LAYMAN, MONTREVILLE FITTS, who is among the most able and prominent members of the bar of Morgan County, Ill., and one of the most popular citizens of Jacksonville, Ill., was born in Franklin County, Ill., October 31, 1844, the son of John D. and Nancy (Henry) Layman, natives of Alabama and Tennessee, respectively. The father was reared in Alabama and settled in Illinois at an early period. He married Nancy Henry in Franklin County, and there spent the remainder of his life, dying when his son, Montreville, was a child. He was of German ancestry, while the mother's derivation was English, and by occupation he was a farmer and a school-teacher.
The subject of this sketch grew up on a farm in Franklin County, Ill., and received his early mental training in the public schools of that county, teaching there until 1868. In 1870 he taught school in Morgan County; also attended a private law school in Benton, and in the year named was admitted to the bar. He began the practice of his profession in that place, and in 1873 moved to Waverly, Ill., locating in Jacksonville in 1875, where he has since been engaged in general professional work.
On January 12, 1871, Mr. Layman was united in marriage with Elizabeth Austin, a native of Morgan County, and a daughter of Eli Austin, of Hart's Prairie, Ill. Four children were born of this union, namely: Hattie M., who died in childhood; Clara M., wife of Rev. Clyde L. Hay; Elsie and Bessie.
In politics, Mr. Layman is an ardent and influential Republican, and takes an active and effective part in the campaigns of his party. He has served one term as a member of the City Council of Jacksonville and in 1882 was elected County Judge of Morgan County, performing his duties with especial dignity, ability and impartial firmness. He is now a member of the State Board of Pardons, having been appointed to that position by Gov. Yates in October, 1902. He is a member of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, and highly esteemed throughout Morgan County, both as a lawyer and a man.