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

Clay, Theodore H., Sr.

(born: 1843  -  died: 1918) 

Theodore H. Clay, Sr. was born in Fayette County, KY. His father was from Virginia, his mother from Kentucky. Clay grew up in Lexington, KY, and became one of the early African American horse trainers who owned his own business [as was Dudley Allen].

Clay is listed as Colored in the Sheppard's Lexington City Directory 1873 and 1874, owner of a breaking and training stable on Deweese Street opposite Correll [Corrall] Street. He is the only "Colored" person listed under the heading 'Horse Trainer' on p. 234 of the 1873-74 city directory. His account record at the U.S. Freedmen Bank dated May 26, 1871, gives his occupation as a self-employed trainer and includes his wife's name, Louisa, a child named Brice, and a brother named Marshall. The Clays lived on Deweese Street. The family is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census and includes the name of a second son named Theodore, and their property was valued at $800.

The Clay family would leave Kentucky and move to Kansas. In 1880 they lived in Shawnee, KS: Theodore and Maria Louisa Clay (b. 1848 in KY) and their three sons, all born in Kentucky, Brice Henry Clay (b. 1868), Theodore H. Clay, Jr. (b. 1870), and Edward Marshall Clay (b. 1873). Theodore, Sr. supported the family as a farmer. By 1900, Theodore Clay was a widower living at 545 Tracy Street in Kansas City, MO, his occupation listed in the census as farmer. He is last listed in the 1910 census, when Theodore shared his home with his son Edward and his family. Theodore H. Clay, Sr. died September 27, 1918, in Kansas City, MO, and is buried in the Highland Cemetery.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Allen, Dudley
NKAA Source: Sheppard's Lexington city directory for ... (serial)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Lexington Emigration Association

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Clay, Theodore H., Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-07-15 19:49:58