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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


George Washington Laymance

A man of marked ability, enterprise and foresight, George W. Laymance occupies a position of importance among the substantial and well-to-do citizens of Healdsburg. Interested in mining throughout his entire life, he has experienced the fluctuating career of those who follow that life, meeting with prosperity and with discouraging reverses, winning and losing fortune in different ventures. Beginning at the foot of the ladder of attainments, he has, however, finally surmounted all obstacles, and by earnest toil and persistency of purpose has risen to a position of influence and independence.

Although he is a native son of California, born in Colusa county in 1853, Mr. Laymance did not really become a citizen of this commonwealth until about the year 1875, since which time he has lived here continuously. His parents, James P. and Augusta (Caldwell) Laymance, were both native of the south, born in Virginia and Georgia respectively, and both are now deceased. Their advent in the west was brought about by the discovery of gold in California, but with what success the elder Mr. Laymance met, the records do not state particularly. It was while he was engaged in mining in Colusa county that his son George W. was born in 1853, and he continued to remain here until the son was two years old, when he went east with his family, returning by way of the Isthmus of Panama and landing in New York. It was not the intention of Mr. Laymance to remain in the east, however, and as soon as arrangements could be made he secured transportation to southwestern Missouri, where the parents made their home throughout the remainder of their lives.

George W. Laymance has no earlier recollection than of the parental home in Missouri, where he was educated and grew to a sturdy young manhood of twenty-two years. Besides a public-school education at Springfield, Mo., he also received the privileges of a high-school education in the same city. When his school days were over he gave vent to an inborn inclination to follow the minerís life, his first experience along this line being in Colorado, near Denver. After a number of years passed in that state he came to California in 1879, coming direct to Healdsburg, Sonoma county, which has been the scene of his activities ever since. He owns a forty-acre ranch about seven miles northwest of Healdsburg.

In 1876, about the time he came to the west, Mr. Laymance formed domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Augusta Testament, a native of Missouri, and five children, two daughters and three sons, have been born to them. Charles, who was born in 1882, is proprietor of a hotel near Chicago, Ill. Lillie B. is the wife of Ralph Thomas and the mother of a daughter, Ruth, the family residing in Oakland. George E. is employed in the oil fields near Bakersfield, Cal. Ernest G. is now stationed in T3exas as a member of the Twenty-third Regiment of the Regular Army. Marguerite is a graduate of the high school at Healdsburg, and is now at home with her parents. Not unlike her husband, Mrs. Laymance is a descendant of southern ancestors, both her father and mother being natives of South Carolina, and both are also deceased. Probably no one in this part of Sonoma county has a more thorough or complete understanding of mining in all of its varied phases than has Mr. Laymance, who has been equally successful in the mining of gold, silver and copper. Politically he is a Democrat, and it was on the ticket of this party that he was elected to the office of sheriff and United States marshal for the Indian Territory, in both of which capacities he served efficiently for a number of years. He has never allied himself with any secret order, but is a man who is ever on the alert to advance the welfare of the con which he lives, and is a citizen of which any community might be proud.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011