Biographical / Historical
William Graves Clay was born in Honey Grove, Texas and was a high school instructor prior to enlisting in the armed forces. He was 5’6” with blue eyes, dark brown hair and a fair complexion. At the age of 29, with no wife or children, Clay enlisted in the army on May 23, 1918 at Texarkana, Texas. Private Clay of Company “C” 127th Machine Gun Battalion, Army Serial # 1415483, suffered from acute rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis, was hospitalized months after enlisting, and thus did not serve in any battles, skirmishes, or expeditions. He was honorably discharged in April, 1919. After the war, Clay attended the North Texas State Teachers College and in 1940, earned a Master of Arts in Public School Administration. His thesis was titled “An Evaluation of the New Boston Secondary School.” He later became the superintendent of New Boston, Texas and served in that position for 24 years. His daughter, Mary Pearson, described her father as a quiet, intelligent, caring man that never talked about the war and had a dislike of guns and war. She noted he always observed events on Memorial Day and other patriotic holidays.