From the HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY VOL II
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES Page 939
John Nelson Layman
John N. Layman, (deceased) for many years owner of the Walnut Level Farm, a handsome property lying one mile southeast of Frostburg, Allegany county, was one of the most prosperous farmers of this region, and ranked with the responsible citizens of the county by reason of his substantial achievements and undeniable work. Capable and reliable in the conduct of material affairs, he was equally dependable and true in the more personal relations of life, standing well as an agriculturist and high in the esteem of his fellow men wherever known.
The Laymans are an old Virginia family of German origin, George Layman, the grandfather of John M.[sic] Layman, having been born in Staunton. He was the father of seven children, namely: Daniel, who is deceased; John, also deceased; Catherine, wife of John McCormick, both deceased; and George W., Henrietta, Nancy and James, all deceased.
George W. Layman, father of John N. Layman, was born in Maryland, as was also his wife, Sallie (McCormick), whose family was of Scotch-Irish extraction. Mr. and Mrs. George W. Layman are both deceased. Their family consisted of thirteen children, namely: Norman, deceased; Daniel B., deceased; Cordelia, wife of Gideon Mease, of Garrett county, Maryland; Mary, deceased, widow of Frank McKinzie; Henrietta, wife of John McKinzie; Francis, deceased; William; Amanda, unmarried, who lives in West Virginia; John M.[sic]; Virginia, who married Isaac Sawyer, deceased; George, deceased; Minerva, widow of William Conners, of Frostburg; and Nancy, wife of Jacob Carry, of West Virginia.
John M.[sic] Layman was born February 1, 1846, at Pine Grove, Allegany (now Garrett) county, Maryland. He was reared on a farm, and had such educational advantages as the old-fashioned pay schools of the vicinity afforded. His practical training was entirely in the line of agricultural work, and on July 3, 1869, he entered the service of Curtin M. Graham, then owner of the Walnut Level Farm, where the remainder of his life was passed. During the first ten years of his stay there he assisted Mr. Graham, the management of the property being turned over to him at the end of that period in recognition of his trustworthiness and ability, and he continued in the new capacity for twenty years, until he bought the place for himself in 1900. He acquired it from Sarah Wright, who had inherited it from the Grahams, and it then comprised a little over three hundred and fifty acres and was, as it is yet, one of the most valuable and up-to-date agricultural estates in Allegany county. In 1907 Mr. Layman sold one hundred and seven acres to Wesley Lohr, receiving one hundred dollars an acre, and retained the remaining two hundred and forty-five in his home place, which is splendidly improved. It is generally known as the old Wright farm. The residence is a fine old brick mansion, one of the most desirable in the county, containing twenty-one rooms, and has been kept in admirable condition.
Mr. Layman started life without any advantages of means, but his industry and other substantial qualities brought their reward, and he not only had the pleasure of becoming the owner of one of the best farming properties in his county, but also gained and held the respect of his associates in every walk of life. His excellent personal habits and good citizenship, neighborliness and honorable dealings commanded the good will of all who came in contact with him. He died March 7, 1918.
In 1870 Mr. Layman was married to Miss Anna R. Facenbaker, of Allegany county, daughter of George Facenbaker, and four children were born to them: Sallie, who is now the wife of Jonas Durst, of Frostburg, Maryland, a furniture dealer and undertaker; Mary, unmarried, who lives at home; Eugene, a mine foreman at Shaft, Maryland; and Susan, living at home. The mother died in 1877, and Mr. Layman subsequently married (second) her sister, Miss Mary L. Facenbaker, by which union there are three children: Marvin, who is a farmer and conducts a large dairy, married Sophia Youngerman, of Frostburg, and they have one child, John; [John] Horace is associated with his brother Marvin in the management of the home farm; Clara is unmarried and living at home.
Mr. Layman was a Protestant in his religious views. Politically he was an ardent Republican from the foundation of the party.
Photos of a rare milk bottle from John Layman's Walnut Level Dairy,
(recently purchased by Genie, great-grand niece of John Nelson Layman)
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