Clayton is in Union County
, and in the Northeast New Mexico
region,(of which it is the county seat). Also located northeast of Tucumcari
between Raton and the Texas state line along US Highway 87 near the Beaver River.
The Spanish were the first settelers to pass through the area.The twin peaks of Rabbit Ears Mountain have always been a popular landmark for travelers to view. The Rabbit Ears Mountain were particularly noted by Santa Fe Trail caravans, which passed through the area from 1821 through the 1870s.
The name Rabbit Ears was given to the volcanic protrusions in honor of the Indian Chief 'Orejas de Conejo who was killed in the first part of the 1700's by Spanish colonists.