Tag Archives: Clayton Nation

Nation Family Photo Mystery

While working on my recently completed digital genealogy Go-Over, I came across many photos that I had forgotten I even had. Not surprising, I guess, when I discovered that I have 10,000+ digital images now saved.

However, I had wondered about my mother-in-law’s grandfather, Clayton Columbus Nation and his wife, Matilda Jane Dulworth, because I had no known photos of either of them. This seemed odd because Clay lived until 1922 and Tilda survived him by nine years. They left many descendants, but I hadn’t found any relatives that had a photo of either one of them.

Then I discovered that I do, but I don’t know who is who in the two photos I have. Ruby, my mother-in-law, went through and labeled some of the family photos during the last ten or so years of her life. Among the hundreds and hundreds of pictures in that collection, I found this picture, which was a copy of an original:

Which is Clay Nation?

I actually remember Ruby talking to me about this photo, but she also wrote the same thing that she told me on the back of this picture. She said “One of these men is my grandfather, but I don’t know which one.”  She was only three years old when Clay died and she didn’t remember him. She obviously didn’t grow up seeing many photos around of him either or else she would have recognized him.

Here is a cropped view of those two men:


I have one photo of Clay’s father, Joseph Michael Nation. Here is a cropped view of just his face. The original photo is a bit damaged, as you can see by the marks on this image:


Clay Nation and his wife, Matilda Jane Dulworth, had four children of their own, Addie Florence, born about 1906 in Tennessee and died on 27 December 1969 in Altus, Jackson County, Oklahoma.

This is the only photo I have of Addie and she was quite young:

AddieNation sisterofEthelNation
Addie Nation on the left, with unknown girl

Here is just her face, cropped from the above photo:


Ethel, Clay’s other daughter, is my husband’s grandmother. I have many photos of her, but here she is when quite young:


Her main resemblance to Addie is in the shape of her face, although Ethel’s face is more square.

Clay Nation had two sons, James C., born in 1896 and William Michael (Buck) Nation, born in 1903. James lived with Buck and their widowed mother, Tilda, in 1930 in Granite, Greer County, Oklahoma. I haven’t found James after 1930 and, although Buck didn’t die until 1979, I have no photo of him, either.

I did find an obituary online with a photo of Buck’s son, Albert Leroy Nation. Here it is:


He also has the same squarish face, but I have no way of knowing if he resembled his father or his mother or neither of them.

Those are all the clues I have. Based on this little bit of information, does anyone have an opinion as to which of the two men is Clayton Columbus Nation?


Murder Trial of Clayton Columbus Nation, 1913

Today’s post is about a difficult family situation that happened over a hundred years ago. The family members who first shared this story are now all gone.

Clayton Columbus Nation, or Clay as he was known, was born 18 September 1872 in Cumberland County, Kentucky to Joseph Michael Nation and his wife, Christianna (Annie) Riddle. He was the 7th of their eight children.

He married Matilda Jane Dulworth – yes, part of yesterday’s brick wall Dulworth-Broadway story – on 20 June 1896 in Clay County, Tennessee. Matilda Jane, or Tilda as she was known,  was the daughter of Abraham Dulworth and Mary Jane Adams.  She was also a bit older than husband Clay, having been born in July, about 1869, in Cumberland County, Kentucky. She was also the great granddaughter of John Dulworth and Mary Broadway, the subjects of yesterday’s post.

Matilda had several siblings, but her brother Jacob is the other piece of this sad story. Jake’s age varies slightly in the records, with his birth being noted as anywhere from 1889 to 1891.

On 13 June 1913, near Mangum, Greer County, Oklahoma, Clay Nation went to George Thompson’s home about 5:30 a.m. He was looking for his brother-in-law, Jake Dulworth, and he found him asleep outside on the porch. Clay aimed his gun, fired and killed him, hitting him in the lower stomach area. Jake died instantly and Clay went to the sheriff, told him what he and done and surrendered.

My husband’s aunt and I had heard this story from elderly family members, but instead of details, all they would say is “Those sure were hard times.” We decided to seek out the details on our own. First, I wrote to the Greer County Clerk, asking for copies of the court records of the trial that followed.  I received a quick reply back, with regrets that the trial record itself was missing. The folder where it should have been only had one record, the court docket:

Clay Nation, Court Docket Record 1913
Greer Co., OK County Clerk’s Office

The docket had no details of the court trial so I next looked to the Greer County Genealogical and Historical Society, hoping that there might be newspaper accounts of the trial. I received transcriptions of three newspaper articles. The Mangum Weekly Star carried the first news story of the murder on 19 June 1913:

Court proceedings certainly didn’t have the delays that happen today. Exactly one week later, on 26 June 1913, the newspaper reported that a jury had been selected, both sides had rested their cases and that the jury would be asked to deliver a verdict.


On 24 July 1913, the last article about the trial appeared in the paper and noted that the week before, many were surprised that Clay Nation had been acquitted of murder.

One short sentence in the first article may have been the reason that Clay was acquitted:  “From all appearances, this is one of the worst murder cases to come up in this community in several years, and it appears that not only was booze a contributing factor, but it seems that family affairs had much to do with it.”

The back story, which one elderly relative was willing to share, was that Clay Nation had found that Jake was romantically pursuing Clay’s daughter Ethel. Not only was Jake Ethel’s uncle, but she was only thirteen years old. Clay told him to keep away from her and the family and said if he caught him near her again, he would kill him. Apparently, Jake didn’t think Clay meant it, but he obviously did.

I don’t know if it is just chance or family intent, but there are no relatives that have a single photograph of either Clayton Nation or his wife, Matilda Jane. Clay died on 30 June 1922 in Granite, Greer, Oklahoma. Matilda survived him by nine years, passing away in 1931, also in Granite. They are buried side by side in the Granite City Cemetery.