Earl Clay was born in Lewisburg in 1903. He attended West Virginia State, and eventually received his Master’s degree from Virginia State University. In 1932, Earl became the principal of the Lewisburg Colored School where he also taught chemistry. After Bolling closed, Earl taught chemistry at Lewisburg High School, and later became a supervisor of county science programs. Earl was involved in education at both the state and local level, and conducted a study examining the socioeconomic status of Black communities in Greenbrier County.