Museum the New Llano Colony

William "Will" A. Shutt

Birth: He was born in 1851 at Indiana.  

Family Information: Husband of Emma Shutt. They had married in Nebraska on Febraury 15, 1881.

Father of Anna Shutt (Thompson, Garrett, Shoemaker), Leroy Shutt, Clarence Shutt and several others who did not live in the colony.

Grandfather of Anna's children -- Zelma (Thompson) DeFausell and Royall Thompson; and daughter Bessie Mae's son -- Sextus Garrett.  

Description: He was an Odd Fellow and W.O.W. and a member of the Christian Church.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1893 he moved with his wife and children to Texas and were still there in 1900 while he worked as a farmer.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In 1922 he was the fireman at the laundry and printery boiler; also he dug out a big root that was in the way of the tilling in the garden.

In November 1927 the colony was selling their crates as fast as they could get them out. Shoemaker, Oberlitner, Tefteller, Aaby, Dixon and Maxwell were getting out materials for ends and putting them together while Shutt and Gerber were sawing logs into blocks for veneer.

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.

He was listed as a gardener in the colony on the 1930 US Census.

In November 1932 Bickle had charge of the potato kiln which had been thoroughly cleaned and fumigated and was at that time ready to receive the "spuds". Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Shutt were helping him sort the potatoes into different grades and stack them in neat tiers to await the destiny that usually befell "spuds".  

Other Info: He was one of the members of the colony when Pickett first named General Manager.

He was 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.

In February 1928 there was no dance in the colony out of respect for the feelings of Mr. and Mrs. Shutt, whose son, Leroy, had just been buried at the Llano cemetery.

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.

Post-Colony History:  

Death: He died in February 1934 at the New Llano Colony and was buried there, with Dr. Irwin conducting the services.  

Sources: U.S. Census: 1900, 1930; "Llano Colonist": March 25, 1922, November 5, 1927, February 11, 1928, February 25, 1928, December 22, 1928, November 16, 1929, November 12, 1932, April 11, 1933 (Reprinted from the Colonist May 17, 1924), May 13, 1933 (Story of Llano), May 20, 1933 (Story of Llano), March 3, 1934; Louisiana Statewide Death Index  


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