As you walk through the doors of this magnificent home, you step back in time to an era of elegance. This wood frame antebellum home served from 1882-1897 as the family home of William Henry Harrison Clayton, the federal prosecutor in the famed frontier court of Judge Isaac C. Parker. A total, technical restoration of the home was conducted from 1970 to 1977.
Mr. Clayton purchased the home, originally built in the 1850s, and enlarged and renovated it in the Victorian Gothic Italianate style, moving his family into the home in 1882. The home has eight main rooms, each containing an ornate coal-burning fireplace. A semi-detached servants’ quarters and kitchen have been reconstructed on the original foundation.
Today, you can view the intricate original design of the formal parlor fresco; beautiful woodwork throughout the home; the large, airy spaces in which the family of six daughters and one son once lived, played and worked; and several Clayton family belongings. The home’s 6,000-plus square feet include a formal parlor, sitting room, study, formal dining room, upstairs landing common area, and four bedrooms. Special features include the original, tall, cypress double front doors; a massive and elegant original black walnut staircase; and Victorian-style bay windows.
In addition to housing Clayton family artifacts such as the family Bible, W.H.H. Clayton’s walking stick, Mrs. Clayton’s writing desk and tea table, and many photos, the home is complete with ornate, period furniture for every room. This is in thanks to Agnes Oglesby (1874-1979) who donated her estate of Victorian furniture to the museum after the home was restored. Other local citizens have also have gifted magnificent pieces to the home, including a Mathushek orchestral square piano manufactured in 1884, and a Beckwith pump organ, circa 1894.
Three large porches look out upon the spacious grounds of the Clayton House, which feature a Victorian herb garden, maintained by the River Valley Master Gardeners, and a large Victorian-style gazebo.
-Clayton House History website
– Investigation Results:
We did an investigation with KNWA News and had a wonderful evening of events and experiences that happened throughout the evening. Nate Kuester ( Anchor ) and Joel Kattner ( Cameraman ) also experienced things going on their version of what happened is documented in the media page. Overall it was a great evening with a great host Sarah Pair whom we want to thank for this tremendous honor to visit this historic home.
Our investigation began around 7:30pm after set up. Brian, Cody, Nate, Joel and Sara started in the Parlor to see if they could gather information from the resident spirits. With the equipment we had gathered two house spirits named Elizabeth ( Lizzy ) who was a nurse in the civil war era along with a small child named Grace ( Gracie ). The child was not a resident of the home but did come to help the nurses take care of the injured. Grace did live on a farm not far from the home itself.
Kim and Robert went upstairs where they found a residual spirit in the children’s room. Kim also had issues with balance and felt a masculine presence.
I myself stayed downstairs in the dining room to man the camera’s. While I was alone I experienced knocks and noises I could not explain. The room located directly across from the Dining Room I visually saw a man 5’7 to 5’8 wearing a hat and a brown suit. He had a beard with a colored shirt on. Every time I approached him he would vanish as if he was unsure why I was there and what we were doing. I attempted to approach him several times and did finally capture him in a photo.
Around 8:00pm everyone decided to rotate and the men and Sara went upstairs where they had a lot of activity with flashlight play. They would ask questions and the flashlight would come on in response to questions. The K-2 meter was also spiked very high letting them know that there was a lot of energy in the area.
Kim and Robert investigated the kitchen area and Parlor. No results in those areas.
I myself went into the room with the Piano (the drawing room? ) Where I was videoing and had four strange noises caught on video and a knock as well. I turned off the video and started taking photos and captured what I believe to be a cat on the back of the lounge or couch. I did not see this with my eyes nor did I witness anything like a cat however Sara listened to the video and thought maybe the sound was cat like and I had the photo to correlate this. I also was able to communicate with Mr. Powell Clayton who is also a resident of the home. He told me that the book and medal in the display case was his personal belongings. So you do have the originals. He also gave us validation with flashlight play answering yes and no to questions. Overall great experience
Our night was super eventful and you have a beautiful establishment with amazing history. One thing I would like to add is the fact that Powell Clayton told me he was there because his belongings are there and he had a lot to do with something pertaining to the Indian Territory and legalizing something pertaining to that. He also fancies the company of Florence who was his brother’s wife. We found that interesting.
Powell Clayton – Room with display case.
Florence Clayton – Stair Landing and upstairs
Lizzy – nurse from civil war
Grace – child from local farm who come to help nurses, I believe she died in 1865 or 66 of yellow fever between age 5-9
House cat – in the drawing room with Piano
Residual solider – upstairs in children’s room area not a happy energy but it’s expected he was injured. He is only residual not intelligent so he will only be heard or seen in specific times. Not harmful