John Withers Clay

 Editor and Publisher of the "Huntsville Democrat" for Many Years

Born:January 11, 1820, Huntsville, AL
Died:March 29, 1896, Huntsville, AL
Residence:513 Eustis Avenue SE
Brother of:Clement Claiborne Clay
Son of:Clement Comer Clay
Brother of:Hugh Lawson Clay
Husband of:Mary Lewis Clay - Her father, John H. Lewis, originally bought the house later known as the Clay house.


•  Son of Clement Comer and Susanna Claiborne (Withers) Clay - Alabama Biography

•  "He received his preliminary education from Old Green Academy at Huntsville; was graduated from the University of Alabama, A. B., when he was seventeen years of age; and from the University of Virginia, A. M., four years later. He was the first graduate who lived outside of the state of Virginia, to receive the master's degree at that university. While he was a student there, his brother, Senator Clement Claiborne Clay, who was studying for his bachelor's degree, temporarily lost his eyesight. Mr. Clay tutored him successfully, until Senator Clay received the degree with high honors." - Alabama Biography

•  "He practiced law for two years with his father, Gov. Clay; then became editor of the 'Huntsville Democrat.' He edited that paper for forty years, during which time it was first a daily and later a weekly newspaper." - Alabama Biography

•  He was a Democrat. - Alabama Biography

•  He was an Episcopalian, being for more than forty years senior warden of the Church of Nativity at Huntsville. - Alabama Biography

•  He edited "Clay's Digest," written by his father, Gov. C. C. Clay. - Alabama Biography

•  Married: 1847, at Huntsville, Mary Fenneich Lewis, daughter of John Haywood and Mary Margaret (Betts) Lewis who lived in Connecticut. - Alabama Biography

•  Children: "1. Cara Lisa, d. at the age of five years; 2. Clement Comer, d. at the age of twenty-one years; 3. John Withers, d. at the age of two years; 4. Mary Lewis, d. at the age of forty-seven years; 5. William Lewis, d. at the age of fifty-seven years; 6. Clarence Herbert, d. at the age of two years; 7. Susanna, resides at Huntsville; 8. J., resides at Birmingham; 9. Virginia Clementine, d. at the age of twenty-nine years; 10. Ellen Lewis, d. at the age of one year; 11. Elodie, resides at Huntsville." - Alabama Biography

•  "John Withers Clay has conducted the 'Huntsville Democrat' for forty years. Since he has been paralyzed it has been in the charge of his daughters Jennie and Sue ; very competent journalists. John Withers married Mary Lewis , and his children are Willie , Mary , Sue , Withers , Jennie and Elodie." -

Related Links:

•  Alabama Biography - History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 3 by Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen, © 1921, p. 343.

•  AlabamaMosaic: Huntsville-Madision County Public Library - Photo of house at 513 Eustis Avenue SE (Originally found at

•  Ancestry .com newspaper - Posted by Robert F. Haley, Jr. and requires membership to view. (Originally found at

• - Page owned by Robert F. Hale, Jr. and requires membership to view. (Originally found at

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  513 Eustis Avenue SE
•  Alabama Biography
•  Clement Claiborne Clay
•  Clement Comer Clay
•  Hugh Lawson Clay
•  Mary Lewis Clay