Help Your Library Stay Relevant!

We need you as much as you need us! Click here to help!

Note: All library branches will be closed on Wednesday, December 14, for Staff Development Day to allow our staff to learn and grow!

Layton Family Collection

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
Handley Regional Library
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society

P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA 22604
(540) 662-9041 ext. 17

228 THL

Inventory created by Archives Staff  06/1983  Last revised 04/2018.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS: Collection is open to all researchers.

USE RESTRICTIONS: Restrictions may apply concerning the use, photoduplication, or publication of items in this collection. Consult a member of the archives staff for information concerning these restrictions. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright.

EXTENT: 0.21 linear feet

DATE: 1797-1983

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The Layton Family Collection contains news clippings, correspondence and writings by William W. Layton, Mary Layton, and Benjamin Layton, regarding African-American history and the Civil Rights Movement.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL: Mary Scully Layton (1886-1970) married to William Brown Layton of Hanover County, VA in 1910. William Brown Layton, was the superintendent of the Negro Reformatory of Virginia (later the Virginia Manual Labor School), a reform school for African American boys located in Hanover County. Three of their children assembled historical items, the bulk of which are in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Their son William Wendell Layton was born in 1915. He graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1937, received his master’s degree from Fisk University in Nashville, TN, worked for the Urban League for 16 years, served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and later with the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. He resided in Washington, DC, and Millwood, Clarke County, VA. William W. Layton died on Sept. 12, 2007, at age 92. He was also a noted historian and collector of abolitionist and Civil War letters and documents.

Another son, Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Thomas Layton, received a Bronze Star following the Battle of the Bulge. He was influential in desegregating the Army. Benjamin Thomas Layton was born on December 24, 1917, in Hanover, Virginia.

Daughter Mary was an Assistant Postmaster General and had also worked as an official for the New York City Port Authority.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: : O’Higgins, Shannon. “William Layton: The black history collection of a one thousand percent Virginian.” Virginia Country (Feb., 1984).

CITE AS: Layton Family Collection, 228 THL, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, USA. 



BOX 1 

Americana Collection, items from, microfilmed by National Archives, 4 leaves, manuscript (photocopy)

Jackson, Joseph, from Dennis O. Wagner - letter, September 6, 1840, 2 leaves, manuscript

Joplin, Scott - stamp and cover, June 9, 1983, first day of issue, 1 page, 1 envelope, printed

Layton, Benjamin, 14 items, 8 pages, printed; 3 pages, printed (photocopy); 1 card, printed, with 2 envelopes

Layton, Mary, 2 pages, printed

Layton, William W., 15 items (includes the following)
1 business card, printed/manuscript
11 leaves, 8 pages, printed
3 pages, 1 leaf, printed (photocopy)
1 page, manuscript (photocopy)

Morgan, Daniel – letter to James Wood, Aug 25, 1797, reproduced as a brochure, 1 page, printed (manuscript/typescript—framed; filed in mapcase 1, drawer 7)

Project Souvenance, Inc., 22 leaves, typescript (photocopy); 9 leaves, printed (photocopy)

Microfilm (filed in microfilm cabinets)

William Layton’s manuscript collection, filmed by National Archives


Photographs and other images belonging to this collection may be accessed online through