WILLIS S. CLAYTON
WILLIS S. CLAYTON.-How much of the credit for the phenomenal prosperity of San Jose is due to the acknowledged leadership of such far-sighted, courageous and progressive men a Willis S. Clayton, the president of the First National Bank, only those familiar with the dependency of commerce on the financial, and the enviable part played by the First National Bank in the life and growth of Santa Clara County can realize. Born a native son in San Jose, on October 10, 1864, and grounded well in the public schools of the city, Willis S. Clayton graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1884, and at once began his business career in the office of James A. Clayton & Company, his father's firm. Eventually he became managing partner, and in that responsible position he remained for a quarter of a century, often having charge of very important interests and helping to build up the business.
This real estate business, of which he was such an important part for many years, was established by his father in 1867, and ever since that date has been one of the sound institutions of the city and the oldest business of the kind to remain in control of one family in the state of California. It is located at 34 West Santa Clara Street in a building owned by the firm, and after the death of its founder the business was continued by Willis S. and the late Edward W. Clayton. In 1907 Willis S. was elected president of the First National Bank of San Jose, of which his father was the founder and for many years the president. Giving up his real estate business he has since devoted his entire time to building up the bank's interests; The first year after he assumed the leadership the deposits jumped from one to two million dollars; and he was also instrumental in the erection of the splendid bank building at the corner of Santa Clara and First Streets, one of the substantial as it is one of the ornate structures in the city.
Willis S. Clayton was united in marriage at San Jose, with Miss Anna Bradley, daughter of E. L. Bradley, prominent pioneer and large land holder of the county. Mrs. Clayton is an accomplished woman and is a leader in social and club life in San Jose. Their children are James Bradley and Willis S., Jr. Mr. Clayton was elected in 1921, president of
the California Bankers Association, serving in 1921-22 and he is president of the California State Automobile Association, 1922-23. He is a Knights Templar Mason and a Shriner and belongs to some of the leading clubs of San Francisco and San Jose. Mr. Clayton has always tried to do his part to advance the material interests of city and county, is public spirited and a supporter of all progressive measures for the well-being of the people.