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.




One response

22 11 2009

Hi, You have a great blog. I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. You can go to my blog, My Ancestors and Me, at to get the badge.

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