Dr. Allen Benjamin Clayton was born on the 26th of January, 1849 in Aylmer (Elgin County), Ontario. He was the 5th of 7 children born to Peter Clayton and the former Julia Benner. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; James Gordon Clayton, Rosamund Julia Clayton, Edgarton B. Clayton, Margaret Clayton, Julia M. Clayton (who died at the age of 11 and was buried at the Aylmer Cemetery) and George W. Clayton.
Dr. Clayton graduated M.D. from the Hahn Medical College in Chicago in 1869. He was certified by the Homeopathic Medical Board of Canada in 1869. According to the 1882 Ontario Medical Register, he joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 12th of May, 1875.
Dr. Clayton was practicing medicine in Elgin County in 1871 and living with his parents in Malahide Township. He began practicing medicine in Chatham around 1875.
Dr. Clayton married Emma Dupuis Croley on the 25th of October, 1876 in Aylmer, Ontario. She was born on the 19th of November, 1856 in Ingersoll, Ontario. Her parents were Joseph Croley and the former Anna Maria Wallace. Mrs. Clayton’s father was a carpenter and he died when she was only a year old. (Joseph Croley died on the 8th of May, 1857 at the age of 33.) Mrs. Clayton had an older sister named Mary F. B. Croley and a younger sister named Josephine Agnes Croley. Josephine was born after the death of her father on the 29th of September, 1857. Mrs. Croley supported herself and her daughters by working as a milliner in the Town of Tillsonburg.
In 1876, Dr. Clayton had an upstairs office located at 76 King Street West in Chatham and his residence was located at 54 Victoria Ave at the corner of James Street. In the 1888 Chatham Business Directory, Dr. Clayton’s office was located at the corner of King and Fifth and his home was located on Wellington Street near Queen Street. In the 1870’s the population of Chatham was between 7,000 and 8,000 people. The Chatham Banner was the only newspaper at the time and it was published every Wednesday. The cost of a subscription was $1.50 per year.
An announcement appeared in the 17th of September, 1879 edition in the local Chatham paper announcing the birth of a son.
Dr. Clayton was listed in Chatham in the 1880 Kent County Business Directory. According to the 1881 census, Dr. and Mrs. Clayton were living in Chatham, but there is no record of the son that was born in 1879, so it is presumed that he had died.
Dr. and Mrs. Clayton immigrated to Evanston, Illinois in October of 1886. Their son, Allen B. Clayton Jr. was born on the 18th of December, 1888 in Evanston.
A tombstone amongst the Clayton family members buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago belongs to Eva Foster Clayton who was born on the 17th of June, 1881 and died on the 27th of March, 1888. Perhaps this is a daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Clayton.
Dr. Clayton appears in the 1891 and the 1892 Evanston Illinois City Directory. His office was located at 628 Chicago Ave. and his phone number was 107. According to the 1894 and the 1898 Evanston City Directory, his office was located at 1512 Chicago Avenue.
Dr. Clayton was a member of the Evanston Country Club and the Glen View Golf Club.
Dr. Clayton died at the Augustana Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, on the 15th of September, 1900 at the age of 51. At the time of his death he was the Health Commissioner of Evanston.
Mrs. Emma D. Clayton appeared in the 1909 Evanston City Directory as residing at 1505 Chicago Ave., with her son Allen. In that directory she was listed as an antiques dealer with a shop at 603 Davis Street. According to the 1920 U.S. Census Mrs. Clayton was recorded as living in Evanston with her son, Allen and his wife Ann (Campbell).
Mrs. Clayton died on the 20th of April, 1929 in San Diego, California. Dr. and Mrs. Clayton were buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Evanston, Illinois.
*Dr. Clayton’s son Allen Clayton Jr. served with the United States Army during World War I and World War II.