James W. Layman deceased, late of Santa Ana, was born in Peoria, Illinois, January 24, 1846. His parents, Martin and Elizabeth Layman, were from the State of New York, and had thirteen children, of whom James was the eighth. He was educated at Minneapolis, Minnesota, where his father had moved when the son was seven years old. He followed farming with his father in Minnesota until 1871, when he came to California. His first purchase here was a ranch near Newport, where he lived four years. He then purchased property on Main Street in Santa Ana, which he improved and converted into a beautiful home. Subsequently he bought the Santa Ana Hotel, of which he was the proprietor for eleven years. The brick block on Fourth Street, west of the First National Bank, stands as a monument to his enterprising spirit. Later he bought property on the corner of Sixth and Birch streets, where he erected a magnificent residence.
He was a very liberal and public-spirited man, aided every enterprise both public and private, which had for its object the good of the people, and in his death Santa Ana lost one of her best citizens. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, having joined the order in Minnesota, at the age of nineteen years; and he was a charter member of the Santa Ana Lodge of the same order. Politically, he was a strong supporter of the Republican party. His death occurred October 19, 1889.
He was married in Minnesota, June 22, 1871, to Miss Mary J. Moran, who was born in Canada, and whose parents were John and Margaret Moran, both Canadians, and among the first settlers of Minnesota. Eight days after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Lyman started for the Golden State. During their life together they have had two children: Minnie M. and Perkins A.