Museum the New Llano Colony

Goldie "Opal" (Emry) Layer  

Birth: Born in 1894 in Iowa.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1900 she was living in Iowa with her father, his second wife and her siblings. In 1920 she was living in Washington with her husband, two children and his mother. In 1930 the parents and two children were living in Iowa.

In June 1931 the family visited the Ray Bradshaw family who were living in the colony -- Mrs. Layer was a sister to Nettie Bradshaw -- they planned to stay for some time and were already on the job the first day.  

Family Information: Daughter of Robert H. and Nancy Jane Emry and step-daughter of Cora Emry.

Sister of Annette (Emry) Bradshaw; half-sister of Basil, Willard, Kenneth, Archie and Helen Emry.

Married to Harry Layer; mother of Doris and Lyle Layer.  

Job in Colony: In January 1932 was working in the sewing room, making shirts. In March, both she and her sister, Nettie, were making dresses in the sewing room.

In May 1934 she often wrote columns about the Gila, New Mexico unit for the "Llano Colonist." She also helped her niece, Madeline Van Buskirk, prepare the evening meals.  

Home in Colony: In 1934 the family were living at the Gila, New Mexico unit of the colony.  

Other Info: In 1932 colonists did a play called "Mrs. Sullivan in Politics" starring Mrs. Ray Bradshaw as the lady who wanted to be boss of the "society". Opal, her daughter (Doris) and niece Verda Bradshaw also had roles.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 the family of four lived in New Mexico.  

Death: Died in 1980 in California.  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1920, 1930, 1940; Llano Colonist: June 6, 1931, January 2, 1932, March 26, 1932, September 24, 1932, May 5, 1934, June 2, 1934; California Death Index