June 16, 1950

Born March 4th of 1892 in Pike County, Alabama, Oscar W. Layton grew up on his father’s farm there. He obtained his education in the public schools of that county before the days of consolidation, when one-room, one-teacher schools were the rule.

At about the age of 24 Mr. Layton left the family homestead in Alabama and went to Jacksonville to make his own way in life. Soon after locating there he established a barber shop which he successfully operated for three years.

Disposing of his Jacksonville shop he then came to Georgia to make his home, settling at Woodbine in Camden County. He opened a barber shop there which he operated for about four years, building up a flourishing business, after which he again sold out.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Layton returned to Jacksonville where he remained for about one year. Twenty-six years ago he came to Folkston from Jacksonville, establishing a barbershop business here. Through all the years since, he has continuously operated a barbershop in this city, having enjoyed an excellent patronage from the beginning.

Mr. Layton recalls that his first shop in Folkston was located on the west side of the railroad in the original Arnold Hotel, Scott Building, about where the Herald office now stands. He has twice had to seek new quarters because of the destruction of his shop by fire. Fortunately in both fires his loss was limited largely to the plumbing and similar fixtures that could not easily be moved out. After the first shop burned he secured temporary quarters in the Folkston Grain and Grocery Building, later moving into the new Arnold Hotel building. When this handsome structure went up in flames, he moved to his present quarters in the building adjoining the Topper Theater where he has since served a regular group of satisfied patrons and the general public.

Aside from his regular vocation Mr. Layton in his spare time carries on a gardening project as a hobby. He is an accomplished gardener, always having one of the prized gardens of the community. Vegetables of all kinds seem to flourish under his care, when they refuse to grow for anyone else. He is also interested in bee culture, producing plenty of honey for his own use and a surplus to sell. Although he seldom finds time for it Mr. Layton is also an expert craftsman as a cabinet maker having turned out some highly credible work in this line.

In spite of impaired health from a chronic ailment Mr. Layton remains active and energetic and carries on his various activities with a vim and vigor worthy of commendation. His shop is widely regarded as a community institution, without which Folkston would not be quite the same.

In 1926 Mr. Layton was united in marriage to Mrs. Hattie Feals Payne of Woodbine, Camden County. They have no children. Mr. and Mrs. Layton are both devoted members of the Methodist Church.

R. Ward Harrison, Editor, Charlton County Herald

Charlton  County Archives