Reverend Jehu Curtis Clay (1792-1863)

Jehu Curtis Clay served twice as an assistant to Nils Collin, and succeeded him in 1831. Clay was Gloria Dei’s pastor during some of the most difficult times in the history of the United States: the sectional controversy of the 1850’s, and the first years of the Civil War. He also guided the congregation through an era of impressive growth and fundamental change. The sexton’s house and the present rectory were both constructed in the 1830’s. In the 1840’s, the annex churches at Kingsessing and Upper Merion separated from Gloria Dei, and all three joined the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Gloria Dei was renovated extensively, a necessity for a congregation that outgrew its church building.

Balconies were added in 1846 – it was that or build a new church. Jenny Lind, the toast of two continents, sang from the new balcony in 1850. The church was also heated centrally for the first time and acquired the modern convenience of gas service in 1853. In the years just after Clay’s death in 1863, the church continued to grow with the addition of the present parish hall (1864) and a schoolhouse (1868).

Conservation Assessment

Name(s): Jehu Curtis Clay (1792-1863), Simmons Clay (1804 – 1886)

Type of Marker: Ledger stone
Date of Marker (estimate): 1886 or 1860
Material: Marble
Issues: Biogrowth, sugaring
Recommended Treatment: Cleaning w/biocide, consolidation, previously cleaned by MC

Historic Integrity: Intact
Structural Integrity: Excellent
Material Integrity: Good
Legible Inscription: Good

Marker Details
Inventory Number: 128
Historic Number: 350
Cemetery Section: 5
Orientation: East
Marker Height/Length (in): 82
Marker Width (in): 33
Marker Thickness/Depth (in): 5

Written by Amy Grant

Amy Grant is a graphic designer and web developer. She is the founder of the Southwark Historical Society, a volunteer based group that studies the Southwark Historical District located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.