316 18th Ave NE 33704

Then and Now — 1935 & 2022 — 316 18th Ave NE

From 1935: “Just completed last week. The very finest modern construction and material used throughout. Baths and kitchen in beautiful tile with chromium fixtures. Handsome oak floors. Priced at $6,500”

This house was built by Clarence G. Clayton, who pulled a permit in 1924 for a construction cost of $5,000 for a frame house.

Clarence Granden Clayton was born on May 28, 1895, in Asbury Park New Jersey, the eldest of two children, his father the owner of a Livery stable. After receiving his schooling in Asbury Park, Clarence took up the trade of a carpenter, a job he held until his enlistment in the US Army’s ambulance Corp on July 25, 1917, during WWI. Clarence served overseas in France for the duration of the war, being discharged on May 14, 1919.

Upon his return home Clarence reconnected with Ms. Hazel Emerson, whom he had known in Asbury Park before he went to war. The couple were married on June 6, 1919, and had one child in 1927, a daughter Edith.

In 1920, Clarence and Hazel decided to spend the winter in St. Pete and to investigate the prospects of starting to build homes here. They were extremely impressed with the building industry in this city and decided that they would relocate here and get in on the ground floor of the building boom.

In 1924 Clarence pulled a permit for this featured house (and several others) at the cost of $5,000 for construction. Once the house was completed, Clarence and Hazel moved in, living in it until 1929 when the market crashed. Although building had slowed almost to nothing after the market crashed, Clarence was able to keep supporting his family through the construction trade, turning his efforts to smaller, more affordable houses.

Clarence died on July 24, 1973, age 78. His funeral service was performed by First Baptist Church, where he and Hazel had been 50 year members. He was buried at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in St. Pete. Hazel later moved to Amelia Ohio to live with her daughter and died there on March 18, 1982, age 90.

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