THOMAS J. LAYMAN. Among the men who have made the bar of Southern Illinois stand for integrity, progressiveness and perspicacity is Thomas J. Layman, a native son and resident of Benton, Illinois. He was born in the city where he now makes his home among a large circle of friends on the 27th of November, 1878, the son of Thomas J. and Elizabeth (Lemen) Layman. His father was a native of Franklin county, Illinois, and his mother was born in Monroe county, also in this state. His father's early education was obtained in the public schools of his home county, and he later studied law under A. D. Duff, one of the prominent figures in the historical records of Southern Illinois. In 1861, the first year of the war, Thomas J. Layman, Sr., was admitted to the bar of the state, and so started a long, successful and honorable career, so that when he died, in 1892, he was not only the owner of a large fortune but was one of the most esteemed and respected citizens of the county. His record in the army consisted of a year's service in the Eighteenth Illinois Regiment.
Thomas Layman, the son of the late Thomas Layman, and the immediate subject of this brief personal review, got his preparatory education in the Benton high school, following which he attended the Southern Illinois Normal University, graduating from that institution with the class of 1902. After finishing his college work he undertook the study of the law in the office of an uncle, and was subsequently admitted to the bar in 1904. He has since practiced in all courts, achieving an enviable reputation for ability and absolute rectitude. For a while he served as a United States commissioner, and in November, 1910, he was elected to a place on the bench. He is now serving as county judge. In his political affiliations he has always been a stalwart Republican, being firmly convinced that the men and measures of that party represent more nearly than any other the welfare of the whole community.
In 1905 was solemnized the union of Mr. Layman to Miss Lula Whittenburg, the daughter of W. P. Whittenburg, of Vienna, Illinois. Their pleasant and hospitable home has since been blessed with two little daughters. Mr. Layman is a member of the Baptist church and takes an active interest in the good works fostered by the church.