The Layton Story



Ola V. Hale served as a Lady Marine in the U.S. Marine Corps in WWII. Johnnie A. Layton was also in WWII in the U.S. Army serving in N. Africa and S. Italy. In 1964, Johnnie and family moved to Plains from Lubbock where Johnnie was employed as a mechanic. He had a Master Mechanic certification from the Chrysler Corporation. Ola Vesta Layton was employed by the Veterans Administration where she helped keep veterans’ record. Johnnie and Ola have four sons: Donald, Ronald, Patrick, and Johnnie II who attended the Plains school system and all graduated there.

Johnnie and Ola bought two 80-acre tracts of land through the veterans’ plan. The land, NW of Plains, was not in cultivation. It was “broke” and the mesquites were plowed under. This made it difficult to put into cultivation. The mesquite limbs were sometimes not visible and when the plow encountered a buried mesquite limb, it would turn the tractor around! This was a slow and difficult process, but it was accomplished. The farm made a very good crop that year and the price was good.

The first irrigation well was drilled that fall. In 1965, the first 20 acres of watermelons were planted. In addition, irrigation was accomplished by hand moved irrigation pipe. The rest of the farm was planted in milo. It did not produce well that year due to drought.

We then leased a half section from Johnnie Fitzgerald. There was a good irrigation well on it. We purchased some more hand moved irrigation pipe and did a demonstration plot for Leo White, the Yoakum County Agricultural Agent. We finally purchased another 160 acres from Mr. Chadwick. Currently, we own a half section with 12 irrigation wells and a concrete tank, which together make a good gathering system. The year 2006 was very dry and due to conditions beyond our control, our lease farmer made a poor crop, which is a common condition in Yoakum County.

Due to the fact our children received a good foundation for their education, they have all done well. Donald is a Cyto Tech, diagnosing illness, Ronald teaches Math, Patrick works for the city of Dallas in the water department, and Johnnie II is a drilling fluids engineer helping our nation produce oil. Our grandson Samuel Layton graduated from Harvard Law School and received a position as Judge. Our other grandson Daniel passed his Bar Exam in the state of California. All these accomplishments are due to beginning their educational training in the Plains School District.

This page was last updated on 05/27/2016