Museum the New Llano Colony



George T. Pickett

Birth: Born in Iowa approx 1877.  

Description:  

Pre-Colony History: He first joined the colony on January 2, 1915.  

Family Information: His first wife Minnie Pickett did not make the move with the colony to Louisiana.

He married Alice Bridger possibly around 1927.

Father of George "Blair" Pickett who was born in the Louisiana colony; step-father of Doug Bridger.

Uncle of Gordon Pickett.





 

Job in Colony: He served as a fiscal agent for the Llano del Rio Company during early days in California and when C.V. Eggleston confided to him that he planned to steal from the colony and offered to let him in on the deal, Pickett informed the Board of Directors, giving Job Harriman the chance to re-organize the colony before any real harm was done.

Also while in California, he started the Junior Colony where he worked with the younger generation -- they had their own garden, repaired the colony roads and were building a house for Pickett. He gave dancing lessons and coached the colony baseball team.

In Louisiana he soon rose to be General Manager after proving to be a decisive leader, who also happened to be very good at raising funds and finding new members, thereby bringing much-needed money into the colony funds.

However, colony leadership was never easy. From the beginning, both Harriman and Pickett had their struggles with colonists they labeled "brush gangs," though both had always managed to overcome these struggles for control. Usually, it was because someone came along who had different ideas and thought they could do a better job of leading the colony. By 1935, however, many had begun to resent Pickett's dictatorial ways. There were many reasons for this:

1) The most obvious reason was that colonists felt that Pickett's family, as well as close friends and supporters, received special treatment. One example of this was the fine home occupied by the Pickett family, while others lived in shacks. In truth, his home had been built using donations collected from supporters around the country.

2) He had recently pushed for support to purchase several new "satellite locations" where conditions were better to produce specific goods for the colony, including a cattle ranch at Gila, New Mexico and a sugar plantation in South Louisiana. These properties, though "good deals" financially, required colonists to occupy and work them, as well as equipment and supplies that either must be acquired or shared from those the home colony had already managed to acquire. This created a shortage of workers and equipment at the Newllano colony.

3) He had begun to allow new members into the colony who could not purchase their membership stock, which of course, rightly angered those who had bought and/or worked off their fees. To add to the offense, many of these new members weren't able to do their share of the labor required to care for so many colonists.

4) And finally, I think that many colonists, especially the younger ones, thought the colony should be more modern. They wanted a greater variety of foods for their meals, more fashionable clothing and more luxuries. These were all things they believed Pickett enjoyed while he was on his travels around the country, speaking to different groups about the colony.

On May Day, 1935, some dissatisfied colonists held a meeting while Pickett was out of town and elected a new Board of Directors that didn't include Pickett. He and his supporters fought the action in the Vernon Parish courts, but even though the courts ruled the new board was not legal, they refused to name the old board as the legal directors, so the disagreements within the colony only continued to escalate. Many colonists became so tired of all the fighting they moved away -- leaving an even greater shortage of workers for many of the industries.

In July 1935, he and his loyal supporters fought the action in the streets of New Llano and on July 22 held their own meeting and elected another board which included George T. Pickett as President and General Manager, Arthur Hoffman, H. Claude Lewis, Oscar Needham, Sidney Young, Sidney Archer and John Szpila and resulted in having two warring Boards of Directors.

All these upheavals within the colony increased the financial difficulties which had always been part of colony life, but which Pickett had always managed to stay atop; soon the courts assigned a receiver to manage the colony and help them become solvent. Two different receivers spent two years trying to convince colonists to work together, though this proved an impossible task.

Finally in June, 1937 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.  

Home in Colony: The new Pickett home, made possible only by a dedicated fund-raising campaign handled by Dr. R.K. Williams, was intended from the beginning to be the finest in the colony. This caused problems for Pickett later, when many came to resent his fancy home.

The planned house (still under construction in 1932) was to have had 35 windows on the ground floor, including 5 big bay windows. Pickett, assisted by Roede had planted a home garden around the new house while it was still being constructed.  

Other Info: In May 1928 two visiting musicians -- W.L. Ferris and O.L. Owens of Leesville -- collaborated with the colony orchestra which consisted of: Robert Snyder, leader; George T. Pickett, Roedemeister, Ben Roe, Raymond Faussel, Joseph Gaddis, Louise Gaddis, Billy DeBoer, C.C. Mickey, Peter Borg, Max Beavers, Warren Fread, Guy Rogers, Florence Roe and Anna Besse, pianiste.

In 1928 he was one of the founding members of the local Conscientious Objectors Union; Theodore Atworth served as the first Secretary-Treasurer with O.E. Enfield serving as the President. The organization was planned to be international, composed of people who refused to go to war as a matter of conscience. Charter members included: Theodore Atworth, Mary H. Atworth, Emily H. Dougherty, I.A. Dougherty, Carl H. Gleeser, S. Weislander, Charlie C. Black, John Hight, Lowell H. Coate, W.A. Shutt, F.O. Jernberg, Reka Jernberg, Anna Tabb, Peter Kemp, F. Rosenburg, B. Wade Hewitt, Hamilton H. McClurg, W.J. Hoag, Theodore F. Landrum, C.N. Butts, Mary Snyder, George Snyder, Anna Garrett, Emma Shutt, M.A. Brattland, Richard P. Condon, Jr., Emily Swenson, W.J. Newman, George T. Pickett, Raymond DeFausell, S.E. Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Molenar, Earl L. Bosch, Guy F. Rogers, Ora E. Newman, James J. Miller, Bert Busick, Mabel D. Busick, Ole Synoground, C.C. Mickey, Fred A. Jensen, Katie Mickey, F. Rahn and Isaac H. Keyes.

In 1929 the theater program featured camera pictures of Llano, California and Newllano which were shown on a white screen while George Pickett paid tribute to the Auld Lang Syners who had been part of the pioneer days of the colony including: Peter, Dora and Harold Kemp; L. Roedemeister, Dad Thomas and Mr. Fox; Septer, Runa and Rhea May Baldwin; Chas. Anderson, Anton Van Nuland and Theo Landrum; Susan and Albert Moore; William and Mrs. Newman; Arthur, Donna, Donna 2nd and Dolores Goble; and George Pickett himself.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living in the town of New Llano with his wife and son while he worked as an organizer for the Townsend plan.  

Death:  

Sources: Vernon Parish Democrat: April 28, 1921; "Llano Colonist": May 19, 1928, December 22, 1928, March 9, 1929, May 10, 1930, July 9, 1932, January 14, 1933 (The Story of Llano), September 7, 1935, June 13, 1937; "Can We Cooperate" by Bob Brown; US Census: 1930, 1940; Letter dated August 3, 1988 from Rocina Matz to "Florence"

 

Left Top: George Pickett

Left Middle: Pickett in front of the Hotel on the Hill

Left Bottom: the Pickett home

Right Top: George and Blair Pickett

Right Middle: George Pickett speaking to an outdoor class at the Kid Kolony.

Right Bottom: Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated November 17, 1934.



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× Babb, A.B. Babb, Bennett Babb, Lutie Babb, Marion

Baer, Comrade

Baldwin, Rhea Mae Baldwin, Runa Baldwin, Septer

Banks, Thomas

Banta, Bondell Banta, Earl L. Banta, Elizabeth Banta, R.W.

Barrett, Jack

Bartlett, Boyd Bartlett, Ida Ann (Morris)

Barton, Dave

Bates, Charles

Bays, J.T. Bays, Lenna Bays, Leola Bays, Lillian Bays, Norman

Beals, May

Beavers, Beulah (Gaddis) Beavers, Cora Beavers, John Henry Beavers, Mabel (Synoground) Beavers, Max Beavers, William

Bell, Alma (Wilson) Bell, Harry, Jr. Bell, Harry, Sr. Bell, Ida Bell, Louise (Belorahdsky)

Belorahdsky, A. Belorahdsky, Josephine Belorahdsky, Louise Belorahdsky, Mary Belorahdsky, Rose

Bennett, Edward C. Bennett, Mrs. E.C.

Benthal, Mrs. Benthal, Truman

Benton, W.C.

Bertino, Bert Bertino, Jimmy

Besse, Anna Besse, Carl

Bickle, Mr.

Bidick, Joe

Bingham, William

Black, Charles Black, Jennie

Blacksher, Joe

Blair, Rose B.

Blank, Edwin

Bohnstedt, Ed Bohnstedt, Ida

Borello, Frank

Borgeson, Oren Borgeson, Oscar

Bosch, Earl

Bosen, W.

Boulton, Alfred

Bowers, George B.

Bowling, Frank

Boyce, Vernon

Boydelatour, Charles

Bradshaw, Annette (Emry) Bradshaw, Carl Bradshaw, Carolyn Bradshaw, Madeline Bradshaw, Myrtle (Kemp) Bradshaw, Nellie (Kemp) Bradshaw, Paul Bradshaw, Ray Bradshaw, Verda Bradshaw, W.E.

Brannon, Anita Brannon, C.R. Brannon, Charles Brannon, Dick Brannon, Ross Brannon, Sarah

Brattland, Lois Brattland, Michael A. Brattland, Mabel

Bridger, Alice Bridger, Doug

Bridwell, Dario Bridwell, Dorothy Bridwell, Elizabeth Bridwell, Harlan Bridwell, Kathleen Bridwell, Louis H.

Briggs, Baby Boy Briggs, Henry Lyman Briggs, Mr. Briggs, Patty Briggs, Mrs. H.L.

Brostrom, John

Brough, Frank Brough, Margaret Brough, William

Brown, Bennie Brown, Callie Mae Brown, Charles Brown, Daisy Brown, E.G. Brown, Ed Brown, Elizabeth Brown, Harold Brown, Hattie Brown, Irene Brown, Lottie Brown, Millard Brown, Mrs. T.M. Brown, Prudence Stokes Brown, R.J. Brown, Ross Brown, Sarah Brown, T.M. Brown, Wesley Brown, Willie Brown, Woodrow

Bryers, C.

Buck, Howard Buck, Lillian Buck, Mrs. Warren Buck, Warren

Buhre, Philip

Burbank, Mrs.

Burdick, Mr.

Burns, Glen

Burton, W.H.

Busick, Bertram Busick, Bill Busick, Byron Busick, Fred Busick, Iris Busick, Mabel Busick, Roscoe Busick, Vivian

Butts, Charles N.

Buxton, Mildred





× Sanford, DeForest Sanford, Marvin Sanford, Muriel

Satnan, Al

Schaefer, John D.

Schindler, Pete

Schnitzer, Llano

Schow, Mr.

Schutz, Carl Schutz, Crystal Schutz, Jane

Seelye, Margaret Seelye, Mildred

Self, Elliott Self, Hortense Self, Mrs. Self, Wanda

Shelston, Frank R.

Shepard, Albert Shepard, Bessie

Sherman, Alford

Shipman, Bessie (Casey) Shipman, Will

Shoemaker, Anna (Shutt) Shoemaker, Hope Shoemaker, Isom Shoemaker, Maud Shoemaker, R.V. Shoemaker, Ruth Shoemaker, Ward

Shutt, Anna Shutt, Clarence Shutt, Emma Shutt, Leroy Shutt, Mrs. K.B. Shutt, Will A.

Silberman, Joe

Skinner, Jim

Slaughter, Joe

Smith, Fannie Smith, R.L.

Snell, A.F.

Snyder, Bob Snyder, George Snyder, Mary

Sontag, Alice

Sorrell, William

Stanley, Dennis F.

Stansbury, Howard

Stearns, G.W.A. Stearns, Mrs. G.W.A.

Steinmetz, Mr.

Stephens, Gertrude

Stevens, Bernie Stevens, Cora Stevens, George Stevens, H.J. Stevens, Leona (Hayes)

Stewart, A.A. Stewart, Larry

Still, Anna Still, Craig Still, Mentley Still, Tom Still, William

Storman, Alford

Stoveall, Edward H.

Straub, Helen

Strauss, Charles

Sullivan, J.R.

Svenson, Elma (Wooster) Svenson, Victor

Swanson, Mrs. Swanson, Otto

Sweiger, John

Swenson, Carl Swenson, Chas. Swenson, Chester Swenson, Clyde Swenson, Earl Swenson, Emily Swenson, Eugene Swenson, Florence "Evelyn" Swenson, Helen (Hayes) Swenson, Hope (Shoemaker) Swenson, James Swenson, Laura (Synoground) Swenson, Roy

Swilley, Sena (Goins Nash)

Synoground, Buddy Synoground, Clifford Synoground, Laura Synoground, Lillie Synoground, Mabel Synoground, Ole Synoground, Ruby

Szpila, John





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