/1905, p. 6].

Clay had ridden for Major Barak G. Thomas and was one of the persons named in Thomas' will [source: "Fortune for former slave," New York Times, 5/22/1906, p. 1]. In 1907, Clay partnered with Lewis McClanahan to build the Colored Skating Rink in Lexington, KY [see NKAA entry Colored Skating Rink and Summer Palm Garden].

Clay is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington. He was the son of Harry Clay. His mother's maiden name was Reese, according to Kentucky Death Certificate File #5998, Registered #234. He was the husband of Caddie Clay and the father of John and Barak Clay. In 1900, the family lived on Constitution Street in Lexington [source: U.S. Federal Census].

Clay was employed by the U.S. Post Office as a rural mail carrier, according to the 1910 Census and his death certificate. By 1920, the family lived on East Second Street, and in 1930, he was a widower [sources: U.S. Federal Census].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

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Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Clay, John T.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-22 17:29:17