Barclay, on State Highway 53 nineteen miles southwest of Marlin in southwestern Falls County, was named for William Anderson Barclay, a pioneer resident of Central Texas who, in partnership with his brother-in-law, W. S. G. Wilson, established the Barclay Ranch in the adjoining corners of Bell, Falls, and Milam counties. From 1895 to 1898 Barclay cleared and farmed 3,500 acres. The present site of Barclay was the location of a general mercantile store that he established in 1877 or 1878. Barclay also became postmaster of the community's post office when it opened in 1881. The post office was discontinued in 1906, and mail was routed through Rosebud and Lott. In 1881 pioneer Lyddleton Smith of Washington County assigned three acres of land for a Baptist church. The congregation became known as Beulah (later Barclay) Baptist Church. Part of the property was set aside for a burial ground. Confederate veteran Paul Pieper, Sr., who moved his family to Barclay in 1882, donated part of his acreage for a cemetery in 1886 and set aside plots for Pieper family members. Paul Pieper, Jr., deeded his inherited hay land to the cemetery at his death in 1926. The graveyard has been maintained by the Barclay Cemetery Association since 1915. On April 8, 1984, Barclay Cemetery received a Texas historical marker in a special ceremony in Barclay. A Barclay school district was organized in 1882, when Paul and Katherine Wendel Pieper deeded land for the school. School trustees in 1889 were A. J. Murray, J. F. Knox, and H. Ernst. The teachers were J. F. O'Shea and A. M. Kolb; they each received fifty dollars a month for three months' teaching. Fifty-five students were attending classes in 1889. Local population was reported at fifty by 1890 and at 100 by 1896. The community also had a livestock farm and a cotton gin and gristmill.
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