Museum the New Llano Colony

Harry Layer

Birth: He was born around 1888 in Iowa.

Family Information: Married to Opal (Emry) Layer.

Father of Doris and Lyle Layer.  

Description: In 1917 he was described as being short and stout with blue eyes and dark brown hair.

In 1934 Doc Williams described him as being strong and sturdy.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1900 he was living in Iowa with his parents and siblings. In 1920 he was living in Washington with his wife, two children and his mother while working as a machinist in a shipyard. In 1930 the couple and their two children were living in Iowa while he worked as a machinist on a steam railroad. At some point he'd also lived in Wyoming and a lot of other places.

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.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: He was a first class machinist who could handle any job. In early 1932 he repaired the washing machines at the laundry. Later in 1932 he was still working in the machine shop where he and Doc Rand had realized that one of the things slowing up the machine shop was preparing steel and iron in the proper length for the various things to be fabricated.

In July 1932 Cleve Campbell was glad to see Bartlett back on the saw mill construction work. Bartlett, Horney and Mansfield were at that point finishing the log skidways while Harry and Rand were shooting across the mechanical parts.

In 1933 he and Leo Roscoe were repairing the bread mixer and the peanut hulling machines.

In 1934 he was in charge of the machine shop, assisted by John H. Ribbing, Fred Richter, Leon Caves and Milton Maki. At that time the shop was well-equipped with "a large lathe, air compressor, power hack saw, drill press, planer, grinding wheels, tools and all equipment... [though] the machine shop's present need [wa]s a milling machine so that gears could be made." It had done "such important work as re-conditioning engines, cranes, sawmill equipment, Diesel engine parts, laundry dryer, and so on, in almost endless number."  

Other Info:  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 the family of four lived in New Mexico where he worked as a machinist in a contract shop.  

Death: Died in 1964 in Los Angeles, California.  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1920, 1930, 1940; US WWI Draft Registration Card; "Llano Colonist": June 6, 1931, January 2, 1932, January 16, 1932, March 19, 1932, March 26, 1932, April 9, 1932, April 16, 1932, July 2, 1932, November 4, 1933, January 27, 1934, April 7, 1934; California Death Index  


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