HECKENDORN EQUIPMENT COMPANY OF KANSAS, INC.

800-835-7805

Not only does our company have a storied past, the building we currently occupy has a rich history as well.  Built in 1919 by Frank Eyestone on U.S. Highway 50 in the heart of Peobody, Kansas during a local oil boom (one well is purported to have free flowed 6,000 barrels per day), it was an automobile garage, hotel and restaurant.  It is made of red bricks covering a steel framework measuring approximately 100 by 150 feet.  The front forty feet had a second story which housed the hotel, consisting of 13 rooms with communal restrooms and shower facilities.  A restaurant was on the first floor.

Eyestone Garage

1943-1945 In 1943, German prisoners of war were brought to Kansas with two main camps at Concordia and Camp Phillips, near Salina.  Branch camps were located at various localities including Peabody, and the Eyestone building was used to house them.  What was once the hotel, upstairs, was the quarters for the guards and the POWs lived on the first floor.  Area farmers would use the prisoners for tasks on their farms for manual labor only, as the prisoners were not allowed to operate equipment.  The farmers paid a small amount per prisoner and those prisoners who worked were paid approximately 45 cents per hour to use to buy items provided by the camps.

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