|Lena and James Edward Layfield|
A few years later, he and Lena were married in August of 1932. They lived on Utah Avenue in Butte while Ed continued to work as a cook. Then, in early 1937, Ed became ill and a short time later, passed away on March 14, 1937. He and Lena had been married just 4 1/2 years.
If Lena and Ed were only married such a short time, where did my grandma get the information or idea that Lena's happiest marriage was to Ed Layfield? Part of me wonders if it was because (as far as I can tell) Ed was the only husband Lena lost to death. I still don't know what became of Jack White, her 4th husband, or Charles Roper, her 6th and last husband (though I suspect he may have died while married to Lena, as she's listed in a 1948 Butte directory as Mrs. Lena Roper). Theirs wasn't her shortest marriage, and I don't really have any other details about it than that one statement from my grandma. But whatever it was about their marriage, it was enough to make an impression on Lena's granddaughter, who passed it on to me.
One interesting side note. Ed's first wife, Agnes Browning, was born in Utah around 1858. That would have been just 11 years after the Mormons first settled the Salt Lake valley, which got me wondering if she was Mormon. It also clicked in my head that Jonathan Browning, inventor/improver of some types of rifles, was Mormon, and I wondered if there was a connection. A quick search of FamilySearch showed that, indeed, Jonathan Browning was her grandfather's brother. It looks like Agnes never joined the church though. That gives her something in common with Lena's first husband, David Briscoe, whose parents were also Mormon and apparently raised their kids in the church, but David never joined from what I can tell. Who knows, maybe Lena and Ed talked about their quasi-Mormon former spouses?