The East Clayton Clay Manufacturing Company had one brick plant located at East Clayton, Ohio. East Clayton was also known as Lick Run. Located about two miles west of Nelsonville, along the Columbus Hocking Valley and Toledo (CHV&T) Railroad, East Clayton is situated in an area with suitable clay for the manufacture of paving brick. According to the Athens Messenger newspaper, for Sunday, February 28, 1965, on page 15, in an article titled “Remains Symbolize Past Of Brick Industry” “Nelsonville – Elm and Sycamore saplings have taken over the former East Clayton Brick Plant which was destroyed by fire in 1892 and never restored to operation.” On the same matter, The Logan Daily News newspaper, Monday, March 4, 1968, Page 3, in an article on “Paving Brick Made in Valley Achieved High Quality:” “East Clayton Brick Co. began producing common red brick in 1870 but was destroyed by fire in 1892 and not rebuilt.” While these papers both agree, they are mistaken.
The Daily Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, Saturday, November 28, 1896: “A Bad Fire. By Telegraph to The Times. Nelsonville, O., Nov. 28 – The entire plant of the East Clayton Brick Making Company burned today. Loss, $100,000; insurance, $22,000. A hundred men are thrown out of employment.” (Page 1)
The Norwalk Daily Reflector, Saturday, November 28, 1896: “Brick Plant Burned. Nelsonville, O., Nov. 28. – The entire plant of the East Clayton Brick making company was burned today. Loss one hundred thousand dollars, The one hundred men employed are out of employment.” (Page 3)
The Daily Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, Monday, November 30, 1896: “Columbus, O., Nov. 30 – A special to the Press from Nelsonville, O., says the entire plant of the East Clayton Brick Making Co. there was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning. The loss is estimated at $100,000, and the insurance on it only $22,000. One hundred men are thrown out of employment by the fire.” (Page 1)
The Massillon Independent, Massillon, Ohio, Monday, November 30, 1896: “Fire at Nelsonville. Nelsonville, O., Nov. 28. – [By Associated Press] – The entire plant of the East Clayton Brick Making Company was burned today. Loss $100,000; insurance $22,000. One hundred men are out of employment.” (Page 4)
There is sufficient evidence to conclude that the plant burned down, not in 1892, but in 1896.
Unrelated to the plant burning down, The Lima Times – Democrat, Lima, Ohio, Thursday, July 4, 1895 says about the plant: “Brick Works Close. Nelsonville, O., July 4, – The East Clayton brick works have closed down owing to a disagreement among the members of the company.” (Page 1) Clearly the company was operating again after this, since employees lost their jobs in the next year when it burned down.
Products of the East Clayton Brick Making Company: