Carol Layman is the third of eight children born to Richard and Virginia Spurlock in the small town of Vernon, Indiana. One of Vernon's many distinctions is the fact that the entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Carol is married to her high school sweetheart, Don Layman. They have a daughter, Shelley, a son, Doug, four grandchildren, and a German shepherd named Duke. The author devotes much of her time to her two main interests, writing and nature. 

In 1979, the Laymans purchased land in southern Indiana and transformed it into a nature sanctuary. They call this their "mother of do-it-yourself projects." Here they conduct field days for local school children. These children and other visitors inspired Carol to write her yet-to-be-produced episodic TV series called Tanglewood. She is currently working on a nature book for children.


The first twenty years of the author's life are chronicled in her memoir, Growing Up Rich in Vernon, Indiana. In this narrative, a girl describes people, places, and events of the 1940s and '50s, employing the honesty only a child can get by with.

Through Carol Jeanette's eyes we visit the lady with special clothes for fires and wrecks, the town atheist, and the man who was allergic to water, to name a few.

But while laughing at Carol's problems with her immediate family-she has six siblings-and her town family, the reader sees the larger picture and is reminded of what the word community once stood for.

This humorous, child's-eye view of one American small town was published in 1992. The hardback book contains 288 pages and 168 b/w photos. It retails for $19.95 and is available at Amazon.com

The author is also marketing a miniseries based on the McCoy book.


Some of these books may have been reprinted since I read them. Most any out-of-print book can be obtained through inter-library loan programs. All except the Brown and Dye books were taken from my working bibliography.

Barry, Louise. The Beginning of the West: Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the American West 1540-1854. Topeka, KS: Kansas State History Society, 1972.

Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. (This book takes up almost exactly where Isaac McCoy’s story ends.)

Buley, R. Carlyle. The Old Northwest - 2 vols. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society, 1950.

Drake, Benjamin. The Life of Tecumseh and His Brother the Prophet. Cincinnati, OH: E. Morgan & Co., 1850.

Dye, Kitty. Maconaquah’s Story: The Saga of Frances Slocum. 2000. Also Dye’s Meet George Winter: Pioneer Artist, Journalist, Entrepreneur. 2001. Both Port Clinton, OH: LeClere Publishing Co. www.leclerepublishing.com

Esarey, Logan, editor. Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison. 2 vols. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Collections, 1922. Also Esarey’s History of Indiana from its Exploration to 1922. 3 vols. Dayton, OH: 1923.

Griswold, Bert Joseph. The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne Indiana. Chicago, IL: Robert O. Law Co. 1917.

Hall, Baynard Rush. The New Purchase or Seven and a Half Years in the Far West. 2 vols. New York City, NY & Philadelphia, PA: Appelton, 1843. Reprint by Arno Press, 1975.

Hoxie, Frederick E., editor. Indians in American History. Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, Inc, 1988.

Hunt, Gaillard, editor. The First Forty Years of Washington Society in the Family Letters of Margaret Bayard Smith, 1778-1844. New York City, NY: Frederic Ungar Pub. Co., 1906.

Hurd, Charles. The White House Story. New York City, NY: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1966.

James, Marquis. The Life of Andrew Jackson. Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1938. 

Kayser, Elmer Louis. Bricks Without Straw: The Evolution of George Washington University. New York, NY: Appleton-Centu-ry-Crofts, 1970.

Kvasnicka, Robert M. and Herman J. Viola, editors. The Commissioners of Indian Affairs. 1824-1977. University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

Latrobe, Chas. Joseph. The Rambler in North America, 1832-1833. 2 vols. London, Eng.: R.B. Seeley & W. Burnside, 1835.

McCoy, Isaac. History of Baptist Indian Missions. Washington, DC: Wm. M. Morrison, 1840. Reprint, Springfield, MO: Particular Baptist Press, 2003. www.pbpress.org

McDermott, John Francis, editor. The Western Journals of Washington Irving. Norman, OK: U of OK Press, 1944.

McKee, Irving. The Trail of Death: Letters of Benjamin Marie Petit. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society, 1941.

McKenney, Thomas L. Sketches of a Tour to the Lakes. 1827.

McKenney, Thomas L. & James Hall. History of the Indian Tribes of North America - 3 v. Philadelphia, PA: 1836-44.

Meyer, Leland Winfield. The Life and Times of Colonel R. M. Johnson of Kentucky. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1932.

Nabokov, Peter and Robert Easton. Native American Architecture. New York City, NY: Oxford U. Press, 1989.

Robertson, Nellie A., and Dorothy Riker, editors. John Tipton Papers, 3 vols. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Commission, 1942.

Walton, George. Sentinel of the Plains: Fort Leavenworth and the American West. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973.

Western Writers of America. Water Trails West. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1978.

Winger, Otho. The Potawatomi Indians. Elgin, IL: Elgin Press, 1939.

Winter, George. The Journals and Indian Paintings of George Winter, 1837-1839. 1st Edition. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society, 1948.