Francis Wayland was born in Lawrence County on October 7, 1846 to Rev. Jonathan Wayland from Virginia and Amy A. Eddy. Soon afterwards they moved to Powhatan, where Miss Eddy's parents lived. Francis was educated at the Academy High School in Iron County and became a teacher until 1879 when he was "induced by a lucrative positions," a possible reference to the firm James & Wayland. He married Sara E. Matthews in 1868 and had three children: Charles, Katie, and Nettie.