Museum the New Llano Colony

Ruby (Synoground) Nesnow

Birth: She was born in 1909 in North Dakota.

Family Information: Daughter of Ole and Lillie Synoground.

Sister of Mabel, Clifford, Laura and Buddy Synoground.

She married Industrial Foreman, Harry Nesnow on May 1, 1927 during the May Day ceremonies at the colony.

Mother of Maurice, Joe and David Nesnow.


Pre-Colony History: She arrived, with her parents and siblings, at the colony in 1918 and was one of the members of the colony when George T. Pickett was first named General Manager.  

Home in Colony: The Nesnow family lived along what is today known as Third St. in New Llano on the end near the city park. Their home was said to have been "nicely completed and looking very cosy, inside and out."  

Job in Colony: In April 1922 she was part of a group of students who helped out at the kindergarten that included Rosa Matz, Ruby Synoground, Laura Merrill, Nellie Kemp, Vinita Thurman and Mabel Synoground. Also, she and Laura Merrill helped wrap bread at the bakery.

She also worked in the cafeteria -- shelling peanuts, setting tables, getting dinner together and washing dishes -- along with Albert Kapotsy, Alice Jaques, John Dougherty, Beulah Gaddis, Laura Merrill, Laura Synoground, Margaret Seelye, Emma Kapotsy, Vinita Thurman, Nellie Kemp, Margaret Kapotsy, Rachel Jaques and Dora Cryer.

Plus she helped Laura Merrill wrap bread at the bakery where Charles Miller was also working.

In June 1931 the midday meal was prepared and served by the Mesdames Lentz, Long, White, Corbett, Nesnow, Parsons, Hardy, Joynes and the Misses Stella Kittle, Bays and Caves. Frances Wilkerson and Virginia and Ruth Kittle gathered the trays which Mrs. Wright was kept busy wiping for repeated service. In 1933 it was reported that she and "Aunt Jennie" Wooley were doing the cooking at the Kid Kolony.

Other Info: She often took part in colony theater productions -- in November 1927 she was part of a program composed chiefly of instrumental and vocal music by Ruby, Mesdames Louise Gaddis and Anna Besse and Messrs. Max Beavers, Harry Nesnow, Mickey and Price.

In 1928, two Ruby's had their first babies. Ruby Synoground Nesnow (Maurice) and Ruby Oberlitner Fread (Emory). It was reported that "each mama named Ruby thinks her baby is the sweetest, cutest baby ever."

In 1930 she, Harry and Maurice were living in New York while Harry worked as a brick layer.

They had returned to the colony sometime before November 1930 because at that time 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.

In 1932 an entertaining story was in the "Colonist" -- "It isn't often that an opossum walks into one's yard and seems to beg to be placed in the pot, as he is everywhere looked upon as a rare delicacy, especially down in this country, but that is exactly what a nice fat one did in September 1932 in the chicken yard of Industrial Foreman Harry Nesnow's home. Mrs. Nesnow heard a noise in the yard among the fowls, so she went out and flashed her light on the chicken house. She was startled to see two great glaring eyes staring at the light. Recognizing her find, she kept the light pointed at the invader, reaching for a weapon, and managed to stun him. Jimmy Swenson, happening along and hearing the commotion, rendered the necessary assistance, and it wasn't long until Mr. 'Possum was separated and salted down in the ice box. An unusual meal was enjoyed in the Nesnow household that evening."

Post-Colony History: In 1935 she and Harry with their two sons were living in rural Texas -- most likely at Premont.

In 1940 the couple, now with three sons, were living in New York

At the time of her death she was a retired print shop administrator.  

Death: She died in 2001 at Hawaii.  

Sources: Photo Archives; "Llano Colonist": November 19, 1927, April 7, 1928, November 8, 1930, June 6, 1931, August 1, 1931, April 30, 1932, September 17, 1932, March 3, 1933 (Story of Llano), April 11, 1933 (Reprinted from the Colonist May 17, 1924), May 27, 1933 (Story of Llano), August 12, 1933; "Leesville Leader": June 26, 1988; "Leesville Daily Leader": May 3, 1994; US Census: 1930, 1940;; 2001 "Honolulu Star Bulletin"  


Llano children involved in the 1918 play, "Pandora": (Front row L to R) Ross Brown, Mabel Synoground, Lois Will, unknown, Roberta 'Pete' Will, Mary Bellrawski, Ruby Synoground, John Dougherty; (Back row L to R) Irene Brown, Nellie Kemp, Rosa Matz, Elizabeth Brown, Mr. Cryer and his sister Dora Cryer.

Ruby Synoground

Beulah Miller and Ruby Synoground.

Kindergarten Picnic, East of Pickett Home -- (L to R) Back: Ruby Nesnow, Bertie Mitchel, G.T. Pickett, Walt Fread, a visitor, Theo Cuno, Alice Pickett, Myrtle Kemp; Middle: Martha Lentz, Roy Peecher, Blair Pickett, Violet Quipp, Ruth Loutrel, Joan Wooley, Maurice Nesnow, Martha Mahler, Betty Perkins, Warren Fread; Sitting in Front: Carl Peecher, Carolyn Bradshaw, Joy Quipp, Jack De Fausell, Joe Nesnow, Esther Mahler, George Ogden.

Clipping from the “Leesville Daily Leader” dated May 3, 1994. Mrs. Ruby Nesnow with her sons, Joe (L) and David (R) with her wedding photo.

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