Layman [Lehmann], John 1839 – 1911

John Layman (Lehmann)

    Johannes Lehmann, Jr. was born Nov. 1st 1839 in Lauperswyl Canton Bern Switzerland. He was married March 5th 1873 to Mary Smith (Schmitz) and died Sep 26th 1911. His wife, Mary was born May 4th 1852 also in Bern Switzerland. Mary died October 20th 1937.

    John Layman Jr. Chapter IV of the Layman book states as follows; The Farm he purchased is located in Section 29 on the north side of Devil’s Hole Road, and across the road from that purchased by is father in 1856. There was a sawmill on this farm which John operated, along with his brothers Peter and William and brother-in- law John Rothenbuhler. Their first home was a log cabin. It was replaced by a frame house which burned in 1889. The present house was built in 1891. His Army Record states he was 5’ 3 1/4” tall, had a dark complexion, black eyes and black hair.

    The following is from “Biographical Record of Wood Co.”, Beers published 1897. John Layman, a pioneer agriculturist and lumberman of Webster township, was born November 1, 1839, in Berne Switzerland. His parents John and Martha (Magdalena) (Jacobs) Layman, were both natives of that place and were married there. In 1849 they came to Wood County, and purchased eighty acres of unimproved land in Webster Township. Our subject’s father was a man of great energy and practical ability, a Democrat in politics and a consistent member of the Lutheran Church. He died in August, 1872 and his wife survived him until August 13, 1893. Their children were as follows: Barbara; Peter, a farmer in Webster township; Chris; William; John, our subject; and Anne.

Mr. Layman was ten years old when he came to America, and he remembers well the scenes and experiences of Pioneer times, when Indians wolves and mosquitoes kept the settlers in constant dread and discomfort. The first home of the family was a little log cabin, and they nearly starved at times. Their wheat had to be carried thirty miles to mill. When he reached the age of twenty-two, Mr. Layman enlisted in Company I, 111th O. V. I. (Captains Yeager and Norris commanding). He took part in thirty-two hard-fought engagements, the principal ones being Stone River, Allatoona, Resaca, Lost Mountain, siege of Knoxville, Chattanooga, Cedar Rapids, Utoy Creek, Fort Anderson, Raleigh and Atlanta. He was discharged at Salisbury, N. C. June 27, 1865. Returning home, he bought eighty acres of forestland near Luckey and erected a sawmill, which he operated for twenty years. In 1873, he was married to Miss Mary Smith (Schmitz), also a native of Berne, Switzerland. They have four children: Frank, Fred, Mary and Edward. In politics, Mr. Layman is a Republican and he belongs to Benedict Post, G. A. R., of Pembervillle. He and his wife are prominent members of the Evangelical Church of Luckey.

John Layman died a horrible death. The article on the following page from the Perrysburg Journal, 29 Sep 1911, tells of the horrible accident. From the Zion Methodist history we see that John and Margaret Layman were both two of the very earliest converts and were instrumental in the formation of Zion Evangelical, later Zion United Methodist.


  • Children of John, Jr. and Mary, with their spouses
  • 1. Mary Ann Lehmann B 18 Sep 1873 D 18 Mar 1957
  • + George Schudel B 24 Sep 1891 D 30 Jul 1942
  • 2. Frank John Layman B 24 Oct 1877  D 16 Apr 1964
  • 3. Fred Jacob Layman B 1 Apr 1879 D 9 Aug 1951
  • +Lydia M. Zingg B 5 Apr 1889 D 8 Dec 1972
  • 4. Edward William Lehmann B 3 Apr 1889 D 9 Nov 1966
  • + Margaret Davis B 24 Feb 1896 D 29 Mar 1996


“ DRANK LYE And Died in Terrible Agony Soon After”

   John Layman, 72, wealthy farmer, residing near Le Moyne, died at 5 o’clock Tuesday morning after 18 hours of agony caused by drinking lye mistaken for water.

   Layman, upon returning home from a trip to town shortly before noon Monday, started to drive to a field where his sons were working to exchange teams with them. He had bought a jug of oil and when he started for the field put a jug of water on the wagon to take to his sons. He halted midway at another house on the farm and for some unaccountable reason picked up a jug containing lye and put it on the wagon. Stopping to open a gate leading into the field where his sons were at work, Layman, evidently thirsty, drank from the jug which contained the lye, and as the fiery liquid burned his throat, staggered about and fell to the ground.

   His sons, noticing his actions hastened to the gate and found their aged father clutching his throat and writhing upon the ground unable to speak. The jug with part of the lye spilled upon the ground told the story of what had happened. The sons hurried their father to the house and administered what relief they could until a physician could be secured. The lye had burned throat and stomach so badly however, that death ensued Tuesday morning.

   Mr. Layman was born in Switzerland and came to Wood county with his parents when 10 years of age. They settled on a farm directly across the road from the one on which Mr. Layman died.

The dead man is survived by a widow, three sons, Frank, Fred and Edward, residing at home, and a daughter, Mrs. George Schudel, of Lemoyne. He served throughout the civil war as a member of Co. I, 111th O. V. I.

   The funeral was held at the Evangelical church at 10 o’clock Friday morning with burial in the Luckey cemetery.