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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 240-241

WILLIAM H. LAYTON

William H[arrison] LAYTON, a prominent and successful farmer of Liberty Township, is a native of Indiana, born in Tippecanoe County, February 18, 1830, and is of English and Irish descent. His parents, John and Mary (RUSSELL) LAYTON, were natives of Virginia and Kentucky respectively. They were married in the State of Ohio, and in 1829 settled in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, where they spent the rest of their days. The father's death occurred in 1881, at the advanced age of eighty-six years, and the mother died in May, 1886, in her eighty-fifth year. Their ancestors were noted for their longevity. They were the parents of thirteen children, eight of whom grew to maturity, all being now deceased but three. William H. LAYTON was the fifth child in his father's family. He was reared to the avocation of a farmer, his father following that pursuit, and during his boyhood he attended the schools of his neighborhood at such times as his services were not required on the farm.

He was married at the age of twenty-one years to Miss Elizabeth CREEK, of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, whom he had known from childhood. Mr. and Mrs. LAYTON have eight children -- Abel M., Margaret E., wife of William FRENCH; Mary R., a widow; Sarah Jane, wife of C. W. SCHOCH; Lydia M., married J. SIEVENS; George P., William R. and Etta. After his marriage Mr. LAYTON rented a farm in his native county, where he lived until 1854. He then removed with his family to Marion County, Iowa, and during the same fall he came to Ringgold County and entered eighty acres of land from the Government, on which he immediately built a small log house, 16 x 16 feet, and commenced breaking his land, removing his family to this farm in the spring of 1856. Mr. LAYTON began life entirely without means, and his great success is due to his own efforts, aided by his estimable wife, he having by his persevering industry and good management added to his real estate till he owns at present nearly 1,000 acres of choice land.

He began life as a general farmer, but as his means increased he engaged in stock-raising and feeding, and is now handling thorough-bred short-horn cattle, having at present 200 head, including graded cattle, besides which he has some fine specimens of Canadian draught horses. Mr. LAYTON served two terms as trustee of East Fork Township, before it was divided. He was elected justice of the peace of East Fork Township, but refused to qualify. He and his wife are members of the United Brethren church. He was for a number of years a member of the West Des Moines Conference.

Mr. LAYTON is and has been for years an uncompromising prohibitionist, always voting as he talks. He has also been for years opposed to all secret societies. He is a man of very strong convictions on all subjects, and is generally well informed. He is a strong, logical reasoner, and although he is decided in expressing his opinions, both in public and private, always treats his opponents with fairness and courtesy. As one of the representative men of Ringgold County, we take pleasure in presenting the portrait of Mr. LAYTON to our readers.

NOTE: Elizabeth (CREEK) LAYTON died June 6, 1907, Iola, Allen County, Kansas.

SOURCES:
Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 240-41, 1887

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009

Biograhical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.


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