The marker is located 13 miles northwest of Springfield and one mile east of Pleasant Plains in front of Clayville Tavern on the south side IL 125.
Division of Highways and The Illinois State Historical Society
This building, one of the first brick buildings in Sangamon County, was built in the spring of 1834 by John Broadwell. His father, Moses Broadwell, a native of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, came to Illinois in 1820. He and his son John built a brick kiln and ran a tannery where animal skins were cured at this spot. Several buildings were constructed about 1824; however, the present one is all that remains.
Between the 1830's and the early 1850's a stage line ran between Springfield and Beardstown. Tradition indicates that eastern cattle buyers and cattle drovers heading for distant markets as well as teamsters hauling dry goods, liquor, groceries, hardware, and clothing between Beardstown on the Illinois River and Springfield traveled this route. Families of settlers spent the night here before seeking property for themselves. While the original inn burned in the late 1800's, the present brick building, notable in its time, was used to accommodate overflow crowds and it is possible that stage passengers, cattlemen, teamsters, and settlers shared experiences here.
The Broadwell's named this area Clayville in honor of Henry Clay, the leading Whig politician and this property was the scene of Whig festivities and poll-raisings. On the 4th of July, 1842, many Whigs met here for a celebration including speeches, music, marching, dining, and drinking. With the coming of the railroad and the rerouting of commerce and travel, Clayville passed into history.
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