Museum the New Llano Colony

Crockett Campbell

Birth: He was born in 1891 in Texas.  

Family Information: Son of Susan Campbell. Nephew of Cleve Campbell.

Brother of Ada (Campbell) Caves and Mabel Campbell.

Uncle of Leon and Esta Caves.

Description: On his WWI Draft Registration dated June 5 (no year) he was described as being of small height and small build with brown eyes and black hair. On his WWII Draft Registration dated April 27, 1942 he was described as being 5'7", 125 pounds with blue eyes and gray hair with a light complexion.

In a 1935 "Colonist" article it was stated that he should have been a dance master. He was lithe and wiry; there was always a ready smile on is features; and the twinkle of deviltry in his eyes only added to the spontanaeity of his actions. It was stated, "a square dance without Crockett calling, is like a dish of bacon without the eggs."  

Pre-Colony History: In 1900, 1910 and 1920 he was living in Texas with his parents and siblings -- in 1910 and 1920 he was working as a farm laborer.

In December 1928 he was a new subscriber to the "Llano Colonist" along with J.H. Eggleston, Prof. W.D. Laurie, C.P. Allred, Bert Bertino and Lester Caves -- all from Texas.

In 1930 he was living in New Mexico and working as a hunter for a U.S. biological survey.

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In 1935 he was working in the Vernon Cash Store that was located in the colony Industrial Building, which also contained the Coffee Shop, the machine shop, garage and tin shop.  

Other Info: On May Day, 1935, some dissatisfied colonists -- most of them younger members who had not yet earned their right to vote on colony decisions -- held a meeting while Pickett was out of town and elected a new Board of Directors that didn't include George Pickett. Doc Williams, an on-again / off-again colonist from the early years in California, was elected President; Eugene Carl, a new member who'd only been at the colony about three months -- he was still a probationer and consequently didn't even have voting rights in colony matters, was elected Executive Director; and Walter Robison, also a recent arrival, was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Pickett and his supporters fought the action in the Vernon Parish courts, but even though the courts ruled the new board was not legal, they also refused to name Pickett's board as the legal directors, so the disagreements within the colony only continued to escalate.

Read the Court Judgment dated September 6, 1935.

In order to claim that an official board had been properly elected after the court judgment had been handed down, the new board and leaders held another election. They advertised for former colonists to send in their proxies and adopted a rule permitting all resident members who had been at the colony more than sixty days to vote in the election, provided too few proxies were received to hold a regular stock holders' meeting.

In October 1935 he was nominated to be on the self-proclaimed "legal" Board of Directors, along with (in order of nomination), Robert K. Williams, E.D. Carl, Lester Caves, John Szpila, Harold Emery, Charles Lawrence, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Chester Page, Horace Cronk, George Hullinger, Walter Robison, "Chauncey" DuProz, Mrs. Olive Lentz, Mrs. Mabel Busick, Lionel Crossland, Charles Derleth, J.H. "Dad" Ribbing and Cy Horney.

As expected, less than one fourth the required stock was represented at the Stockholders' meeting, so the colonists proceeded with the election of a new board of directors as planned. Those selected were: Robert K. Williams, E.C. Carl, Lester Caves, Crockett Campbell, Harold Emery, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Charles Lawrence, and Chester Page. Runners up were Mrs. Mabel Busick, Horace Cronk and John Szpila.

This new board tried to make improvements to colony life, but after the first year, finances were in such a state that the court appointed a receiver to help them straighten out their affairs. Two different receivers tried to calm the colonists and persuade them to work together, but this proved fruitless.

In May 1937, Ferguson -- the second court-appointed receiver -- appointed two groups to work with him in an advisory capacity as he tried to get the colony's finances sorted out -- first a membership committee who would settle questions about returning members, which might or might not be allowed. This committee consisted of H.S. Stansbury, chairman; George Pickett, E.O. Joynes, R.K. Williams and Carl Gleeser. The second was expected to organize the industrial work so as to ensure that everyone had a job somewhere. That committee consisted of Dr. Williams, chairman; Chester Page, Chester Peecher, Charles Worden and Crockett Campbell. In June, 1937, as disaster loomed, some control was returned to Pickett when he was asked to be, first the Farm Superintendent, then the Ice Plant Manager, and finally in control of all colony industries. Unfortunately, it was too late; within months the receiver petitioned the court for permission to sell the land and soon began to divide the property into smaller lots which were sold at auction for much less than their actual value.

In June 1936 he visited family in Sanger, Texas where his sister, Mabel, a teacher in the schools at Childress. Together they visited Oklahoma City and then drove to the Colony.

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living in Texas with his mother and a lodger and was a retail and grocery store owner.  

Death: He died in Texas in 1975 of a heart attack.  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; Draft Registration Cards: WWI, WWII; "Llano Colonist": December 1, 1928, March 9, 1935, August 24, 1935, October 12, 1935, June 6, 1936, August 15, 1936, May 1, 1937; Texas Death Certificate;  


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