The History of the Chamber

Since our founding in 1952, the Chamber has been an integral part of the Clayton community. In a little over 60 years, we’ve seen Clayton grow from a sleepy suburb into a commercial powerhouse boasting both world-renowned businesses and mom-and-pop shops. Yet despite all of the changes, our charge has remained the same: the promotion of Clayton commerce.

View Clayton Past and Present

Follow our journey from the 1950s until today…


  • The first steering committee meeting was held on July 18, 1952.
  • Articles of Incorporation were signed on December 1, 1952, bringing the Chamber into existence.
  • Land developers began pushing St. Louis businesses to relocate to Clayton, citing Clayton as the county seat and its “easy access.”
  • Parking in Clayton was one of the hottest topics of the era.


  • Four executive divisions were formed: Management, Business, Community Service and Community Development. By the early 1960s, these were replaced by 12 committees.


  • Chamber goals were reshaped to coordinate with changing times. There was a new focus on a variety of topics including cultural, educational and recreational projects.
  • In 1975, the Chamber offered group medical and hospitalization to its members.
  • After years of receiving little financial assistance, the Chamber expanded considerably as Clayton awoke as a leading business center.
  • The Chamber began concentrating on 8 unique areas: attitude, collaboration, corporate sponsorship and event marketing, education, recognition, services, technology and organizational development.


  • In 1980, the Chamber initiated a strong public relations campaign to promote both the Chamber and Clayton.
  • That same year, the Chamber spearheaded the founding of the Clayton Child Center to provide daycare services to families working in Clayton.
  • The first Parties in the Park event was held on June 1, 1983, quickly becoming a must-attend event for area professionals.
  • Clayton businesspeople began demonstrating their athletic skills at the first annual Corporate Challenge.


  • In 1992, the Chamber started its annual forum, “State of the City,” to inform members about Clayton government activities.
  • The Chamber introduced the Leadership Clayton program to train and motivate area leaders.

2000 and Beyond

  • Pillars in the Community Award established.
  • In 2004, the Chamber debuted The Best of Clayton, a business marketplace.
  • The Chamber introduced opportunities to see the world. We’ve explored China, Istanbul, Prague, Berlin, Cuba, Thailand, Cambodia, Spain, Morocco, Australia and Fiji.
  • In 2011, Parties in the Park moved to the streets of Downtown Clayton.
  • The Chamber goes social, introducing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.