stationery of F H Layer
Original stationery of F H Layer for his two businesses.
F H Layer as a young man
F H Layer as a young man
General store of F H Layer
Perhaps the first business, a general store, of Fred Henry Layer (1859-1912), New Haven, Ohio.

downtown scene of New Haven
Undated RPPC: New Haven (downtown area?). Fred Henry Layer's store/residence on extreme left. c.1890s--1910s
downtown scene of New Haven
RPPC dated 1911: New Haven (downtown area?). Fred Henry Layer's store/residence on extreme left. c.1890s--1910s
downtown scene CU of New Haven
RPPC dated 1911: close-up of above photo

General store of F H Layer
from "PICTURESQUE HURON . . . AS SEEN THROUGH A CAMERA," Ohio: Laning Printing, 1896

George Jakob Layher (1772-1827) had a son, Jacob Fredrich Layher (b. Oct. 20, 1805) who left his ancestral home of Kirchberg, Germany, a small Wurtemberg town near the Murr River, on May 16, 1846, and emigrated to the United States with his wife Rosina M. Benzler (b. 1810) and four children: Frederick (b. 1833), Rosina M. (b.1840), Fredericka (b.1834), and Christina Carolina (5 days old).

They arrived in New York on June 16, 1846 on the John Gossler Ship under Captain Fairfowl and settled during the fall and winter in Erie, Pennsylvania.

In the spring of 1847, they moved on to Kosciusko County, Indiana, where they acquired (or homesteaded?) a farm in Turkey Creek Township. In 1851, Jacob and Rosina had their first and only U.S. born child, David Layer. In the mid-1850s, for some reason--perhaps because of Jacob's death in 1856--the family sold (or lost) the farm.

Frederick Layer moved to New Haven, Ohio in 1853 or 1854 after marrying Louise F. Vogel (b.1835 in Warsaw, Indiana). During the Civil War, he served in the army, but by 1870 he was a day laborer in New Haven, Ohio. At this time, he had also married Sarah Huston after the death of Louise in 1869, and she was helping him raise three children (the fourth child, Louisa S. Layer, had left home after marrying O.W. Byrers). By 1880, Frederick was a dry good merchant, and he and Sarah were raising five children of their own.Frederick's mother Rosina, now 70 years old, was living with them, along with his older son, Fred Henry Layer, now 22 years old and working as a clerk in a store.

At first, Fred Henry Layer lived in New Haven, Ohio, and owned a general store, which was also his residence. Later, he moved to Chicago, Jct., Ohio, and managed an advertising billboard company and, from 1903 to 1911, he managed the Chicago Opera House. Fred Henry Layer's son, Harold Layer ("Tiger") married Mabel Straub from Mansfield, Ohio, and they had their first son, Fred Louis Layer. Harold and Mabel Layer then moved to East Chicago, Indiana, where three more children were born: Yvonne Layer ("Bonnie") who married Harrell Smith ("Smitty"), Patricia Layer ("Pat") who married Thomas ("Budge") Mulligan, and Harold Layer Jr. ("Hadie") who married Dorotha Hess ("Dot").

Another child of Frederick's, Anna, married George S. Beelman in 1880, and sometime after that date they migrated to Gann Valley, South Dakota, where descendants are living to this day, along with others in Detroit, Michigan.

Another family, the Gugeler's, apparently were close to the Layer's--perhaps dating back to their common roots in the Wurtemberg region of Germany. They also emigrated in 1846, also spent the winter in Erie, Pennsylvania, and also moved to Indiana in the spring of 1847. In 1859, Rosina M. Layer married Gotlieb J. Gugeler in Indiana and they moved to Dickinson County, Kansas. She took eight-year old David Layer with her and--possibly--Fredericka Layer. By 1870 they had a farm in Union Township, Kansas, and were raising three children.

In 1880 and 1900, they lived in Liberty Township, Kansas, and in 1910, in Rhinehart Township, Kansas. Many descendants of this branch of the family are living in Kansas and Iowa today. No trace of Fredericka has been found, but some circumstantial evidence indicates that she may have married (possibly a "Canville"), and may have lived in Kansas (possibly the towns of Junction City, Erie, Chanute, or Parsons).

In 1870, David Layer, at age 18, worked as a farm hand for Conrad Kohler, who was a blacksmith also from the Wurtemberg region of Germany and whose wife was born in Ohio. David married his boss's daughter, Elizabeth Kohler, and by 1880 the two of them had their own farm in Liberty Township, Kansas. They raised three daughters there, but, in 1896, David took a job with the railroad in Denver, Colorado. However, one of the above postcards indicates that David was living (or staying temporarily) at 238 West 6th Street, Junction City, Kansas in October 1908. So, his exact "migration" pattern between Kansas and Colorado is not known. After his death in 1913 in Colorado (?), Elizabeth returned to Kansas with Mabel. Agnes stayed in Colorado and Nena moved to Arizona. Descendants of David Layer are living in Kansas, Arizona, and possibly New York.

Finally, there is the mystery of the John Layer family of New Haven, Ohio, that is buried under the largest tombstone in the Guinea Corner Church cemetery. It is engraved as follows: John Layer (1806-1885), Dolly (his wife) (1816-1852), Christina (1850-1852), Catherine (1842-1852), Louisa (1845- ), Caroline (1840- ), Mary (1843- ), and Frederick (1838-1896). I cannot connect them at all with the above family or with the 1846 emigration; they may have been German cousins who migrated separately to Ohio before 1846.

The following are the direct ancestors of Frederick Layer (All were born and died in the Kirchberg/Murr region of Germany, except as noted.)

Georg Layher b.1617 d.1692 ---- married in 1666 to Maria Heigelin
Johann Philipp Layher b.1676 d.1734 ---- married in 1698 to Anna Margaretha Rommel
Johannes Layher b.1705 d.?? ---- married in 1766 to Anna Sybilla Vogel
Johann Georg Layher b.1742 d.1819 ---- married in 1766 to Sabina Rosina Obermuller b.1742 d.1807
Georg Jacob Layher [Mayor/Brewer: Kirchberg/Murr] b.1772 d.1827 ---- married in 1795 to Maria Rosina Schahl b.1773 d.1820
Jacob Friedrich Layher b.1805 d.1856 (IN or OH?) ---- married in 1831 to Rosina Benzler b.1810 d.1891 (OH)

The following list is of all descendents of Frederick Layer, their spouses, and children--if born before 1920.
For supplementary photos and information, click on highlighted names.

Date Born --- Place of Birth
Date Died --- Place of Death/Gravesite
Marriage: Spouse --- Date -- Place
Alice I. Layer
9/5/1871 New Haven, OH
8/20/1925 Cleveland, OH
F. Stevens 10/16/1892 Newark, OH
Anna M. Layer
4/19/1861 New Haven, OH
6/7/1902 Huron Cty, OH
G.S. Beelman 3/25/1880 Huron Cty, OH
Christina Carolina Layer "Anna"
4/9/1846 Kirchberg, G
1/27/1918 Norwalk, OH
J.H. Woodruff 5/2/1878 Stuben, OH
Christina Fredericka Layer
12/21/1835 Kirchbert, G
Junction City, KS (?)

Cleo Belle Layer
12/1/1903 OH
10/1/1967 OH

David Layer
3/8/1851 Warsaw, IN
12/30/1913 Denver, CO
E. Kohler (moved to Denver, CO)
Edna E. Layer
12/24/1876 New Haven, OH
G. Smith 4/25/1906
Ella May Layer
4/29/1879 New Haven, OH
T. Watts
Emma J. Layer
12/1/1873 New Haven, OH
1/27/1930 New Haven, OH
P. Doud
Fred Henry Layer
7/30/1859 New Haven, OH
12/11/1912 New Haven, OH
K. McElwain 9/10/1884 New Haven, OH

(2nd wife):
Hattie A. Sparks 1896 New Haven, OH
Fred Louis Layer
1/3/1914 Willard, OH
4/14/2002 Goleta, CA
G. G. Gauthier IN
Freda L. Layer
1890 Willard, OH
J. L. McConnell 11/15/09 New London, OH
Frederick Layer
6/15/1833 Kirchberg, G
8/28/1915 New Haven, OH
L. Vogel 5/23/1854 New Haven, OH (?)

(2nd wife):
Sarah Huston 9/9/1869 New Haven, OH
George W. Layer
1856 OH
1857 OH

Harold Lewis Layer (Tiger)
10/18/1892 Norwalk, OH
3/9/1951 E. Chicago, IN
Mabel Straub 11/17/1913 OH
Harold Layer (Hadie)
01/11/1916 E. Chicago, IN
1/20/1970 E. Chicago, IN
East Chicago, IN 1933 & 1938 & 1948
Hazel G. Layer
B. Robinson
Jacob Frederick Layher (Layer in 1846)
10/14/1805 Kirchberg, G.
1856 Warsaw, IN?
R. Benzler 1831 G
Katherine J. Layer
10/26/1911 N.Haven, OH
1967 Chicago IL
Edward C. Mobbs (1911-2001)
Louisa S. Layer
11/23/1855 N Haven, OH
O.W. Byrers
Milton A. Layer
1900 OH
1957 OH
I. Yoha 1921
Patricia Layer
4/24/1926 E. Chicago, IN
July 1992 Griffith, IN
Thomas Mulligan IN
Ray F. Layer
2/5/1907 Plymouth, OH
5/11/1976 Mansfield, OH
M. Roth 1943
Ray J. Layer
9/10/1893 OH
1962 OH
E. L. Cross & K. Walker
Rosa N. Layer
4/28/1864 New Haven, OH
G. W. Hoffman
Rosina Magdalina Layer
10/2/1840 Kirchberg, G.
3/18/1928 Lyona, KS
G. Gugler 12/22/1859 Warsaw, IN
Von F. Layer
12/6/1911 OH
1970 OH

William A. Layer
4/8/1875 New Haven, OH
1928 OH
M. Palmer 4/1899 Plymouth, OH
Yvonne F. Layer
2/21/1917 E. Chicago, IN
12/22/1996 Highland, IN
Harrell H. Smith E. Chicago, IN

Date Born --- Place of Birth
Date Died --- Place of Death/Gravesite
Marriage: Spouse --- Date -- Place

Clarence Blaine Beelman
12/18/1884 OH
1963 Salem, OR
3/29/1915 SD (Anna V. Albert)
Clinton Logan Beelman

Fred E. Beelman
2/12/1883 OH
1960 OR
E. Bowden
George S. Beelman
8/17/1851 Cumbrlnd, PN
1/3/1909 Norwalk, OH
A.M. Layer 1880 OH
Rae L. Beelman
8/29/1889 Plymouth, OH
4/6/1981 Gann Valley, SD
Rose L. Beelman
1/25/1881 OH
F. Miller
Rosina M. Benzler
10/14/1810 G
2/4/1891 Greenfield, OH
J.F. Layer 1831 G
Edna Bowden
1894 IA
1949 OR
F. Beelman
Ralph R. Brown
D. Doud 1930 OH
Arthur C. Byrers
V. Keesy
Clara Byrers
11/27/1903 Greenfield, OH

F. Linder
O.W. Byrers

Louise Layer
Eula L. Cross (Eulalie?)

Ray J. Layer c.1910 (divorce: 12/2/15)
Dorothy E. Dowd (Nina) (Edna?)
5/27/1905 (06?) New London, OH
11/17/1987 Norwalk, OH
R.R. Brown 1930 OH
Patrick J. Dowd
1942 OH
Emma Layer 11/9/1904 New London, OH
Geraldine G. Gauthier
9/21/1916 E. Chicago, IN
4/14/2002 Santa Barbara, CA
F. L. Layer
Gottlieb Jacob Gugler
2/13/1829 G
12/19/1900 Lyona, KS
R.M. Layer 12/22/1859 Warsaw, IN
George W. Hoffman
1859, Kenosha, WI
Rosa Layer 1886
Gertrude L. Hoffman
2/19/1888 OH
10/25/1918 OH

Howard L. Hoffman
10/19/1900 ?

Walter Hoffman
9/21/1891 ?

Irene Bell Horne
12/7/1889 Tiffin, OH
9/24/1965 Norwalk, OH
W. A. Woodruff 2/19/1910
Sarah Houston
3/20/1840 Milan, OH
3/7/1908 (02?) New Haven, OH
F. Layer 9/9/1869 New Haven, OH
Vesta L. Keesy
Art Byrers
C. Knight (Clara?)

H. M. Watts
Elizabeth Kohler
1853 KY
1939 KS
David Layer
Frank E. Linde (Linder?)
11/04/1888 ?
Clara Byrers (1881-1949)
Katherine J. McConnell
10/26/1911 New Haven, OH
1967 Chicago, IL
Edward C. Mobbs
James L. McConnell

Freda Layer 11/15/1909 New London, OH
Katherine McElwain
10/13/1861 Garrettsvl, OH
1896 OH
F.H. Layer 9/10/1884 New Haven, OH
Mabel L. McKilvey

V. A. Watts
Frank E. Miller
6/30/1871 ? OH
12/1928 MI
Rose Beelman 1900
Gerald Miller (son of Frank E.)
Norwalk, OH ?
(lived in Detroit: 8/26/15)

Edward C. Mobbs
4/20/1911 IN (?)
11/5/2001 Pinellas, FL
Kath. J. McConnell
Millie A. Palmer
William A. Layer 1899 Plymouth, OH
Barney G. Robinson
Hazel G. Layer (1885-1921)
Edna L. Robinson
Mary R. Roth
1/20/1893 ?
1954 OH
Ray F. Layer 1943
Walter Sedgwick
7/8/1886 SD
Aug 1977 White Lake, SD
Rae Beelman
George W. Smith
7/05/1880 ?
Edna Layer 4/25/1906 New Haven, OH
Hallie Smith
5/6/1896 ?

Phoebe J. Smith (stepdaughter of Edna Layer)

Hattie A. Sparks [Skinner]
F. H. Layer (2nd husband)
Fred C. Stevens
Avice Layer 10/16/1892 Newark, OH
Roydon D. Stevens
Plymouth, OH ?

Mabel Mae Straub
8/13/1895 Mansfield OH ?
10/10/1979 E. Chicago, IN
H. Layer 11/17/1913 OH
Louise F. Vogel
1835 IN ?
1/12/1869 OH
F. H. Layer 5/23/1854 New Haven, OH ?
K. Walker (Nedra)
1/24/1913 Adamson,WV
1/7/1979 Willard, OH
R.J. Layer
Harley Monroe Watts

C. Knight
Thurman H. Watts

Ella Layer Columbus, OH
Vernon A. Watts

M. McKilvey
James Harvey Woodruff
5/12/1827 Saratoga, NY
5/16/1908 Steuben, OH
C."Anna" Layer 2/2/1878 Fairfield, OH
Roy Harvey Woodruff
10/2/1879 Greenfield, OH
6/18/1904 Greenfield, OH

Walter Albert Woodruff
12/10/1885 Greenfield, OH
9/29/1942 Norwalk OH
Irene Bell Horne 2/19/1910
Woodruff (Son of Walter)
4/21/1913 Chicago, OH

Irene J. Yoha (Yohe?)
8/2/1902 OH
Dec. 1980 Richland, OH
M. A. Layer 1921
Date Born --- Place of Birth
Date Died --- Place of Death/Gravesite
Marriage: Spouse --- Date -- Place
1 Ella Layer lived in Garrett, IN in 1906.
2 Clara Knight of Boughtonville (?)
3 Thurman H. Watts moved to Cambridge, PA in 1913.
Additions and recommendations are welcome.

1870s envelope of Frederick Layer business
Original envelope c.1877 of "Mills & Layer," perhaps the first business of Frederick Layer. Not dated. Postmarked: New Haven, Ohio.
1908 postcard Frederick Layer to David
Original postcard from Frederick Layer (1833-1915) to David Layer postmarked: New Haven, Ohio, 1908
1915 Obit of Frederick Layer
Obituary in The Chicago Times, Chicago Jct., Ohio,
September 2, 1915, page 1

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updated March 2013