Sunday, February 5, 2017


COL. JOHN JAY LAYTON, Ohio County. In the year 1720, the great-grandfather of this gentleman came to America from England and settled at Baltimore with a large family, of which Col. Layton's grandfather was the youngest. He was an officer in the French and Indian war, and was an officer at Braddock's defeat. He died at Spartanburg, and his widow removed with her family of five boys and six girls to what is now Garrard County, Ky., in the year 1800. William, the father of Col. Layton, was the youngest son, and was born in South Carolina in 1790. He became colonel in the militia, and in the war of 1812, went on foot on the ice on Lake Erie, to Maiden, but the expedition was abandoned. He was a flat-boatman from Kentucky to New Orleans, and made ten trips, from eight of which he walked the entire distance home. He was married, in 1815, to Mary Ann Yater, by whom he had thirteen children. Of these Col. Layton is the eldest son, and only nine are now living, scattered all over different parts of the United States. Col. William died in 1866, and his wife in 1834. Both were well known in Kentucky, and were influential citizens. Col. John Layton was born January, 1821, in Garrard County. His early education was obtained in the rude log-houses, well known in Kentucky history. But he was ambitious, and by reading and hard study he obtained sufficient knowledge to teach school, and engaged in that profession from 1844 to 1852, and in time acquired an extended knowledge of many of the higher branches, including practical surveying. In 1846, he enlisted in Company B, First Kentucky Regiment, and was in Gen. Taylor's command in the Mexican war, and served with honor one year. Arriving home he continued teaching and also engaged in milling. March 17, 1851, he married Miriam Shrewsbury, daughter of Allen Shrewsbury, of Garrard County, born in 1834. They have two daughters — Mrs. William J. French, of Cromwell, the elder, and Miss Martha Boone Layton, the younger. In consequence of a fall on the ice caused slight dislocation of his hip joint, at the age of fourteen years Col. Layton became permanently lame, one limb being shorter than the other. On his enlistment many, including Col. Rogers, commanding his regiment, tried to persuade him to remain at home, but his intrepid bravery and remarkable energy enabled him to serve out his term of enlistment, while many who were physically strong failed in so doing.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Note:  Col. John Jay Layton is shown living in Cromwell, with his family, in the 1870 and 1880 census; he died August 1907 in Odell, Gage County, Nebraska.

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