Museum the New Llano Colony

Zelma Ferne (Thompson) De Fausell

Birth: She was born in 1911 at Washington.  

Family Information: Daughter of Myrvle Thompson and Anna (Shutt Thompson Garrett) Shoemaker.

Sister of Myrvle, Jr. and Royall Thompson.

Niece of Leroy Shutt, Clarence Shutt and several others who did not live in the colony.

Step-daughter of R.V. Shoemaker.

She married Raymond (Frenchy) De Fausell in January 1929, however, in 1933 Raymond took "French leave" for parts unknown.

Mother of Jack (Jackie) Ray and Barbara Ann DeFausell.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1920 she was living with her mother and two brothers in Spokane, Washington.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In April 1929 the print shop crew included Comrade Bridwell, his daughter Kathleen, Jean Enfield, Raymond and Zelma, Florence and Fred -- they made the wheels go round in the printshop, getting out all publicity for the Llano Movement that spreads to all five continents and the isles of the sea.

In 1931 she and Jackie Ray returned from a stay at the Rice Ranch where she had taken her turn at helping with the housekeeping there.

In January 1934 Myrtle Bradshaw, along with Mrs. Emery gathered the little tots together at the hotel dining room so Mrs. Mitchell, who drove the school bus, could pick them up for the trip to the Kid Kolony every morning. When canning or print shop activities weren't too pressing, Zelma DeFausell helped out, too.

In March 1934 she was still a helper in the print shop, but also working at the laundry in the afternoons.  

Other Info: She had a part in the theatric "Not a Man in the House".

In 1929 she sang first soprano as a member of the Senior Glee Club along with Kathleen Bridwell, Hope Shoemaker and Jennie Black; second sopranos included: Ruth Shoemaker, Blanch Porter, Beatrice Jensen, Ruth Kingsbury and Florence Aiton; and alto was sung by: Gertrude Maki, Laura Synoground, Allie Belle Hewitt, Bonnie Enfield and Lois Brattland.

In November 1930 she was part of the re-organized Girls Glee Club which included: Florence Aiton, Nellie Bradshaw, Verda Bradshaw, Madeline Van Buskirk, Ethel Clark, Zelma De Faussell, Gladys Kimball, Ruth Kittle, Hope Shoemaker, Ruth Shoemaker, Laura Synoground, Dorothy Thompson, Sylvia Tuber and Ruby Nesnow, pianiste.

In November 1934 some of the Gila colonists went on a trip to the "Lodge" which was about 50 miles up the river, but to get there it was necessary to cross the river about 150 times. Among those going were Zelma, Huldah, Wayne and Carl Mahler, Isom and Ward Shoemaker, A. Van Nuland and Mr. Goodwin.

Post-Colony History: In 1940 she was living with her second husband, George Lee, and her two children in New Mexico.  

Death: She died in February 2000 and was buried in the Mesa Cemetery at Gila, New Mexico near her mother.  

Sources: U.S. Census;: 1920, 1930, 1940; "Llano Colonist": January 12, 1929, April 13, 1929, April 20, 1929, November 8, 1930, July 18, 1931, Oct. 8, 1933, November 25, 1933, January 20, 1934, March 31, 1934, November 10, 1934; Photo Archives; US Social Security Applications and Claims Index; US SSDI;  


High School Group -- Back (L to R) Laura Synoground, Allie Bell Hewitt, Raymond "Frenchy" Fausell; Front (L to R) Beatrice Jensen, Ruth and Hope Shoemaker, Zelma Thompson.

The Newllano Highschool Glee Club. Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated April 13, 1929.

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