The Heritage                                                                                Chapter
Three

                                     The Birth of Clays (Clayton) Town

      Knowing if he followed the San Miguel river downstream, Henry
Clay would surely find an Indian village most likely Ute.   Maybe some
wondering Cheyenne tribe is making camp for the spring hunt.  There
Clay believed he would be allowed to sit with the tribal leaders as his
reputation as a white man who treated the Indian with respect was
well known.  He had traded with several tribes, always making sure
he did not take from them more than he was willing to give them.  The
chiefs and tribal leaders knew Clay respected not only them but their
women.  He was not known to attempt to bargain for them in the
same manner as other whites had bartered for their horses.  Once he
encountered one of these villages, Clay hoped he could trade for one
of their horses although he did not have at this time to trade. Nothing
to offer them except his Spencer and a box of shells and he certainly
did not want to part with his rifle.

Walking along the trail down the San Miguel River Clay would run
into a small hunting party of Indians from one of the Ute villages,
heading this party was a brave know as Red Wolf said to be the son of
an Irishman from Saguache a small town in the San Luis Valley and
a Ute woman he had taken up with for a short while.  Red Wolf came
to know by this name by the slight tint of redness in his scalp as a
child but later lose the tone but not the name.  Clay and Red Wolf
knew of each other but have never met face to face until now.  Sitting
on his pony, Red Wolf glared down at this man covered in soiled
buckskins.  His hair almost the middle of his back and across his
chest cradled in his arms his Spencer.













For a while, neither man spoke until Clay informed Red Wolf that he
was a friend of the Ute and wished only to cross their hunting
grounds to reach a place where he could get a horse. Red Wolf
informed Clay that he had ponies and asked what did Clay have for
his ponies.  Clay said he did not have anything to trade.  Looking at
Clay's rifle, he said he would trade one of his ponies for the gun and
was quickly informed that he Clay would not trade his rifle. I and my
braves, Red Wolf, told him he could instantly kill him and take his
gun.  Clay answered back that yes Red Wolf could, but the Utes were
noble to do this to a friend be they red or white, but he also had the
gold rocks that whites wanted and this he could trade for a pony.  We
would rather have meat for our children than gold stones which
cannot be eaten, hunt with us and kill the deer or bear with your rifle
and maybe we will trade for a pony.  Clay thought this to be fair trade
and agreed and for the next few days, Clay helped Red Wolf and his
hunting party get meat.  Red Wolf true to his word, gave Clay a pony
and both departed with the knowledge that each had another person
they could trust.

      Clay with his pony and rifle arrived a few days later in the town of
Garland which was midway between Denver and Santa Fe and the
hub of most of the freight trade between both cities and beyond.  It did
not take long before the word spread of the mountain man who came
in with a pouch full of high-grade gold nuggets.  Clay was careful not
to mention where he had dug up the gold and first registered his
claim, again not giving a location that even he was not fully
knowledgeable of.  When asked when he was going back to mine his
finding he informed them as soon as he could get a grubstake to do so
and do it was without question the first to approach him was a local
businessman by the name of Norman Cassidy a local merchant and
owner of the freight line that ran between Denver and Santa Fe.

It did not take long for both Clay and Cassidy to come to an
agreement on the potential of a significant gold strike.  The deal was
pure Clay would give Cassidy one-third of his claim for the grubstake
which included the equipment Clay would need, horses and pack
mules, both men felt the agreement was fair.  Both men and their
future heirs would gain great wealth and power not so much from the
gold that had been discovered by Clay, but from the doors that would
be opened in the San Miguel Valley initially for Clay but later for the
Cassidy’s.