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Excerpt from "History of Allegany County" (1923)

RICHARD OLIN LAYMAN 

For years identified closely with the leading industries of Allegany county, Maryland, Richard Olin LAYMAN, through well applied energy and industry, has been able to realize comfortable conditions in his business affairs, and through sterling character has won the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens, the former, for many men being easier to acquire than the latter. Like many other substantial residents of Frostburg today, Mr. Layman has been the architect of his own fortunes. He bears one of the oldest and most respected family names of Western Maryland, but his pioneer farmer ancestors never acquired ample enough fortunes to enable them to give much financial assistance to their numerous descendants, and by the time Mr. LAYMAN had completed his period of public school attendance, the problem of self-support was awaiting him. He met this condition with courage and determination, and his subsequent success was reward well earned.

Richard Olin LAYMAN was born March 1, 1872, in the hamlet of Shade Mills, then in Garrett but now in Allegany county, Maryland [sic]. His parents were Norman B. and Rebecca (ENFIELD) LAYMAN, and his grandfather was George [Washington] LAYMAN, all of whom were born in Maryland and spent their lives here.  Norman B. LAYMAN was born in 1833 and followed farming all through the active years of a long and worthy life. His death occurred August 14, 1915, when aged eighty-two years. His family consisted of ten children, namely: Asa, who is a resident of Frostburg; Delphie, who is deceased; Floyd, who is a resident of Baltimore, Maryland; Safora, who is the wife of J. W. SMITH, a business man of Oakmont, Pennsylvania; Ulysses Grant, Howard C. and Clarence M., all of whom are deceased; Richard Olin, who resides at Frostburg; Dessie, who is unmarried and Walter T., who follows the trade of tinner, lives at Frostburg, Maryland.

Richard Olin LAYMAN was two years old when his parents came to establish the family home at Frostburg, and this city has been his home ever since. He attended school somewhat longer than many of his youthful companions, being about seventeen years old when he put his books aside and began the serious business of life. Occupation is very often determined by environment and strong home ties. In this section the coal mines and the coal fields offered employment that could be engaged in without removing far from familiar surroundings, and before Mr. LAYMAN was eighteen years old, he, with many other youths, was hard at work digging coal in the mines of the Consolidation Coal Company in the Frostburg district. Although yearly mine conditions are being improved, it seems difficult to believe that coal mining can ever be anything but a heavy task. Mr. LAYMAN continued in this work for ten years, retiring from it then in order to embrace a business opportunity in another industry. By this time the oil business had become very profitable in Allegany county, and Mr. LAYMAN engaged himself in the retail oil business for fifteen years. Was also engaged for Eureka Life Insurance Co., Baltimore, for three years. After closing out with the Standard Oil, Mr. LAYMAN engaged in the hardware business at Frostburg in 1919, and carries a general line of hardware merchandise.

In 1894, Mr. LAYMAN was married to Miss Lillie KEEDY, who died February 1, 1914. She was a daughter of George KEEDY, and a granddaughter of George KEEDY, Sr., of an old pioneer family, who was one of the early tollkeepers at the Six Mile House on the old National Turnpike.

Mr. and Mrs. LAYMAN became the parents of three children, namely: Emory, who is connected with the Western Maryland Railroad Company, Maryland; Orville, who died in childhood; and G. Woodrow, who resides at Frostburg. Mr. LAYMAN was made the administrator of his father's estate.

While Mr. LAYMAN has always been a busy man, he has never been too busy to take interest in the general welfare of his city. He has been active in the affairs of the Republican party for twenty years, and when he was elected a member of the city council, the responsible citizens of Frostburg were well pleased, for they believe in his integrity as a citizen and have faith in his business judgment. For many years he has been a member of the fraternal orders of Knights of Pythias and the Golden Eagles.

He was married again in 1922 to Miss Margaret H. RODDA, daughter of the late Mathias RODDA, who conducted a retail shoe store on East Main street for many a year."

[Note: Information is reversed. Shade Mills was formerly Allegany Co. now Garrett Co.]

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