Museum the New Llano Colony

Ruth Shoemaker

Birth: She was born around 1914 in Missouri.  

Family Information: Daughter of R.V. Shoemaker and Maud (Shoemaker) Van Nuland.

Sister of Hope, Isom and Ward Shoemaker

Her father later married Anna (Shutt) Shoemaker and she became step-sister of Zelma and Royall Thompson.

Her mother later married Anton Van Nuland.


Pre-Colony History: In 1920 she was living in Missouri with her parents.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In 1927 she was helping her mother with the cooking and garden at the colony dairy.

In June 1928 she was assisting in the cannery along with Mrs. Roe, Mrs. Daugherty, Mrs. Baldwin, Mrs. Shoemaker and Raymond de Fausell. They were canning meat -- first it was cut up and partly cooked in the bakery oven, after which it was put into cans and finished up in the steam pressure cookers.

In July 1928 the girls on the junior part of the canning crew included: Ruth Shoemaker, Captain, Vivian Busick, Irene Hewitt, Rhea Mae Baldwin, Iris Busick and Helen Daugherty.

In November 1929 Comrade Atwood was head of the garden group and had Comrade Davis on the Hiatt team plowing; with Mardfin picking vegetables; Shutt, Hartman and Ruth hoeing; Miss Watson was picking green beans and Mrs. Garrett had a group of little folks picking beans out on the farm. In 1934 she was training Alta Needham to take over as librarian since she, herself would be leaving shortly for the new Gila, New Mexico unit. In April she did travel to the Gila, New Mexico location, with her mother and step-mother to join her father and step-father who were already there working.  

Other Info: She was often part of the program at the theater and a senior member of the Glee Club.

In April 1928 Miss Wilson was teaching piano classes to several boys and girls in the colony. The Girls' Melody Way Club had had twelve weeks of classes and included Hope and Ruth Shoemaker, Beatrice Jensen, Lynn Rogers, Rhea Mae Baldwin, Irene Hewitt, Vivian and Iris Busick, Mary and Myrtle Gregerson.

In 1929 she sang second soprano as a member of the Senior Glee Club along with Blanch Porter, Beatrice Jensen, Ruth Kingsbury and Florence Aiton; first sopranos included: Kathleen Bridwell, Zelma De Fausell, Hope Shoemaker and Jennie Black; 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.

She was one of 16 girls who wound the broad ribbons round the Maypole at Llano's birthday party in 1932 (other dancers included Nellie (Kemp) Bradshaw, Laura (Synoground) Swenson, Winnie (Ogden) Dougherty, Sylvia and Ruth Tuber, Verda Bradshaw, Hortense Self, Esta Caves, Helen Emry, Vivian Busick, Irene Hewitt, Myrtle and Irene Maki, Marguerite Killian, Iris Busick, Flora Young and Rhea Mae Baldwin.)

In November 1933 the weekly bridge club met at the new home of Mrs. Myrtle Bradshaw. Those present were Misses Ruth Shoemaker, Vivian Busick, Mary Lou Monk, Doris Layer, Rhea Baldwin, Lloyd Potter, Earl Swenson, Lionel Crossland, Roy McClean, John Dougherty and Fred Busick.

Post-Colony History: The birth of Bonnie May Littlefield, daughter of Ruth (Littlefield), then living on a ranch near Gila, NM, was noted in the Llano Colonist in 1936.  


Sources: US Census: 1920; Photo Archives; "Llano Colonist": December 10, 1927, April 14, 1928, June 16, 1928, July 21, 1928, April 13, 1929, April 20, 1929, November 16, 1929, November 8, 1930, May 14, 1932, November 4, 1933, March 24, 1934, March 14, 1934, April 21, 1934, February 15, 1936; "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 28, 1929  


Hope and Ruth Shoemaker in the Colony Laundry.

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

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.

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