The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 John William “Jack” Clay

John William “Jack” Clay

Sprott, Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, USA
Death 27 May 1955 (aged 55)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot 01 106 2
Memorial ID 127415 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Chief Jack Clay
Lauded at Rites

One of the largest number of people ever to attend a funeral in Murray City turned out Tuesday afternoon to pay their final respects to the life of John W. (Jack) Clay.

Mr. Clay 55, had been Salt Lake County fire chief for almost 26 years he also was a well known sportman in the state. He served eight years as a member of the Utah state fish and game commission. He died Friday morning of last week from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Salt Lake City's Fire Chief J. K. Piercy Tuesday paid tribute to Mr. Clay, Chief Piercy said Mr. Clay made important contributions to the advancement of fire protection for the nation as a whole.

Salt Lake County Commissioner Lamont B. Gunderson said Mr. Clay had become res-pected as a man who has become a legend in Salt Lake County in the hearts of young and old because they felt safe in having him on the "job".

Other speakers were J. Ephraim Wahlquist and Ross Leonard, former director of the Utah State Fish and Game department and now director of the Idaho Fish and Game department.

Chief Clay saw his county fire department grow from a one full time employed organ-ization with two stations to the present 27 full time firemen with eight stations.

Mr. Clay was instrumental in establishing the county's ambulance service and in the development of fire trucks carrying their own water he was a past president of the Utah State firemen's association and a member of the Pacific Coast fire chiefs' association.

The Salt Lake County commission Friday after learning of his death passed a resolution paying respect to his service and offering condolances to his family.

Mr. Clay also had served as president of the Salt Lake County Fish and Game commission he was the first chief of the fire department at Columbia Steel Corp., now Columbia-Geneva division of U.S. Steel Corp.

The fire trucks, first designed by Chief Clay have become standard equipment for fighting fires in rural areas throughout the nation.

Mr. Clay, long a civic leader in the Murray area was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Murray Aerie 1760, and of the Antelope Island chapter, International Footprinters' association.

Chief Clay was appointed truck foreman for the Salt Lake County Roads and Bridges department on July 1, 1929. He left that position on June 1, 1929 to become fire department chief.

He was respected by his men for his leadership and bravery under some of the most difficult fire fighting conditions he was overcome by smoke fumes on April 3 awhile the department was fighting a fire at the Soters Furniture Co. store in Midvale. He was admitted for observation at the LDS hospital early in May and later was released. However, he returned to the hospital two weeks ago attending physicians said the monoxide gas was an accumulation of several years.

A native of Sprott, Mo., he was born Oct. 7, 1899, a son of James E. and Lovina Reeder Clay. He moved to Utah as a youth and settled with his parents in Murray. He married Lillian Watts on Aug. 27, 1920 in Murray.

Besides his widow, he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Jack (Vardell) Ungricht, Murray, and Mrs. Gordon (Lucille) Jensen, Orem; his mother of Ogden; two grand-children; three sisters, Mrs. Robert King, El Monte, Calif; Mrs. Clifford Watts and Mrs. Joseph DeNiro, both of Murray; three brothers, Charles Clay, Albion, Idaho; R.J. Clay, and Howard Clay both of Ogden.

Officiating at the services was Marshall K. Brinton, bishop of the Murray Third ward. The program at the funeral follows; Prayer at mortuary, Pres. Samuel Bringhurst; prelude music, Marilyn Riches; invocation, Bishop Ralph Jensen; vocal solo, "Sometime We'll Understand", Jacob P. Burton Jr.; speaker, Pres. J. Ephriam Wahlquist; speaker, Fire Chief Piercey; vocal solo, "In the Garden", Rhea Nelson; speaker, Ross Leonard; speaker, Pres. Lamont B. Gunderson; remarks, Bishop Brinton; vocal solo, "Goodnight Sweetheart", Mr. Burton; benediction, Cameron Tuckett; postlude music, Marilyn Riches.

Interment was in Murray City cemetery where the graveside prayer was said by J. D. Blain.

Pallbearers were Frank P. Jones, Clair Rasmussen, Charles West, Glen Bean, Guy Laney and Amos Harman. Honorary pallbearers were members of the county fire department. The department's auxiliary cared for the many flowers.

The Murray Eagle 1955-06-03

Family Members


  • Maintained by: Anne
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 127415
  • Anne
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John William “Jack” Clay (7 Oct 1899–27 May 1955), Find A Grave Memorial no. 127415, citing Murray City Cemetery, Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Anne (contributor 46788213) .