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Kenneth Mays
A bust of Christopher Layton at the Heritage Museum in Layton, Utah.

Christopher Layton was born and raised in at Bedfordshire, England. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1842. The following year, he made the journey to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He and his family were among the first to leave Nauvoo in February 1846.

Kenneth Mays
Layton family marker at the Kaysville Cemetery, site of the grave of Christopher Layton.

Later that year, he marched with the Mormon Battalion. Tradition holds that Christopher Layton was the one who raised the first U.S. flag at Tucson, Arizona (see Norma Baldwin Ricketts' "The Mormon Battalion: U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848," pages 98 and 327).

He later settled in Kaysville, in Utah's Davis County. With boundaries greater than they are today, Kaysville was first known as Kay’s Ward after its first bishop, William Kay. Layton served as the fourth bishop of the Kaysville congregation and, later, in the first stake presidency in Davis County, which was a single stake.

He was remarkably faithful to church leaders and successful in his business dealings. He was able to build several homes for his family. At least one of those is still extant. The Utah Central Railroad, a line from Ogden to Salt Lake, established a stop in Kaysville at Layton’s farm which came to be known as simply “Layton.”

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In 1883, he was called to serve as president of the St. Joseph Stake in Arizona. He served there until 1898, returned to Utah and that same year.

In the 1880s, friction arose between the northern and southern areas of Kaysville. The northern region became known as Layton. A timeline in the Layton Heritage Museum notes that Layton separated itself from Kaysville as an unincorporated entity until official incorporation as a town in 1920.

A few weeks ago, it was announced at the April general conference that Layton will be the site of a temple of the Lord.