Clayton is a city located just west of downtown St. Louis. Clayton’s central location is conveniently located next to numerous interstates, resulting in a short drive to several popular St. Louis destinations, like the St. Louis Zoo, Forest Park and the Fox theatre. Nearly two and one-half square miles, Clayton’s population, as of the 2010 census, was 15,939.
Clayton’s history began in 1876 when the City of St. Louis split from St. Louis County. The St. Louis County court, which was located in the city district, was left without a home. After researching several areas to build the new courthouse, County officials determined the land, which would eventually encompass Clayton, was the right fit. This area was graciously donated to the County by Virginia farmers Ralph Clayton and Martin Hanley, who both settled into the area in the 1830s. In 1878, the groundwork for the new courthouse was laid, with construction costs totaling $25,000.
The small community of Clayton was eventually incorporated in the early winter of 1913. Population tripled by the 1920s, as the numbers increased from 3,000 residents to nearly 7,000.
Clayton experienced a business boom in the 1940s. In an effort to allow more retail and commercial business expansion, the city rezoned part of the area into the Central Business District.
Residents of Clayton are served by the School District of Clayton.