Museum the New Llano Colony

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte "Roede" Roedemeister

Birth: He was born about 1859 in Ohio.  

Family Information:

He had two brothers named Wolford, from Ohio, and a son who visited not too long before he died.

Description: Known as "Roede" or "Roedy" to his friends, he was of a kindly and genial disposition. He had an ear for music and could hold his own in any orchestra.  

Pre-Colony History: He joined the California colony and made the move to Louisiana in 1917. Apparently he left the colony around 1918, "sojourning in Indiana and Michigan," he returned in September 1920 on the Sunday evening train. He found it "pretty warm down here, seeing that they already had a slight frost where he came from."

He described the industrial situation up North as "becoming clearly defined," noting that many of the large auto factories had discharged thousands of workers, many men were seeking jobs.  

Home in Colony: In 1930 he was listed as a boarder with the Curtis Palmer family.

In 1934 he ran the shoe and harness shop at the Gila location and at his request, a garden was placed nearby where he grew cabbage and strawberries.  

Job in Colony: He was an expert blacksmith and tanner; also a competent cobbler - he worked in the shoe shop when necessary and was a foreman in the harness and shoe shop, though he much preferred working in the crate factory.

In December 1927 Oberlitner and Gerber were sawing box and crate materials while Roede, Mardfin, Dixon and Maxwell were nailing up the last of the crate ends and putting them into bundles.

At the crate factory in the fall of 1928 Comrade Hartman, Bingham and Maxwell were steadily making crate ends, while Roede was kept on the jump overseeing the crate work and repairing shoes and harness while he rested.

In April 1931 he, Doc Williams and Doc Cayton "smuggled potatoes, corn, beans and beets into the bosom of mother earth at the general manager's garden... Anton Van Nuland most decidedly put the seedbed into superb condition for planting, and when done he said facetiously, Tell Doc he owes me five dollars.

In July 1931 the veneer plant was going in full force with Johnny Dougherty, Long, Ole Synoground, Carl Bradshaw, George Jensen, Slaughter, Ray Bradshaw, Fred Hamel, Hoag and Roede on the job; as well as Bennie Brown, Jimmie Brown, Helen Joe Dougherty, Lucille Oberlitner, Rhea Mae Baldwin, George Maki and Jimmie Dix.

At the veneer plant in September 1931 John Allred, Ike Jensen, Carl Nelson and Ben Hewett were fishing the blocks out of the cooking vat and sending them up to George Collins for Ernest Kimball and Fred Busick to peel, after which they were fed to the big veneer machine; while his and Mrs. Killian's crews took care of the cutting and stacking.  

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 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.

In February 1929 the colony orchestra consisted of Violins: Guy Rogers, William Bingham, Albert Wichmann, Warren Fread, Joseph Silberman, Rhea Baldwin; Flute: Clyde Mickey; Clarinets: Frank Rahn, William DeBoer, William Newman; Saxophones: Raymond DeFausell, Florence Roe, Arthur Goble; Trumpets: Louis Reodemeister, Benjamin Roe; Horn: Benjamin Couchman; Trombone: George Pickett; Tuba: Fred Hamel; Pianist: Mary Erma Wilson.

At Gila in March 1935 Lewis Mahler and Frank Plaga sang in German with Mahler playing the guitar. Louis Roedemeister joined in before they'd finished.  

Post-Colony History:  

Death: He died in Gila, New Mexico December 1935.  

Sources: "Vernon Parish Democrat": September 16, 1920, February 7, 1929; "Llano Colonist": October 29, 1927, November 5, 1927, December 17, 1927, May 19, 1928, September 1, 1928, February 16, 1929, March 9, 1929, March 1, 1930, January 31, 1931, April 4, 1931, July 4, 1931, September 5, 1931, September 2, 1933, March 2, 1935, December 21, 1935; US Census: 1930  


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

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