“Islanders Ease Labor Shortage,” (Greencastle) Daily Banner, July 24, 1943

“Islanders Ease Labor Shortage,” (Greencastle) Daily Banner, July 24, 1943, 1, accessed Hoosier State Chronicles.

PRINCETON, In. July 24 (UP) – Jamaicans, who said they missed their native rum most of all, are relieving the farm labor shortage in Gibson county.

Twenty natives, among 4,300 sent to the United States to work on farms, are detasseling and hoeing hybrid corn on the 9,800 acre Princeton Farms, largest agricultural unit in Indiana.

In mid-August they will be employed by Gibson county orchard owners and later will return to the Princeton Farms to harvest the corn crop.

At the Princeton Farms the 20 Jamaicans were quartered in new bunk houses. A kitchen and mess hall were built next to the sleeping quarters, and a Jamaican does the cooking.

The Jamaicans, who seldom had butter in their homeland, ate five pounds, scheduled to last several days at their first meal, along with five pounds of sugar.

  1. G. Redenbacher, manager of the farms, said the Jamaicans were a “religious and happy-go-lucky people, frequently singing while they work.”

Their complaints are few, namely it’s too cool some mornings and they can’t get Jamaica rum and liquor, part of their regular diet in their country,” he said.

The Jamaicans said very little corn was grown in their native land and they never had seen wheat there.

They also were unfamiliar with Indiana’s fur-bearing animals. One workman, Herbert McGhie, saw a pretty animal while hoeing corn. Thinking it was a squirrel, he caught it by pinning it against a fence row with his hoe.

The ’’squirrel” turned out to be a skunk and McGhie said he was trying to forget the incident but couldn’t because of the lingering odor.