Museum the New Llano Colony

Minnie Hewett Alternate spelling Hewitt

Birth: Born around 1890 in Mississippi.  

Family Information: She'd married B. Wade Hewett in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1910.

Mother of Allie Belle, Benny Wade, Jr., Irene, Clark, Eugene and Charlotte Hewett.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1900 she was living in Tennessee with her parents and siblings.

In 1910 she and Wade were living in Louisiana with his mother and a boarder while Wade worked as a nurseryman running his own business. In 1920 they, along with three children, still lived in Louisiana where he worked as a manager of a Lafayette Pecan Nursery.  

Home in Colony: In January 1929 she and Allie Belle were "fixing up their residence in fine style." According to a column in the "Colonist" they had "the finest home in town, so fine that a casual visitor might [have thought they had] received special favors, but that would have been a greivous mistake." All colony families were just as free to fix up their own domiciles equally well, but apparently they seldom did so.

In 1930 the family was living in the Newllano Colony. In 1935 she was still living in the Newllano Colony. 

Job in Colony: In June 1928 she was part of the breakfast crew at the hotel, along with Mrs. Daugherty, the Misses Allie Belle Hewett, Laura Synoground and Comrade L.C. Thomas.

In July she, Mrs. Baldwin from the bakery, laundry, and hotel and Mrs. Daugherty from the sewing room were helping in the cannery by cutting up the meat which was to be canned the next day.

She was working as a cook at the colony hotel in 1930. In May 1930 Maxine Palmer helped the Mesdames Oberleitner, Hewett, Kimball, Hardy, and Lacefield; the Misses Lois Thompson, Bonnie Mason, Florence Case and Rhea Mae Baldwin; and the Messrs. Petersen, Wichman and DeBoer serve dinner under the direction of Mrs. Walter Fread.

In 1931 she was in the bakery where she and Maud (Shoemaker) Van Nuland were concentrating on making ginger cookies. In April she was working in the bakery with Kenneth Emry.

In September 1931 she was working at the cannery, under charge of Mrs. Walter Fread, canning pears on shares. In November 1931 she and Mrs. Dean were helping in the sewing room, mending things brought over from the laundry.

At the laundry in 1934, Mrs. Hewett was marking and sorting clothes to be washed while Tefteller was running the washing machine; Mrs. Ribbing and Mrs. Hullinger were ironing shirts and underwear and Arlene Watson was keeping the tub full of sprinkled clothes.

In June 1935 Mrs. Hewitt, Cy Horney, and Mrs. Frank Harris were getting dinner ready at the hotel. Katie Bell Goin had charge of the silverware and her sister, Iola Goins, helped with the washing of the dishes. Mrs. Matz had a sore foot and was unable to help at the time. Later that month, she and her helpers, along with Horney and Rude were preparing lunch.

In May 1936 she and Charlotte, along with Mrs. Bondell Banta, Mrs. White, Mrs. Hardy, Ed Mansfield, Harold Emery, and Ed and Ida Cole helped prepare for the first reception of the summer season that was held in the Roof Garden.  

Other Info: One of 42 colonists who signed a petition, dated January 10, 1928 and sent to the governor of Louisiana, which objected to the securing of a new charter being issued to the colony. Among other things, this petition claimed that affairs of the colony had been grossly and intentionally mismanaged and conduct of the management so flagrantly opposed to good morals that a receiver assigned by the District Court was necessary to handle affairs. It alleged that management had: 1. Used misleading propaganda which caused hundreds of people to invest their money in the colony, only to be disillusioned and have to leave with nothing to show for their investment. 2. Reduced the colony to a peon camp - these "peons" being poorly fed, clothed and housed. 3. Advocated "free-love", including promiscuous relations of the sexes and other practices contrary to good morals. 4. Expressed contempt for courts and authorities by taking it upon themselves to punish two boys for stealing from the colony store. 5. Prostituted colony schools by employing nondescript persons as teachers, while issuing fraudulent reports and drawing hundreds of dollars from the Parish School funds in the names of certified teachers and by exploiting child labor. The case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court but eventually was annulled and the plaintiff's demands rejected.

Preparing for the May Day's entertainment in 1928 Anna Besse was presiding at the piano, accompanied by Peter Borg on the violin while Comrade Condon was practicing his song. Other performers were Kenneth Thurman and Comrade Tefteller. Also the orchestra under Bob Snyder, Mrs. Hewett and Mrs. Busick.

In February 1929 Dixon presented his own one-act comedy, "Soapy," at the colony theater. The cast included: Soapy - Ch. Black; J. Jink - Joe Turner, Silvers - Mr. Doherty, News-boy - Volney Rogers, Mrs. Doon - Mrs. Hewett, Donnie Doon - Miss Jennie Black, and Laura Doon - Miss Lynne Rogers. It was a fine play and Mrs. Hewitt showed her masterful skill in handing it to J.Jinks with the broom-stick. Dixon showed his proficiency as stage manager in fine shape.

In April 1929 Mrs. Minnie Hewett held a birthday party in honor of Billie Busick, five years old, and Charlotte Hewett, just four. Also attending were Clara Mae Fread, Byron Busick, George Maki, Jimmie Dix, Eugene Hewett and Buddy Synoground.

After the May Day Revolution of 1935, signed a statement supporting John Szpila's letter, which had been published in the September 21, 1935 issue of the "Llano Colonist" and spelled out the reason's the overthrow of former General Manager, George T. Pickett, had been necessary.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 she was living in a home in the unincorporated New Llano, Louisiana (site of the old colony) with children Eugene and Charlotte and working as a bookbinder for WPA project.  

Death: She died in California in 1983.  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; New Orleans, LA Marriage Records Index; "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 28, 1929, October 12, 1935; "Llano Colonist": February 25, 1928, May 26, 1928, June 30, 1928, July 21, 1928, January 12, 1929, February 9, 1929, April 27, 1929, May 3, 1930, May 17, 1930, January 24, 1931, September 12, 1931, September 19, 1931, November 21, 1931, May 13, 1933 (Story of Llano), May 20, 1933 (Story of Llano), August 4, 1934, June 15, 1935, June 22, 1935, May 30, 1936; California Death Index;  


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