January 30, 2007
Shortly after the Civil War, Union officer John Clayton moved to Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) to manage a plantation owned by his older brother, future governor Powell Clayton. He soon became active in Republican politics and was elected to the state House of Representatives and, later, as Jefferson County sheriff. Declared the loser in a bid for Congress in 1888, he traveled to Conway County to investigate suspected fraud. While in Plumerville, he was shot by an unknown assailant and instantly killed. Some years later, the U.S. Congress declared that he had indeed won the election.