Museum the New Llano Colony

Charles Tefteller

Birth: He was born around 1857 in Tennessee.  

Family Information: Brother of Lon Tefteller.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1880 he was living in Texas with his brother's family and working as a farmer. In November of that year he married Tennessee Miller.

In 1900 he and Tennessee were living in Texas with their three daughters and his two brothers-in-law and he worked as a teacher. In 1910 he was living in Tennessee with his second wife and their young daughter and he worked as a laborer in a laundry.  

Home in Colony: The 1930 US Census lists him as a lodger in the William Mizle home.

In 1937 he moved from the little, fire-damaged place he called home into an apartment at the old Tourist Camp, next door to the Gossett family.  

Job in Colony: 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 1928 he was doing the washing at the laundry when a change was made in the personnel there -- Violet Dix, Mrs. Mickey and Allie Bell Hewitt looked after the work when he'd finished with it. On his free days, between washing, he volunteered to work with other groups - often he helped Freddie Busick fire the big boilers that ran the power house when the Fairbanks Twins (diesel engines) were idle; or otherwise joined Homer's electricity gang.

In August 1929 he was "half laid up" causing Mrs. Garrett, Violet Dix, and Cecil Thompson to have to run the washer and extractor at the laundry.

The 1930 census lists him as a laundryman in the colony. In 1932 he and Comrade Butts served as the two colony night watchmen, though both continued to manage their day jobs as well.

In 1934 he was still at the laundry -- he and Ernest Ogden were busy running the washing machines.

At the laundry in 1934, Mrs. Hewitt was marking and sorting clothes to be washed while Tefteller was running the washing machine; Mrs. Ribbing and Mrs. Hullinger were ironing shirts and underwear and Arlene Watson was keeping the tub full of sprinkled clothes.  

Other Info: In December 1927 he acted as chairman at the Open Forum meeting and spoke, citing Switzerland as a shining example of democratic methods.

Preparing for the May Day's entertainment in 1928 Anna Besse was presiding at the piano, accompanied by Peter Borg on the violin while Comrade Condon was practicing his song. Other performers were Kenneth Thurman and Comrade Tefteller with a declamation of "The Scotch Highland Chief" and a song. Also the orchestra under Bob Snyder, Mrs. Hewitt and Mrs. Busick.

In January 1929 he was a member of the Conscientious Objectors Club. He spoke at a meeting in March, explaining why he believed it was a mistake to speak of the colony as the nucleus of the Co-operative Commonwealth since it could not be considered a commonwealth unless it owned the railroads, iron and coal mines, and carried on enough industries to provide for each and every want of the membership in full.

In March 1934 it was reported that he had been "laid by" but was at that time back on the job. In March 1937 he injured his arm in a fall.

In July 1937 his daughter, Pearl Tefteller, visited him in the colony, staying with the Stansbury family. It was reported that she had a "very nice governmental position in Washington, D.C."  

Post-Colony History:  


Sources: US Census: 1880, 1930; Texas County Marriage Index; "Llano Colonist": November 5, 1927, December 3, 1927, February 18, 1928, April 28, 1928, May 26, 1928, September 1, 1928, September 22, 1928, November 10, 1928, January 12, 1929, March 2, 1929, August 10, 1929, September 13, 1930, December 26, 1931, April 2, 1932, August 4, 1934, September 1, 1934, February 20, 1937, March 13, 1937, July 17, 1937  

Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated April 28, 1928.

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