Clayton is a city located just west of downtown St. Louis. Clayton’s central location is conveniently located next to numerous interstates, resulting in a short drive to several popular St. Louis destinations, like the St. Louis Zoo, Forest Park and the Fox theatre. Nearly two and one-half square miles, Clayton’s population, as of the 2010 census, was 15,939.

Clayton’s history began in 1876 when the City of St. Louis split from St. Louis County. The St. Louis County court, which was located in the city district, was left without a home. After researching several areas to build the new courthouse, County officials determined the land, which would eventually encompass Clayton, was the right fit. This area was graciously donated to the County by Virginia farmers Ralph Clayton and Martin Hanley, who both settled into the area in the 1830s. In 1878, the groundwork for the new courthouse was laid, with construction costs totaling $25,000.

The small community of Clayton was eventually incorporated in the early winter of 1913. Population tripled by the 1920s, as the numbers increased from 3,000 residents to nearly 7,000.

Clayton experienced a business boom in the 1940s. In an effort to allow more retail and commercial business expansion, the city rezoned part of the area into the Central Business District.

Residents of Clayton are served by the School District of Clayton.

Clayton Official Website


The annual St. Louis Art Fair attracts nearly 150,000 people to the streets of Clayton every September. Drawing a wide variety of national artists, street performers and musicians, the Art Fair has been ranked “One of the Top-10 Art Fairs and Festivals to Visit” by Washington’s Art Fair Sourcebook publication.

One of the oldest and largest parks in all of St. Louis, Clayton’s Shaw Park is 47.47 acres of beautiful landscape, located deep in the heart of the business district. Beyond just a gorgeous array of tall, majestic trees and lush grassy areas for picnic or play, Shaw Park is also home to the Shaw Park Tennis Center, Shaw Park Ice Rink and the Shaw Park Aquatic Center, which was voted “Best Public Pool,” in 2014, by the Riverfront Times.

Danforth, the main campus of Washington University, rests in suburban Clayton and covers nearly 169 acres of university ground. Originally known as the Hilltop Campus before a name change in 2006, it was built in 1902 and includes a vast majority of the academic and administrative portions of Washington University. Washington University is also famous for hosting more presidential debates than any other institution, with the most recent being the second presidential debate between Donald J. Trump and Hilary Clinton in 2016.


Community Contacts

Mayor of Clayton Harold Sanger
(314) 290-8470
Board of Aldermen Members Joanne Boulton
Richard Lintz
Ira Berkowitz
Alex Berger III
Michelle Harris
Mark Winings
City Manager Craig S. Owens
(314) 290-8400
City Clerk June Frazier
(314) 290-8469
City Attorney Kevin M. O’Keefe (314) 725-8788
Municipal Judge Joseph R. Dulle (314) 290-8441
Court Clerk Elrika Jones (314) 290 8440
Director of Finance Janet Watson
(314) 290-8445
Housing & Planning Director Susan M. Istenes
(314) 290-8459
Building Official Bart Aslpaugh
(314) 290-8462
Economic Development Director Gary Carter
(314) 290-8467
Parks and Recreation Director Patty DeForrest
(314) 290 8464
Public Works Director Dale L. Houdeshell
(314) 290-8540
City Forester Justin Whipple (314) 290-8552
Clayton Fire Department (314) 727-8100
Clayton Police Department (314) 645-3000