Writing about towns named Clay is complex. Most of them were named for Henry Clay, the most powerful man of his time. He was the Joe Biden of his era. Henry Clay was a lawyer who won most of his cases. He was both a US Senator and Representative, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and almost President.
His main home was in Lexington, Kentucky, and it was called Ashland. It is still opened for tours. Ruth & I have been inside it. Almost every town with the name Ashland was named after Henry Clay’s home. During his lifetime and afterwards, many towns were named Clay or Clayton or Claysville. Almost all of them were named for Henry Clay. His fame began about 1803 and he was active in politics for about 40 years. During that time about 15 states entered the Union. Among them were Ohio, Illinois, and Texas. There are 18 Clay Counties in the United States. Many of them were named for Henry Clay. Can you see and appreciate this problem?
All you can do is research towns named Clay knowing in advance that most of them can be traced back to Henry. There’s a Clay Center in Nebraska. It’s a town of less than a thousand people. It was named for Henry Clay, but Claymont, DE, Joe Biden’s adopted state, was named after a plantation called Claymont Court. Claypool Hill, a Virginia town of about 2,000, was probably not named for Henry Clay.
The towns that were named for Henry Clay include Clay, NY, a suburb of Syracuse, and Clayville in the same state. There’s a Clay, KY that was named after Henry. It’s a town of more than 1,000. There’s a Clay, WV that was named after this politician. Clay City, IN, Claysburg, PA, Clayville, IL, and Clay, Al, a town up the road from Birmingham and the largest Clay of all with almost 10,000 people, were all named after Henry Clay.
If you want to research towns named Ashland, you’re on your own.