CLAY CASTLE. Tacitus M. Clay built a home in 1836 a mile west of Independence in Washington County and called it Ingleside. This four-story structure of native stone and cedar became known as Clay Castle because of the glassed-in ballroom on the third floor; the home survived seventy-five years until it sustained irreparable damage in the 1900 and 1915 Galveston storms. The land was granted to Tacitus's brother, Nestor Clay, by the Mexican government on March 18, 1831, and he began the construction. Nestor died in an Indian raid in Milam County in 1835, and Tacitus purchased half of his brother's league from his estate. Tacitus and Nestor were descendents of the Kentucky Clays and cousins to Henry Clay. Cotton produced on the Clay plantation was the first raised in Washington County. Tacitus's son, Thomas C. Clay, was a member of the Eighth Texas Cavalry, better known as Terry's Texas Rangers in the Civil War. Tacitus is reported to have used the "captain's walk," a large glass-enclosed walkway overhanging the hill upon which the home was built, to oversee his slaves at work in the fields below.
Betty Cantrell Plummer, Historic Homes of Washington County (San Marcos, Texas: Rio Fresco, 1971).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.James L. Hailey, "CLAY CASTLE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccc03), accessed February 08, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on January 5, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles