Quoted and paraphrased from the book, "Images of America CLAYTON" by the Clayton Historical Society:
In 1857, miner and rancher Joel Clayton first mapped out the town of Clayton. Joel was former owner of Mifflin Mill, and postmaster of Mifflin Township in Wisconsin before migrating west to California and becoming associated with the Hudson Bay Company. He moved to California in 1850 to engage in mining and ranching.
A coin toss between Mr. Clayton and Charles Rhine, a former Nortonville coal miner and fellow entrepreneur, decided the town's name. In 1858 the Morgan Territory School opened. It was a one-room school and had just one teacher. It's greatest attendance was in 1870, with 32 students. There were only 13 students when it closed in 1947.
In 1903 there were 120 registered voters in the Clayton precinct and in 1910 Clayton paid it's first installment of "State, County and Special School Taxes". A total of $1.58.
Incorporated on March 3, 1964 as the 13th city in Contra Costa County, Clayton is now a thriving community of more than 11,500 people and still growing.