Museum the New Llano Colony

James Maxwell

Birth: Born around 1867 in Ohio.  

Family Information:

Father of James Maxwell, Jr.

Description: He was a worker and peacefully disposed, old enough to know his own mind and believed to be a good co-operator.  

Pre-Colony History: Arrived in the colony around November 1927 -- he had walked all the way from St. Louis, Mo., and found here the first opportunity to turn his hand to production. He said the Llano Way was good enough for him and he was satisfied with the colony and its methods.  

Home in Colony: The 1930 US Census lists him as a lodger in the Edward Hardy home.  

Job in Colony: In December 1927, soon after his arrival, he was working on Loutrel's ice plant crew, along with John Dougherty and Ted Landrum. Later that month, the same crew of four were doing repair work at the ice plant.

He was a first class machinist and before the end of December 1927 he was doing machinist work with Oberlitner and Price and they had almost finished the repair work on the sawmill engine; plus he was helping Homer, Ted and John build a new pump house on the bank of the creek just north of the general office -- they had the pump up, wires stretched and connected with the electric motor and at that time it was pumping water, giving a sufficient supply to the cooling tower at the ice plant, also supplying the laundry and steam plants.

In June 1928 he was eager to see the industrial building -- (60'x20') finished so he could set up his machine shop. By November it was ready and he and Professor Thomas were rigging up his line shaft and installing the machines. Down on the ground floor Hank Stevens and wife were setting up the garage. These two shops allowed the colony to care for any kind of mechanic's job.

In 1929 he was the foreman of the machine shop. He doctored up the giant rotary pump at the Rice Ranch which then "spouted such a tremendous mouthful of water that the banks of the irrigation canal would have overflowed had not Leonard, Shipman, Brannon and others banked them up and compelled the flow to run where [they] want[ed] it to run."

Also that year Newman and Ole were "assembling a new "sander". This was a machine on which all kinds of wood surfaces [could] be sandpapered and finished, obviating the slow and laborious hand work. A belt of sandpaper [did] the trick, as it revolved over "idlers", two at the lower and two at the upper corners of the framework. No idler, Comrade Hoag made [those] idlers. In fact, the whole machine [had] an interesting pedigree, being a concrete demonstration of co-operative creation. The plan [was] by Hank Stevens. Comrade Eldred brought the framework into being. Jimmy Maxwell concocted the metal parts by frisking an old Ford. Hoag tuned in on the idlers, as aforesaid. Somebody made the sanding belt. And lo! Ole and Newman assembled the creations of all those co-operators into a machine capable of doing the work of a score of men. [They] simply needed the machine and forthwith got busy and made it."

In 1930 he was listed as a machinist in the colony.  

Other Info:  

Post-Colony History:  


Sources: "Vernon Parish Democrat": July 21, 1928, February 7, 1929, May 18, 1929; "Llano Colonist": December 10, 1927, December 17, 1927, December 24, 1927, December 31, 1927, June 2, 1928, November 17, 1928, March 23, 1929; US Census: 1930  


Clipping from the "Vernon Parish Democrat" dated February 7, 1929.

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