Elizabeth Hannah <I>Williams</I> Layton


Elizabeth Hannah Williams Layton

Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, USA
Death 9 Aug 1945 (aged 86)
California, USA
Burial Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona, USA
Memorial ID 27174216 View Source

Wife of Christopher Layton.

Thatcher Pioneer, Leader In Mormon Activity Dies

THATCHER - August 9-- Elizabeth Williams Layton, 86 years old, who came to Arizona with her husband in 1883 when he was sent here as first president of the St. Joseph Stake of the Mormon Church, died this morning in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Precilla McIntyre, in Roseville, California.

Born September 16, 1858 in Kaysville, Utah she married the late Christopher Layton in Salt Lake City. When the couple was sent to Arizona by authorities of the Latter-Day Saints Church, they settled in Thatcher, and started farming. They later bought a grist mill, an ice plant, and a mercantile store.

Mrs. Layton was president of the Relief Society of the St. Joseph Stake for 20 years, and became the first postmaster in Thatcher. She received this appointment in the early 1900's from Theodore Roosevelt. She had been a stockholder and served as director in the Citizen's Bank of Thatcher. She was active throughout the state in the cause of womans suffrage. Throughout her life she worked in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and also worked in the LDS Temple.

She leaves six daughters, Mrs. Lottie Larsen, Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Lillian Claridge, Safford; Mrs. Luella Major, Kaysville, Utah; Mrs. Minnie Hatch, Safford; Mrs. Bessie Griner, Phoenix; and Mrs. McIntyre; two sons, Leslie W. Layton, Tempe, and Gilbert Layton, Oakland, California; 28 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren. Nine of her grandsons are in the armed forces, and one has been killed in action.

Funeral Services will be conducted here Sunday in the Mormon Chapel and burial will be in the Thatcher Cemetery.

Arizona Republic, August 10, 1945


Elizabeth W. Layton, daughter of Ebenezer Williams and Ada Evans, was born at Kaysville, Utah, September 16, 1858. In her girlhood she took an active part in the church organizations.

She was a member of the choir and a solo singer for years. She was a teacher and treasurer of the first Retrenchment Association in Kaysville, which was the beginning of the Mutual Improvement Association.

At the age of twenty she was married to Christopher Layton in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the time he was a counselor in the Davis Stake Presidency. In December, 1882 he was called to organize and preside over a stake in Southern Arizona. He was the first president of St. Joseph Stake with headquarters in St. David.

They started for Arizona the last of January 1883, traveling by t rain, on a route which took them to San Francisco, Los Angeles and ­terminated in Benson, Arizona. Two railroad cars were required to transport their belongings which included furniture, clothes, tents, ­oats, wheat and alfalfa seed, horses, mules, harnesses and farm implements. They settled in St. David, bought a farm and built a nice home.

In December of that year, Apostles Brigham Young and Heber J. Grant visited the St. Joseph Stake. A caravan of fifteen carriages from St.David took the Apostles, President Layton and his counselors to the Gila Valley. These men decided that the headquarters of St. Joseph Stake should be moved to the Gila Valley. In 1885 Thatcher was chosen to : the headquarters of the newly organized Stake.

In July 1886 Elizabeth and family moved into her new home ­Thatcher. In this home Church leaders, State officials and Army officers were welcome and entertained. She always considered it a privilege to entertain these people.

Elizabeth Layton had acted as President Layton's private secretary and was with him in all his business transactions. That same support ­was given in all Church activities.

At a conference in February, 1898 her husband Christopher Layton was relased from his duties as St. Joseph Stake President due to health, which terminated in his death August 7, 1898 in Kaysville, Utah.

After her husband's death Elizabeth returned to Thatcher to resume her duty of rearing the large family. She had nine children, Lottie, Leslie Louella, Lillian, Priscilla, Minnie, Gilbert, Bessie and Wylmirth.

Elizabeth was forty years old when her husband died. She had a large home on a 10 acre lot. The yard was fenced and had many fruit trees, a vineyard and beautiful shade trees.

Elizabeth Layton was Thatcher's first Postmaster, and was appoint in 1888 and served until 1891.Then she served again from 1907 to 1917. Her second appointment was from President Theodore Roosevelt; She was secretary of the Union and Montezuma Canals, this business being carried on at the Post Office. She was a stockholder and director of the Citizen's Bank in Thatcher. It is thought that she was the only, woman bank director in the state of Arizona at that time. She was a­n active member of the Woman's Suffrage organization from the time of its organization until its purpose was accomplished.

Elizabeth Layton was a widow for half a century. At the time of her passing, she was one of the few remaining pioneers who came to Arizona with their husbands in the early eighties. She had seen the canals dug, school and churches erected and the towns and cities come into being.

Her distinguished husband President Christopher Layton had marched over bounderies of Arizona as a member of the Mormon Battalion. ln 1886, when they lived in St. David he had taken her to places on the San Pedro River where the battalion had camped. She was probably the last widow of a Mormon Battalion member.

Elizabeth Williams Layton was a woman of great business ability, but her spiritual side always predominated. She was a public benefactor, and a religious leader who had dignity, poise and charm. She never lost her personal beauty in all her eighty-seven years
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