History of Clayton, NJ
After the Revolutionary War, Jacob and his son Leonard jointly bought 3,755 acres, expanding Fisler territory from the land near the Clayton cemetery westward to Aura. Leonard built a home on this land by Still Run Creek, which is now called Silver Lake. Jacob's younger sons moved to the land west of Still Run. The family also owned the land eastward of the cemetery to Fries' Mill and had a homestead next to the lake.
As their territory expanded in size, it also grew in population. More and more families moved to the area, and by 1812, thirty-six families had settled in Fisler Town. Jacob Fisler, now a doctor, donated 4 acres to be used for a facility that would serve as a school by day and a meetinghouse for religious and civic gatherings in the evenings. This new building was called the Useful School House and housed the Methodist church meeting until a church was erected.
In 1847, Francis Wilson bought 1,600 acres of land, which he named Fries' Mill for himself and some other farmers. On his newly purchased land, a sawmill was built, along with a bridge over the stream. A corduroy road, or "pole road", was built to connect Fries' Mill with Fisler Town. In addition to his farm and the sawmill, Wilson also had a store located in this area. He opened up his home to be used as a school during the day, a place for prayer meetings every Friday night, and a location for Presbyterian church services on Sunday mornings. Eventually a small schoolhouse was built in the vicinity. The lake located by Wilson's farm was renamed Wilson Lake in his honor.
John Moore owned a considerable amount of land around Fislerville on which he laid roads leading from town to the outskirts, specifically to farms that he rented. During slack times at the glass factory, Moore kept his workers busy by having them clear and prepare the land for roads. He also bought Fisler and Harding Pond - later renamed Moore's Lake and now called Silver Lake - located on the west side of town. Moore was very instrumental in the growth and upkeep of Fislerville during these booming years..
In 1858, Fislerville became a part of Clayton Township, which also contained the towns of Glassboro and Aura. In 1860, the West Jersey Railroad was built from Millville to Clayton Township. In 1862, Fislerville changed names again, now called Clayton for Clayton Township,. The origin of the name Clayton is still a mystery. Some say it is derivative from the white clay deposits found around the town, others say it is named after the Clayton family, whose daughter Hannah married Col. Charles Heston of Revolutionary War fame. By the later half of the 19th century, Clayton was regarded as one of the most affluent towns in South Jersey.