IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Ernst P. Layer


Ernst P. Layer, living in Lansing township. is one of the progressive and substantial farmers of Allamakee county, owning about eighty-three acres of land on section 33. Born in Center township on the 29th of September, 1863, is a son of one of the earliest settlers in Allamakee county, his father, John Layer, having come to this part of Iowa in the early ‘50s. He purchased a farm in Center township and gave his entire attention to its development and improvement until about the year 1896, when he retired from active life and moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he now makes his home. He tells many interesting incidents concerning pioneer days in this section and remembers the time when the Indians were numerous upon the prairies and when it was no uncommon sight to witness an Indian deer hunt. He was himself an enthusiastic sportsman and in his youth often wandered farm from home, following the trail of the deer. He witnessed practically the entire development of this section of the state and is numbered among its most honored and successful pioneers. He married in Germany and soon after he came to the United States lost his wife. Returning to the fatherland some time afterward, he was again married, his second union being with Miss Louisa Soueer. By his first marriage he had one son, George, who resides at Osage, Iowa. To his second union were born eight children, five of whom are living, namely: Louisea, the wife of Joseph Blummer, of North Dakota; Elizabeth, who married William Blumer, also of North Dakota; Ernst P., of this review; Herman, who makes his home in Sacramento, California; and John, a resident of North Dakota.

Ernst P. Layer was reared upon his father’s farm in Center township and in his childhood divided his attention between his studies at the district school and work upon the homestead. He remained with his parents until he was thirty-two years of age and then began his independent career, renting land in Center township. He continued to develop and improve this property until about the year 1907, when he purchased the farm of eighty-three and one-tenth acres on section 33, Lansing township, upon which he resides. This is a well improved and valuable property and upon it he engages in general farming, his well directed and practical labors having been rewarded by a gratifying degree of success.

In Lansing township, on the 15th of October, 1895, Mr. Layer was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Roth, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Fischer) Roth, early settlers in Lansing township. The father has passed away but the mother survives and makes her home at Church, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Layer have three children, Clara E., Theodore John and Herbert E. The parents are members of the Congregational church.

Mr. Layer gives his political allegiance to the republican party and although not an office seeker, has served capably and conscientiously as school director. He is connected with business interest of this section as a stockholder in the Calhoun Creamery Company. His energies have been largely concentrated, however, upon the development of his farm which is a valuable and productive property, bringing him a gratifying annual income, so that he is now one of the prosperous citizens of this community. He is a man of genial nature and genuine personal worth and has gained the favorable regard of his fellow citizens during the long years of his residence in Allamkee county.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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