FAMILY DONATION LAND CLAIMS: Aaron and Sarah Jane Matheny Layson

Aaron and Sarah Jane settled next to her parents in Yamhill County and took up a donation land claim. Together they had three children: Anna E. Layson, born ca.1844, OR, married Wilson Gibson, died 1922, buried Hopewell; James Benjamin Layson (aka Jim Ben), born 1845, Yamhill County, married Sarah C. _____, died 1920, Hopewell, Yamhill County, OR; and Cena Abigale, born October 18,1849, El Dorado County, CA, married Rev. Mark E. Bailey, February 26, 1872, Wheatland, OR, died January 24, 1941, Vancouver, WA. A Julie Jones genealogical note says that one child of Annie Layson Gibson committed suicide.
The 1844 tax list shows that the Laysons had 25 horses and 90 cattle. Sarah Jane died of the camp fever in El Dorado County, CA, and was buried at Sutter’s Mill (Coloma) just after the birth of Cena Abigale.
Circuit Court records show that in January 1868 Joseph Kirkwood won a foreclosure suit by default against A.M. Layson et al; perhaps Joseph had come to Aaron’s rescue in January of 1862 when Williams and Lippincott, apparently an area banking partnership, sued Layson and won the case by default. Whatever the case, it appears that Aaron was not prosperous.
Aaron lived on many years, never remarrying until his children were grown and his mother-in-law had died. The following January 20 of 1878, at the age of about fifty-eight, Aaron married Eliza Jane Athey, a maiden woman also in her fifties, a sister of William Athey, who was married to William S. Cooper’s daughter Charlotte Cooper Cave. In the 1880 Census, Aaron was listed as living in Marion County, Marion Precinct. He died in 1886 and was buried at Hopewell. Jim Ben lived out his life in the Hopewell area.

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