Born on December 11, 1814, in Gloucester City, Clayton Truax relocated to Camden in 1833 and began his apprenticeship as a shoemaker under Reilly Barrett. Establishing a prosperous shoe store in the 300 block of Arch Street, Truax achieved success in his trade. While his name is often spelled as “Trueax” in contemporary articles, it seems that he predominantly used this spelling throughout his life.
In 1855, Clayton Truax was elected to the city council, serving in elected office for nine years. In 1858, he assumed the position of mayor on the American Party ticket, succeeding Benjamin A. Hammell. Truax also contributed to the education sector by serving on the Board of Education and acting as its treasurer in 1858.
Following his mayoral term, Truax was re-elected in 1859. He subsequently resumed his position on the city council, succeeded by Thomas B. Atkinson. Notably, it was during Clayton Truax’s administration that the Esterbrook Pen Factory was established in Camden.
On July 14, 1876, Clayton Truax passed away, and in his honor, the bell at City Hall tolled for the first time in remembrance of a public citizen.
Frank Truax, Clayton Truax’s grandson, served as a member of the Camden Police Department for numerous years. Unfortunately, he passed away prematurely on June 30, 1932, due to a heart ailment. Prior to his untimely death, he had achieved the rank of sergeant.
Rev. John L. Lenhart went down with the ill-fated USS Cumberland, while Reverand Samuel Y. Monroe met his death by falling from a train.
Clayton Truax was a Camden shoemaker and politician, serving as mayor, on city council, and on the board of education.