Joseph Herbert Layton: a follow-up

19 11 2009

On Tuesday, I posted about the tombstone of Joseph H. Layton in Etna Cemetery in Licking County. At the time, I did not have his obituary, but mused that there was probably a newspaper article about the train wreck. Bill Johns did a little bit of research and found that, indeed, that was the case. I was then able to go onto NewspaperArchive through the Ohio Genealogical Society (members have access — a good reason to join!)

Joseph H. Layton (referred to as Herbert in one of the articles) was killed in a train wreck near Bloomingburg, Fayette County, Ohio, on 14 May 1903. A repair crew had been working on the tracks and “the ballasting had been largely removed. The rails spread and three cars were plunged into a ditch at the bottom of a high embankment.” Layton, a fireman on the train, tried to save himself by jumping from the engine, but broke his neck. The B&O train was on its way from Cincinnati to Washington Court House when the accident occurred.

Also killed in the accident was engineer John May. No passengers were killed.

According the article, two days before the accident Layton’s father, J. M. Layton, had contacted photographer George Chase to get a photo of “his boy’s engine.” The two of them went to the depot and got “an excellent likeness” of the engine, Joseph Layton and John May. According to Chase, the father said he wanted a good photo even if it cost him his last dollar because, “He may be brought home dead from his next trip.”

Joseph Herbert Layton was the son of James and Mary Layton, who were living on Broadway in Summit Station at the time of the accident. Joseph moved to Newark circa 1900, about the time of his marriage to Laura Kelley. In 1900, they had a son James H. Layton. According to his obituary, Layton was survived by two children. I have not determined the identity of the second child.


Herb Layton household, 1900 census, Etna Township, Licking County, Ohio, sheet 2B, nos. 41/41.

Joseph Layton household, 1880 census, abstract viewed on

Newark Advocate, May 14, 1903, p. 1 and 3.


Tombstone Tuesday: Joseph Layton and the train

17 11 2009

This tombstone is in Etna Cemetery in Licking County, Ohio. I have not looked for an obituary for him yet, but I would not be surprised if there is an article about his death. Judging from the tombstone, I would say that he worked for the B&O Railroad and was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. The fact that the occupational information is so prominently displayed and that it states that he was “killed at Bloomingburg, Fayette Co., O,” leads me to think that he was killed while working on the railroad.

A search of the Fayette County 1867-1908 Death Index and the Licking County Death Index yielded no results.

Joseph H. Layton
Killed at Bloomingburg, Fayette Co, O.

EDIT: More information found on Joseph H. Layton

Joseph H. Layton, Etna Cemetery, Licking County, Ohio. Photograph by Amy Crow, 5 July 2009; copyright 2009, Amy Crow. All rights reserved.