A Guide to the Nicholas J. Clayton Papers, 1896-1910
Born to Nicholas and Margaret Clayton in Ireland, Nicholas Joseph Clayton (1840-1916) immigrated with his mother to Cincinnati, Ohio, following his father’s death in 1848. During the Civil War, he served in the United States Navy, returning to Cincinnati in 1865. In 1872, he settled in Galveston, Texas, where he was the supervising architect for the construction of the First Presbyterian Church. The next year, Clayton designed his first commission, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Austin, and in 1875, he established the first architectural practice in Galveston. In 1891, Clayton married Mary Lorena Ducie, with whom he had five children. A founding member of the Texas State Association of Architects, Clayton served as vice president of the Southern Chapter of the American Institute of Architects from 1895 to 1896. A High Victorian-style architect, Clayton served on the advisory board for the construction of the Texas State Capitol Dome in Austin and designed the first building in Texas with electric lights, the Galveston Electric Pavillion (1881); the first building of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the Ashbel Smith Building (1888-1891); and the Main Building of St. Edward’s University in Austin (1888-1896, 1903, 1907).
Nesbitt, Robert A., and Stephen Fox. "Clayton, Nicholas Joseph."Handbook of Texas. Accessed on May 13, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcl22.
"Nicholas Joseph Clayton: An Inventory of His Drawings and Papers, 1883-1901." Alexander Architectural Archive, the General Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin. Accessed on May 13, 2011. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utaaa/00020/aaa-00020.html.
Comprising a letterpress, advertisements, correspondence, and carpenter’s specifications, the Nicholas J. Clayton Papers, 1896-1910, chronicle Clayton’s architectural career in Galveston, Texas. The letterpress, 1896-1909, contains copies of correspondence, contracts, reports, lists of suppliers and craftsmen, building specifications and sketches, and account information, documenting Clayton’s construction projects and professional activities in conjunction with the Columbian League of Texas, J. O. Dyer, and the Catholic Knights of Columbus, among others. An undated carpenter’s specifications instruct what type of lumber to use, where to place sills and joists, and what sizes to use for transoms, windows, and stairs, among other construction elements. Additionally, the collection includes an undated telegram to Dr. Ducie concerning his nephew, undated advertisements, and envelopes from 1909 and 1910.
This collection is open for research use.
Nicholas J. Clayton Papers, 1896-1910, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers