World War II Central Illinois Stories

Oral History Interview: Edward Layden of Hoopeston


Pop Up Archive Item: “Oral History Interview: Edward Layden of Hoopeston” :
Transcript for file: edlayton2007-11-08.mp3


My name is David L. Marine. I’m working for W I L L T V of the University of Illinois at
Urbana and this is also for the Veterans History Project. Where hitched in Illinois at the
hoops and Public Library. Today is November eighth two thousand and seven. I’ll be talking
to Edward J. Layton of hoops to Illinois about his experiences on the home front
during World War two. Assisting me on lighting sound and camera as Henry M.


The third and.
Mr Layton perhaps we could talk about your date of birth and your
experiences leading up to World War two.
You start out with. Oh well I was born May the twenty third one thousand nine hundred eighty
one to a one room grade school in the country where a great Goldberg
school went went to John Moore High School in hopes and.
After high school. I want an interest in order to aim for one year but they got


me mixed up in med student studying at Long’s world so that I went to the University of
Wisconsin for a farm. Short course for two winters. And
then come back from that and. kind of start far with my dad
and I was drafted into the army. And I think it was April of twenty four
thousand nine hundred forty one. I had a sure that I had heard several
times playing football.
And some other times through. An


app. I was in the Army. A short time later. If you jump out. Come on. A
place and then they’d doctors would put it back and saying you shouldn’t be here. And
then it got the second time that the regiment that I was in the
kernel of it for. There was a twenty. There was one hundred ten things in your
regiment. And he said well no one chooses them into the hospital.
Pull him up there in the operator like guy making hundred percent. They are sending home.
They gave me the choice. So I come home.


At this time of war hadn’t started yet right. This was not right was a war.
You know that I was discharged on the first day I’m aware of when. The war
started made the sound and I went back to the draft board right out where they
said they hadn’t noticed. December seventh. Mr Wilson in the
midst Carlos Santana one of them not to send me back to the Army so.
It’s that’s what that meant charted our run in rap war. He told me I want the last ball as he did. I
don’t know.


All is classified for a female.
And so then you came back to groups and and worked on your family’s farm.
Boy you know that’s where I intend to spend my life in a way you know and
I ran farther come around. Cooks in eight games at seventy
seven. And we lived on that same community that Mike have a
son who lives on the same farm now today.


And so there was after the war started. At some point there was a prisoner of
war camp established here and it’s done.
Well liked. It really wasn’t that nest Abby’s camp here that they were stationed
someplace else. But they were moved here in one nine hundred forty four
votes and had used to have three thousand euros. Burgers to cut through. And that was a
big project like my wife said. She went to high school in Roswell.
These let the high school kids out of school if they go court. Asparagus in the


And this was partly because there are big canning factories. At that time.
Yes there was a there was two and hopes that one. Ever also won a medal for one
of our one and Pakistan want to get us in it. And I think maybe these
prisoners. A war went to start Robles camps but they all live their
hopes and their and their mechanics seem.
And where was the prisoner of war camp how I was set up.


Well if it had been if it was all of what were called a farm headquarters
and back in your day. As you know they had my water
moved them far more so they had big barns and some
of them are still standing. And it is clean and well we’ll. rearrange things because the
people would come the middle of April that would need much heat and then they’d leave a
well out by that time they were canning some tomatoes too. So they believe if you maybe didn’t. pick
tomatoes. But they don’t they’ve all be gone with it. For the fifteenth of October or there were


just these summertime helper. And so they would need much help.
And I don’t know how many Britons were around here and lots of them here
and they played and worked in the factories to excel because they’d marching up the street.
So are you saying that the prisoners were only here for part of the year. Or is that the workers that
before them. The war that would just be just be the prisoners from here.
You are. And I don’t know about the middle of April until the middle
of October. And I was. So maybe that they would transfer


these people back and forth to their main camp. And that Navy ships all the other
places. Not Iraq where they don’t remember that at Euro.
And so as it pertains to your family you your family would have a truck and
they would make arrangements to go and pick up a certain number of prisoners right each day to help
you do that.
You know the day before. What you’re going to get it and the rule was that you get twenty
breeders and one guard. So we had a what we call a farm probe was you would


just a grain drug. Bullet Bob that’s a pool of bad omen.
They crawl in. You know.
They soon figured out where they were going where the driver was you know
one of the things I remember about a real mistake is when.
You pull out a route Knight and you turn their own direction. They go no no. You go to
Chicago. Chicago look like they’re a threat.


So they would joke around with the old guy jail guy said there they were.
Yeah you.
And so you would pick these prisoners up very early in the morning for a
full day’s work. And then well they wouldn’t.
know you there. Were you didn’t work a full day you’d really be you know all of you through film.
Film a white is up by by noon because again Tiger had their corn to start.


And then that they had enough. White is that they can fill them up slick
or you had almost pick up on what was what was little bit wet. At the at the
core and would get dry. Then it was hard to pick but that that year of Woodstock got her the.
Soul you really would want to be through by. Well you know I could be through with chemical or but most of time.
You’d be through with Will. And and that’s when there. Are all the Web women
you know they’ve been fixed lunch and perform you know in.
What would a lunch Big Apple Deborah vary from home to


home that they always had cookies and sandwiches and. I think man we used
to milk a couple of cows. So so my mother would make chocolate
milk is good. We drink chocolate milk at home but they liked it. The
first year we had their burgers. So I think fourteen days.
And I remember them distinctly because they were. in better physical
condition than the average American would have been. Found out later that they were
part of Robles armor. They had been captured in Africa. And these boys were all


about five-Foot nine or ten up to about six foot two or three you
know they’re in nearly the same age all in
good perfect physical condition. And no one knew a lot of work.
The thing I always remember about her. When the average American would
join corn but actually had your corn. And.
You jerk. With both hands. And some people were there tours or bonds or old. Most
people would reporters or from local G. get in between your fingers. If you’re strong enough


was for why you find some way to get this. Three and a chance six and some by
minions six its roll neighbor one. What would you get in the wagon or the average
American wouldn’t forget about that one. The cure. And what if one didn’t hit the wagon.
They will pick that up a bit later in the thing. And if you remember that very
OK. And so did the prisoners have a second shift then that after they were down on the fields there
over the Kandahar courier. They would just return to the camp. Now they’re the ones that work in the factory. I


know how they got the disease sometimes that factor would work all night
not nearly would work or always would work to kids you know this is sort of the
start about that like they used to always work fifteen minutes
before their other started. You know quarter seven and it go up or
twelve and then come back the core lawmaker and start another ship maybe it
maybe started at about four o’clock and then the rumble and eight nine P.M.


eleven o’clock. Water Rose Arce it meant they had to be.
Canned that night or the target of the cattle and to dump the cornfield. You
know and that they can the next.
So if you do this over a period of time there would be different areas of the field that you had
success. Well you know through it. We were kind of.
planting corn. So it’s it’s scientifically that they go to a new it take. Brooks think
about soy days for the corn on the tour. So whoop last week or maybe a couple days


and and whip our partnered up over with a cousin of ours whose father
died and he farmed out the community. In fact he was one of the factory workers
of Vernon where in fact they had they have a lot to help make
sure that the car was on the way but. Now I think they’ve got a more excited. Her on-again factor
and have a bunch of people come to work and then two hours later run out of corn you know that
they’re just you know leave. It that was that that was
rather an exciting time. If he worked on it. But there weren’t any


car on the way to be there in fifteen twenty minutes where they’ve been ignored. But then
they too will most animal. Remember in about an hour later.
They will know that they’re looking at what we had.
Critters the first year we had twenty prisoners. And we had five
tractors between us and we could pull two wagons with a tractor
and then. There’d be four. So there before. More is on the wagons.
And and of course when you get that fourth roll out. That’s quite a ways from the wagon. But they do their


shift and then sells. You know one that they can. First roll in second and then they ship back. And
sometimes they go they got all of them. How long. The rules are.
corn rows are a lot different mikes and you know then people in town
realize or the core of all roads are impassable roads routes for a quarter mile road and heard some
of them to the only an eighth of a mile said. But the most or more were eighty
Rogge or one hundred sixty road quarter or a half mile or.
core of long.


Now at this time. Labor was pretty scarce. So having the prisoners was really
a blessing when nineteen.
Forty three. We didn’t have any help. You know and we like to never got our
hearts. In fact there was some of that didn’t get hearts and it was just you know we just had too much
labor. And and it’s hard to tell until you get into the
crop. How good. The crop is you know it would make it a very real
deal. Year to year from well back in those days. If we had


three turn corn that was pretty good to accord to go on with C. Everett. But if you had some in Albany
a ton and a half. You know it you. Hit it. And that there were things
went away after the building at that. So it varied every year.
So now when they would pick the corn they wouldn’t bother to host it right there would be do
no no. You know what have you done at the factory has that. So there is evil in the what they called. You’re
lucky you’re here off the store.
That’s what we’ll call it jerks you jerks record. You ask me a warm.


As are these bizarre prisoners are fairly good workers and they said they would really welcome the opportunity
or get out of the camp and work in the fields.
And they’d love to get out of the country and didn’t want to go back that they got out there. Well it’s too hard but
it’s made like the third way out near our goals of like an empty lot of metal.
That is too hot. Back in Town. You know but they better they get. We throw away.
Now you mentioned in your materials that at one time there was a young child about two years old that.


Well I would be.
Actually my first cousin’s son and we were probably at their at their farm.
The thing goes here. This little boy. Rick played some people around town who know who he is he still
lives here in town and here. He was a cute little two-Year Old doing the
kind of a past. The one that he was working with them or you know him and they were bored with him
too and one. I’m gonna call him and. Pick him up and give him a
pat on the rump. And the curtain back down. You could see that that he


was had a tear in his eye or something. You know and then so then he got a
hold of his fingers. And then I guess. What would somebody figured out he was the
whole world. And two years old. And then he kind of figured out. What one
month. With this would figure that out. One month as well that they were both about the same age. But
this it was about two years old. That mother maybe the next month. And then that summer they figured
out that he had a boy back in Germany but he had never seen a born about the same


So I was one of those one of the prisoners there to speak a little English that was able to explain this
Acting better around a lot and he didn’t have to speak much English. To me
you know you learn to motion things. And I’m like that. See I don’t know that that first voyage. They didn’t speak
much English at all. But once they came in forty five that they’d been prisoners longer or so
on. And some of them had that spot and some neighbors down in.
The ones in forty four. They were all about the same age and well at least the ones that we had. I don’t know


if there was a lot of predators. Otters. So when you take twenty animals you know that
that just a small fraction of what was on here. But in forty five.
This year like they got to learn the system a little better and they don’t found
out that. The farmer. Where were they kind of like to be out there
at and then figure this out though afterwards said that we had a white birch tree
in our yard wanted Germany’s full of white birch trees and there’s very few. You don’t see very
many more around helps them because we’re too far south. You know in German is a lot farther north than


we are. So they just kind of like they’re just there and then.
On the Old lot of bad memories of being in Germany to see the brown the oldest of eight children.
See in some of the most of these kids that they’ve been around families. Do you know flip here. I think
my youngest sister was probably a year. And we’re five. She would have been nine years
four or eight years old forty four nine and forty four. And my oldest sister
just graduated from Illinois. You know and she was still are still around. You know and you know
and they can enjoy enjoy that. And. There no room for him


at and that like I say the second year we got it. So we could talk to him more because
they understood a little bit and and that always be somebody. That can figure out what your
crime. What back and forth.
As to when or how you figured out that if he had a son about the same age.
Well that he’d never seen the soldier and never seen as.
He was trying to hold his hand. And what’s a light. What what what all the we’ll have to look
at it fix it. Figure that out. And then when he was trying to figure out that so that


we figured out and they would figure out that eight was when Rick
was born you know. And that’s when he figured out that he had a son and then he
he could talk this he was he was talking German to somebody else that was kind of that little
knew a little bit of it. And it was rather difficult to do but they eventually you know you
go back and bore. The killer then you’ve got to figure out what they’re going to talk about.
That But hours and hours are never that innocence.
And you can.


It’s very touching which are necessary and also my cousin Bob Bob Bob.
Layton that who was a father of this.
two-Year Old was a field man for the factory and he is the one that would roll around
to make sure that proper help will serve the property represented in the white white ever
get loaded. And they’d be in town but they like them. nine o’clock or ten o’clock. They want to know all this.
stuff down and they had back then they had to do it just run back and forth in a car at
the end and they had figured out that. There that this mob Laden


was a fake film and was related. You know they’ve they figured that out into the cause
because his wife would be hailed. One minute. And my mother would be there and then they are out
there. My mother in and then Bob one would be there. You know you know that they’ve figured
things out pretty well. They’ve just not been around.
Now you mention there’s only one guard for the whole one guard for twenty prisoners and
at times with the busy you know different groups of prisoners than the
one guard and you know keep. Trying to keep track of all these people spread out


Over. You know and you never know. You very seldom saw the guard. He’d be off
someplace like I say it that they say it was a whirl. Under a tree a slave. Yes he worked
for the Guard earns over a brother previously. And you know what
that’s probably where we’re looking at these people. They were about to leave and they they were dead and.
Well a couple of times maybe they’ve tried. I think they said three of us Cape wonder
I don’t remember that or read it and then I know


the guards like two or three. I’m out one night and took them to once they could do a dance.
You know everybody got in trouble or let you know that the guards ahead. And
then a new year for everyone to know that you know because of course I was they got
caught some on an Iran that was there was a place in there and wants to get ahead of
dancers are a nice thing. I assume some of these guards and the
and the burgers got you know. Kind of pretty well with quite a you know.
There the prisoners always seem to keep aware be aware of where the guard was you know


and he would.
Be he you know you worry was where are most of that anyway.
But I don’t think that that I don’t think that the governor current governor given the won the day. And so
without all they could have gone really more somewhat not would incite all of one.
One of the one of the things I remember they always won. When they got to the sickness of
happened. More the second year when they media. When there was
people or they could speak a little English they always want to know how how far to Texas


and I have a more liquid far to Texas but we try to explain to them. A thousand mile misses.
Now mom you know with. That name you’re a thousand-mile Europe is
act or fit for for country or are an invited. And then when and how big is
Texas. Well Texas is bigger than what it is for her to take that and say they can’t quite
understand it. So one day I just want him found on the map. The United States but about Michelle and well they
all want to see that mimic. That they were astonished that everything was so big and so
far away. And you know on the front of their peers and albums. Most of their you know.


That was against the rules with Mr Salih you’re covering in this case. Also I got to go.
Much too. And after all. They didn’t say too much but they said the lead on that.
You know that’s against the rules. But. The second year I had
the same four boys. For nineteen of the twenty days
and three. Over there were real young kids you know you know they could have been sixteen
seventeen years old last blizzard and rapidly. And and they had
raised on farms. And you know in Germany. But in


Germany. You know the roll or twenty of her farm had built. Five gallon or six goals
and you know they didn’t understand big fields like we had here.
And then later quit my wife and I put them up to machines that were shown over the corn butter
recall over and they just you know they do shake their head. You know they couldn’t believe that with.
C.N.N. even adequately as it is the mood today is
so awful. It’s good we would even bother to take it all before but
that they were really inquisitive about things a little.


So you mentioned that a lot of times and it’s probably different groups of
prisoners that you get. But then sometimes they’ll be the same group of prisoners that work on the farm. Day after
day and kind of get to know them in the second year.
Group think about the first day. And then there was another group. The second day. But the
third day it was that group that came out the first date. And from then on there. For that we had
twenty days a year and then all of it was that same group of twenty boys. That they figured that
out that they like to be out there or for. And also.


My cousin’s farm to run up there. But they liked it. They like that white birch tree
go. That’s where they want to go sit rest on the white mercy and.
Kind of. They have to wear special or prisoner of war uniforms or yeah they wore
they wore a special you know for.
But I can’t remember what.
I was just wondering if they did a double or something up. I think it had a number almost bigger than the number
you know if they did try to escape. They would probably be reading I was very.


You know usually I was like they don’t know how it is what I will to steal some balls. All right. Real.
Quick or they’d be recognizing. Right. But then back then. They were both working. Clothes hang on.
I’m outside in the summertime. You know if they were around town. They could
but I don’t know how they’re coming out of hopes and very easy that they’re about who they were.
But you see the camp that they were up by themselves. And. They were no
selling over all of them. But I don’t think most of them
would even a woman would want to escape it. If they knew they were here. And and what what


life wasn’t too bad that when they worked they got eighty cents a day to scram for
fear of some. Pop and whatever else like they did yesterday.
And when they didn’t work. They didn’t get anything. The farmers
the garbage chores. A farmers a Bahraini wage worker from a core thing and that
and that they took all take care of all I didn’t have lent him money the government.
And the caring and effective and so on local in. Mm-H.M.M.‘s.
So when you formed. Besides helping with the corn harvest that they do


other work as well or you know they’re filling it up for us this week on
mine. I know that I know a lot. I’m called asparagus.
And and there was I don’t what they done between asparagus
packed and sweet corn is always a gap about six weeks between
our own and the asparagus back. And the sweet corn
back. I don’t know what it.
Supposedly this way around camp or maybe they’ve taken back to the


other where they come from Perth but some of this is to get fit. For Grant
Camp Grant.
Northern Illinois and there was another camp at Brown Peoria. I think.
But they were they really are. You know they save the crop in four forty four and forty
five guys it was that they walked away once they got her wrist easy. You know
from the farmer standpoint.


But we had to write the drug.
I was there a competition among different farmers to get the gym or German prisoners work or did they just
bring down the number of prisoners that were needed for all the farmers
now had a harvest that they won. And I’m sure there was a lot of negotiating.
done between people at the candy factory. There were arranging for this and that meant there was
someone there had to be some neutral agreements as to how many of you would
need it. And and if I could say that I think they went. This fire is


sixty different places. can in fact do help canned corn.
So they pretty much knew what they needed that. You know people are in
that business can figure that out pretty quick. What they would do you. know the thing I
remember about and know that they always want to smoke truck stop about
every enter maybe in a shorter field they. Go around with. At the start of smoke
and that everyone else will see it. Back in those days. Well I guess maybe I smoked a.
pipe or stalled like them. But my brother Tom who was


home to. University he says he always writes While
he quit smoking moved fourteen.
But these boys awards will flicker.
And you mention that you also got a second story to.
When we were talking on the phone or where.
My father had an older brother who had gone to university. A long and a law
degree and went to can poke a hole in to live in one nine hundred ten. And that


and he used to come back every summer for it because. His wife’s
family was here and then hid his purse. When there’s
a grandfather was out. So he come up or. But he always take the month of
August all it from his law practice and he did used to do a lot of traveling.
But then during the war when gas was hard to get. He could get enough gas to get the hopes and
because he knew my dad would have some extra you know the coupons. You know if you could handle.
And that’s when ration coupons. You know he needed to have our music. I didn’t.


want to hand out too many. Because I didn’t give it that barely two months extra but then they
get always managed you know and I had to get farmers enough to do what you had to
do. And then he’d have a stroke few surplus. But in a way.
The secondary came first for Perry. He left you know wanting to come
back but they were still there for a couple of days. And it’ll bother air seem to be around. So the second
year he got here before the pack started. And he was out there every
day they stay with my mum and the sister my aunt


after it and you got the part in the little boy’s everyday you know and.
Found justice in use in German. And so he did and he said because he spoke a little bit of German he’d
gone to grow college.
Here and was here and hopes and that now I can say I think he probably
is born in eighty five. So probably about this ball about. two
hundred or one thousand or five when he was going the group form for a busboy will not
go exactly where but in a way he gets big enough wasn’t and if our some of those boys


are pretty well informed know he’d like argue with them than they did in the three or four around a
corner. Or go find a Discover. One boy that was from Frankfurt
Germany. Well my cousin.
Bill and then with Patton’s Army and they’ve gone across Germany to.
It’s like is this bastard. You could run at the station near Frankfurt
one open. Johnstown basket Feldman. He wrote that to his son and told him to
go into praying room look up this boy’s prayers and tell him that that is the


same. His son Adam on his uncle’s farm and then album of this
harvest the crop and. Mills that table legs are nothing to do with those
various old sources that this was in August after the award in May
and then a nice one here. And I have later Bill. Gus. I don’t.
I got to stay in Germany to get chart of the P.A. P. X. over there.
So you got to stay in Germany and in that there’s a German girl in a murder world body
or have later. And that’s the one that another though there.


were never anything to do with the Germans until we married one day.
And then she had a younger brother who went to med school and come back lived in Chicago practiced
medicine in Chicago. All his life and.
And she fit in the course. My family is mostly all Irish. You know it
and. You know most of the germs to work when you’re Irish
back way back then. You know that the civic spirit in which I mean she had four


kids. And one of them still in Oklahoma in the same place. Precious along
well. Well the sons and grandsons and probably a great grandson. From a problem as I will for.
You we’ve kind of lost track of all that with them or past past policy.
So what other kinds of conversations did the lawyer have with the prisoners while they were
talking about things and.
What would happen and how he was better read in.
And listen to the radio more than I did. I mean I don’t know what they were they were discussing things that


Political issues of the day. Oh yeah. It’s about a war although you know for us. The fees of the
countries and.
They seem to have. They seem they have a good time Bill. And I mean they. Did throw their
hands for nothing. I remember one time. I don’t know how
this got started. But this summer they start asking them well what were you on the arm of


well what was this. What was that they tell you what what part of the army. They were in
there. And one of Assad’s.
secret weapons. And the law they’ll all be going to politics at work. And I’ve
hit hit.
Hit where they’re now supposed to say that was I was not nominated and that maybe if they get out
there are those that are with Woods. And.
More with those boys and that and then they did they did they ever did you ever to have a German you know and then


the fifth. And then there’s a hero. Moto. Do you think that’s a good.
Look that. Remember that the irrigated. The Red River like it
was like your world was a road. I don’t want to be there.
So how that part of the lawyer visit for them. Well he when he was there on the
repeat border. There are.
Twenty days or so. I came here and he was there when they got here and he was still here.


When they left. So he was out there everyday.
Not all our lowly dinner when he discovered that.
One boy from Frankfurt and also marvel in through there when he
won back-to back. When he sent a letter back and that and I got
word back that I think probably that the P.. Debbie’s even left problem for Rick got
word back that they would never go back and then mailed in their


travel like of those today. And but we found out everything you know.
He was. It was in the sea of this boy’s parents.
sort of the prisoners ever get get mail while they were in their car preserve working out but
You know like they were able to keep in touch.
At all. With things back in Germany. Well I don’t I don’t know
where they did or not. I have. So maybe they did one thing that I do remember


talking with two or three of these boys that could speak a little bit and they were
surprised when they landed in New York. And this this was a group from. M forty
five. I think. There was a group that I could say the group from forty four. They didn’t
speak a wall of English and their role is the German and then and then Ramos army
and a wig and. communicate a little bit. Not near as much like we did the women forty.
But these people have come to Helmand in New York. In forty five they were surprised that there was
any buildings still standing or they’d been led to believe that


New York was pretty much leveled all.
Of this was this was propaganda. The germ Germany had been bombing New York City
for quite some time even though it has been reduced to.
rubble and killed while these boys had already come to that that well
even then even the ones in forty four and realized that the war was over as far as ever
concerned they just won’t quit because they knew they were going to. win anything.
And it actually was never captured an actor. I don’t know where they were before they come to


America. I guess they never talked about it. We didn’t talk about
things like that. You know.
But I remember. Oh boy. Remember they were. They were manned.
I mean they make.
They get bigger in the cell. And so the prisoners always had the
impression of being very well fed and.
Very well. We’ll hear that. And I think they got fared pretty well at the camp here. I don’t know.


I think they only bring a lunch with them mob. And I don’t remember
what they were eating. Really.
And I I assume that they had breakfast boiling up. I don’t know. And all
never talk about that.
So there were never any problems at all with them as workers because they were so
happy to be out of the camp and earning one extra.
Or you know they’re like addicts and eighty cents a day. You know I gave them pretty good spending money. You know


and. it and they didn’t like to go back to town because it was going to be hard
though with those old barns at the mules or sustain what was all sheet metal
you know movie hot inside there and then what a whole lot of shade around and around in there and
they said they’d rather stay on in a gutter of those three.
And I think that they get told about family lived right south of that where the what we
call the prison camp that was they all go to work farm. Headquarters was a
family of the name was sure of that run it had a big greenhouse. And and both these


people were German people and they could speak German but I don’t know whether
I don’t know whether they were born in jury but I know that they could speak German.
And the boys would line up along their fans and maybe there’s a lot every day. Now Mr Schuller
wouldn’t because he is always working on a grain of his own with people that you work with a light or
dark you know. But that misses sure she’d be after this is over. They
knew she was. And that at the.
Program we had here before there was a man here who was about ten years old and I


don’t remember all the circumstance but. He lived alone. So the
streets are somewhat for the where they used to march back and forth. And they they were
seeking him is. And then he played cards with them about the camp. He
remembered Rowell.
Because I think your dad worked at the factory and then he had he went to school pub at
Lincoln school Lincoln like Lincoln schools torn down now but that’s been where they
would go by every day go from the camp to the factory. The ones that worked in the


factory and that this boy he’d follow along with them. That
they learned a German car games.
And I think he was profiled in the news because that article while back was as I think I’ve read there. This
time he was about ten years old.
That good. And then you know all of this. I get the news is that I don’t
remember reading that though there was some some days on this part of the area.
Well I worked out real well you know except for. The mammal


name a camel included a German prisoner and he had to get treated so well. He’s written a
book about his diary in Atlanta. And that there were days that
he had nothing no food or water. All day you know
and they were. This is when the Murray River called when in the rush of repo
men in Georgia run again. And all the way to try to keep him
away. You know and and they were. They didn’t know where they were marginal but they just
March and they go on. And on


this camel. When he found out that his mother didn’t feed them.
Today is that you know almost cried during that group. If
you don’t think it ever started in there.
That you.
I’m sure if you get an interview or look some of the old boys as a whole. Where would they recruit
very well.
But we guard proper hours that we were thankful to get or problems.


So it worked out very well for all parties. The caring fairies the
prisoners. The farmers like they were not even the asparagus was probably harder harbors because
was all hand labor under your purse dog. And every never seen a Spurs feel good
about it only gets up about so high when you you have to bend over and you break it
all up or you come up with and I remain. They’ve. They’ve tried to harvest or whatever where you can
accept. This is this is hard or hers with a machine you could. You can you can


harvest or the machine. But the.
You can limit the Scion and when. When you heard with this and get the same
image in the can. Then the people to like the asparagus. So I
swam with moved out of this part of the country different parts take under where they got hard
with machines. And without getting the sand and then I don’t.
know there’s because I know there was a lot more than three thousand
acres of Asperger’s or within Tony Blair Mountain where we’re sitting right now


at one time that circle.
That’s been a very interesting story. If you have any concluding comments or anything you’d like to add at
the very end here.
Well I guess the only thing that I think about is that law was shot and just kept track of
two little boys. Because what my wife as well
as a birth younger brother are not. I guess he’s or the ship that was stationed in
Nuremburg at the at the end of the war. He said he had a pin it


to him had a farmer for a rest until. The war ended. And then the old boys
are farmer verbal expired and they had to go first for a couple years
or other people in the industry and they were stationed at Nuremberg and her brother
murderer of Nuremberg. And they live their roles will now be living by Cameron Burton out that
he was there.
During the month of month of the. September they can go back
every year for the month of September. You know and.


When I wish I could have looked up to World War two or one of many like I
now understand. It’s been two or three and that have come back and he always looked for a
man named bandstand just you know their sense was a field man for them for the
canning operation. And he’s the one that signed.
You know one of twenty innocent women whom porn how deep they went
out but that he died. Many.
Years ago but they were looking always look for him.


They remembered him. Has anyone ever contacted the library here or the Chamber of
Commerce or any Germans who are asking about this.
Town you know that anything like you know I
really I don’t know.
I’m sure I’m sure there’s been probably more than that. Come back. While this one lady that
lives in groups. And now this kind of look up the history of the state of it. Now that she works for the News


Gazette feature story or something. Past my wife or
her what her name is on. But you know I. Always thought it was funny that they
didn’t look up my brother Tom and I we were. What was on every day
or mail. Now almost every day. You know but no one is saying their pain tension. That there’s
another fellow here in town. And so you’re all invited there who work there. They can’t break free as a field men think
they could probably take all kinds of more energy tours and I could tell you
that he’s in a nursing home under. I don’t think his mind. Would it help him. It


could help you much. You know he’s a year older than I am but. He did work there for.
He was a farmer and worked part time for them. And then he can tell you all kinds of
interesting stories. And my cousin could have through that and he died.
Twenty years ago to some.
who are very grateful for your participation. And well I am happy to do it before. There will be some follow
up on this book and other people get a chance to hear your story as well.
Thank you.


Like a move of Faith now seems Apple way. I mean they got that. And if it is
not OK to do it.

Ed Layden went into the Army before World War II, but suffered an injury and was discharged before the U.S. went to war. He returned home, and worked on the family farm. Once the war started, it was very hard to find workers to help with farm work, and many farmers worried that it wouldn’t be possible to get their crops harvested before they spoiled in the fields. The program in which German POWs helped out as laborers on their farms proved to be very helpful. Layden worked with 20 German prisoners from the German POW camp in Hoopeston harvesting sweet corn. The prisoners were picked up at the canning factory in his dad’s truck and brought to his farm. They enjoyed being out in the country, where his mother would make them sandwiches, cookies and chocolate milk.