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Rankin Family History Project

Maj. Felix Layton


Maj. Felix Layton was born in Perry County, Mo., on November 20, 1881. He is a son of John B. and Elizabeth (Hagan) Layton. [For a history of the Hagan family, see sketch of Gregory Brewer.]

Five brothers, John, Joseph, Zachariah, Barnard and Ignatius Layton removed from Maryland, their native State to Marion County, Ky., and from thence with the exception of Joseph who died in Kentucky, to Perry County, Mo. in 1808 and settled in Central Saline and St. Mary's Townships. Their father was born in England.

These brothers were all married in Kentucky, and reared in that State and Missouri large families, there being now fully 200 descendants from them in Perry County: John B., son of Joseph Layton and the father of the subject of this sketch, reared a family of fifteen children, and three of his sons reared families as large; Augustine, sixteen, Simeon, also fifteen, and Felix, sixteen. John B. Layton was thrice married, and died in Perry County in 1866, aged seventy-one years.

His uncle, John and the grandfather of Mrs. Felix Layton, was one of the early judges of Perry County and also represented the county in the Legislature. Mrs. Layton's brother, Thomas, was for several years sheriff of Perry County, and is now a druggist in St. Louis.

Felix Layton's marriage with Melissa A. Layton was celebrated on February 21, 1854. She was a daughter of Augustine Layton, a son of Hon. John Layton. Her mother's maiden name was Lucinda Riney, whose parents came from Maryland to Missouri in 1808.

During the war of the Rebellion, Maj. Felix Layton did noble service for his country. He enlisted in Company C, Fourth Missouri Regiment, and was commissioned second lieutenant. By enlisting in the spring of 1862, he was commissioned captain of Company B, Sixty-fourth Regiment of Missouri State Militia, but he soon resigned to accept a position on the staff of Gen. James R. McCormack with the rank of major.

In May, 1863, Gen. McCormack detached Maj. Layton from his staff, and placed him in command of 400 men on duty in Southeast Missouri. Seven months later he tendered his resignation as aid de camp, and assisted in recruiting a company of which he was elected first lieutenant. The company was attached to the Forty-seventh Missouri volunteers as Company B, and was mustered in on August 29, 1864, being mustered out on March 29, 1865.

Maj. Layton returned to his farm and lived a retired life until he was elected to represent his party in the State Legislature in 1880, which position he filled creditably.

His children who are living are Ann A. (Mrs. James Manning), John B. (who married Annetta Fenwick), Mary L. (Mrs. Isidore Tucker), Melissa M. (Mrs. Ferdinand Tucker), Paschal E., Mary E., Mary Eveline and Mary A. Those dead are Joseph T., Joseph P., Lewis D., Mary J., Felix and two that died unnamed.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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