Portrait from the Official and Statistical Register of Mississippi, 1904.
Following our write-up on Quitman County, Mississippi attorney Partee Lovelace Denton we journey to the neighboring county of Tate to examine the life of two-term state representative Swepson Taylor Clayton, for many years a teacher in that county. The son of Joshua Swepson and Nancy Irene (Turner) Clayton, Swepson T. Clayton was born in Mississippi on March 13, 1855.
A student in schools local to the Desoto County, Mississippi area, Clayton married in March 1876 to Emma Julia Tulley (1858-1937), to whom he was wed until his death. The couple would have eight children: Lillie (1879-1967), Brigham Shands (1881-1899), James Norman (1885-1966), Belle (1888-1975), Winnie (1893-1971), Ira Earl (1895-1902), Swepson Taylor Jr. (1901-1957) and Dorah George.
For over two decades Swepson T. Clayton was a teacher in various Mississippi schools and in 1875 made his first move into politics, serving as the chairman of the Tate County Democratic committee. In 1899 he was elected to his first term in the Mississippi House of Representatives and during the 1900-04 session served on the committees on Enrolled Bills, Propositions and Grievances, the Penitentiary, Public Lands and Roads Ferries and Bridges.
Swepson T. Clayton won his second term in the legislature in November 1903 and served until his resignation due to ill health on January 30, 1904. Just one week following his resignation Clayton died on February 6, being just 48 years old. He was survived by his wife Emma and both were interred at the Singleton Springs Cemetery in Strayhorn, Mississippi.