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Dora Clay's Geni Profile

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Dora Clay (Richardson)

Birthdate: (33)
Birthplace: Valley View, Madison, Kentucky, United States
Death: February 11, 1914 (33)
Wallace Station, Woodford, Kentucky, United States (tuberculosis)
Place of Burial: Midway, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of James Richardson and Mary Jane Richardson
Wife of Cassius Marcellus Clay "The Lion of White Hall", Gen. (USA); Riley Brock; Samuel Thomas and Ben Hunt
Mother of Cassius Clay Brock
Sister of William Richardson; McClellan (Mac) Richardson; Nancy Vanderpool; John D Richardson; Leslie Irvine Richardson and 7 others

Occupation: housewife/owner of Pinkard Farms in Wood ford County and ex wife of Cassius Clay KY statesman
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Dora Clay

Dora Richardson was the daughter of James and Mary Jane Estes Richardson, McClellan's sister. Wallace Richardson, a grandson of McClellan's, said that Will and McClellan all lived and labored on the Cassius Clay farm, the Whitehall Estate.. It seems that Dora Richardson became an "orphan". She was from Valley View, Madison County Kentucky and the younger sister of McClellan Richardson, my great grandfather. Dora was a young girl, with long red hair, a very strong gene in the Richardson clan (Irish roots). . The reason she was orphaned was told to us by Bill Dozier (our relative). It seems that she and her mother and 2 small grandchildren, were walking on the railroad bridge in Valley View and a train hit all but Dora and killed them. Guess who was on that train? Cassius Clay! Besides the fact of knowing the family, since they were laborers on his farm... He met and married Dora at age 15, on Nov 10, 1894. Cassius Marcellus Clay was a Ky statesman and Russian envoy for President Lincoln. Cassius owned the great White Hall estate in Kentucky/Madison County, which is now owned and operated by the state of Ky as a historical site. Dora was given in marriage by her brother, because record states she was an orphan at the time and had no father to give her in marriage. Cassius Clay, who became her husband, praised Dora in an article in the New York Journal 1898, for her long red hair, grey eyes and her voice was "the finest voice that I ever heard outside of a professional singer"..They were married at the Whitehall Estate in Madison County.There are accounts of where Dora suffered from meloncholia (depression), and would leave Cassius Clay (whom she married at 15 yrs of age) and go to her brother McClellan Richardson's house to stay, then she would return to Cassius Clay and the Whitehall Estate. McClellan (Klell)was a laborer at Whitehall, during Dora's marriage to C.M.Clay. During her last trip away from Whitehall and Clay, she went again to her brother McClellan's home in Valley View. C.M. Clay bought Dora the Pinkard Farm in Woodford County. He built her a new cottage on it and gave her furniture to go in it, some of the pieces he'd ascertained in Russia while he was the U.S. liason there. He also said he'd support Dora as long as she lived, even though Dora left him on 7/3/1897. The divorce from Cassius was granted on Sept 9, 1898. One week later on Sept 16th, Dora married her childhood sweetheart, Riley Brock. Though a great looking man, he turned out to be a drunkard, gambler, counterfeiter and thief. He ended up selling all the furniture that Clay had given Dora. He and 2 of his cronies also attempted a raid on Whitehall and Cassius Clay. 2 of the 3 were killed on the premises. One with a gunshot wound, the other with a bowie knife stab wound. Cassius was prepared for these intruders and worried constantly about the fate of Dora. Riley Brock did escape that night, but was later killed in Illinois as he and a couple of others were skipping on slow moving trains. Brock fell off and the wheels of the train crushed him and amputated one leg. Dora went to Illinois and picked up what was left of him and had him buried in Paint Lick KY. He was killed in June,28, 1903 only a few weeks before Cassius Clay's own demise. Dora tried to sue the railroad for 25,000, but the outcome is not known. Dora lived in poverty most of her life, presumably she did not win. For Dora's part, she visited Cassius frequently, even worked for him as a housekeeper when he took ill. Dora bore a son by Riley Brock in Oct. 1899. She named him Cassius Marcellus Clay Brock. It is said that he became a Greyhound bus driver on the Lexington/West Virginia route and passed away sometime in the 1950's (per mentioned book). She often had retreated to Whitehall to hide from her second husband, before his death. The fact that Dora was in the company of such an unworthy man and his rowdy friends, seemed to disturb Clay deeply.(ref Cassius M Clay, freedoms' champion by Keven McQueen). According to marriage records of Madison county, Dora Brock married Samuel Thomas on Dec 7, 1904, her 3rd marriage at age 24. When Dora died at age 35 of tuberculosis, she was living in Wallace, Ky and her 4th husband was Ben Hunt. She left her son at only 12 years of age. She at that time was in abject poverty and the citizens of Wood ford County put a metallic grave marker at her grave, located in Midway Ky; and the state historical marker was erected nearby to announce the final resting place of the child bride who had once stunned the country.

Leader, 1898-09-15, p. 1 col. 3 “Dora Clay to Wed”

According to gentleman who came to the city from Valley View, Dora Richardson Clay, the divorced “child wife” of Cassius Marcellus Clay” is to be married Friday at Pinkard, Woodford County, to Riley Brock, an employee in a saw mill at Valley View. The marriage is to be solemnized in Dora’s home, the one which was purchased for her by Gen. Clay. It was generally believed that Dora would marry the handsome Willie Bryant, over whom she had so much trouble with the old “Lion of White Hall,” but she tossed Willie overboard about two months ago and has since been receiving constant attention from Brock, who is 24 and handsome.

Leader, 1894-11-10, p. 1 col. 6 “C.M. Clay”

Richmond is afforded two sensations today, Gen. Cassius Marcellus Clay, aged 84 years, obtained a license to marry Dora Richardson, aged 15. The child’s brother consented to the marriage, she being an orphan.

Leader, 1914-02-14, p. 4 col 4.

Mrs. Dora Richardson-Brock-Hunt, age 35, ex-wife Gen. Cassius M. Clay dies. Had been married 5 times. Dora did die of tuberculosis ie per above mentioned book.

NOTE: Bill Dozier has visited Dora's grave in Midway, Ky. It has only a "marker" no stone to her grave. He states that the employees of the Whitehall Estate are trying to collect enough money to place a stone to Dora's grave, since she was such an intricate part of Whitehall.

Article from wikipedia, the book Cassius Clay-Freedom's champion by Keven McQueen, (Bryan's book) submitted by Bryan Sherwood, Linda McElwain, Bill Dozier 4/ 09 and Brad Cook from California (who sent Bryan the only known picture of McClellan Richardson....

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Dora Clay's Timeline

May 1880
Valley View, Madison, Kentucky, United States
October 1899
Age 19
Madison, Kentucky, United States
February 11, 1914
Age 33
Wallace Station, Woodford, Kentucky, United States
February 1914
Age 33
Midway, Kentucky, United States