World War II Central Illinois Stories

Oral History Interview: Merlin Taber of Champaign


Merlin Taber served during World War II, not in the military, but as a conscientious objector in the Civilian Public Service. His Quaker upbringing shaped his decision to seek an alternative to military service. During the war, Taber built roads, fought forest fires, cared for patients in a mental hospital and served as a test subject for medical research. He talks about his experiences—and the reasons for his pacifist response to war.