Museum the New Llano Colony

Albert Wichmann

Birth: He was born around 1855 at Germany and came to America at the age of 13.

Family Information: Father of Charlie Wichmann and a married daughter living in Oakland, California.  

Description: He was very popular with the other colonists due to his obliging disposition and pleasant manner. He was very talented in many ways -- he wrote beautiful poetry and prose, both in German and English; played on the violin and guitar, and until shortly before his death was a member of the colony orchestra.

Pre-Colony History: He joined the colony in 1922 and was always a good worker.  

Home in Colony: The 1930 US Census lists him as a lodger with the Rolllie Ridgeway family.

Job in Colony: Until 1929 he handled the roustabout wagon for the colony. In 1930 he was listed as a teamster for the colony.  

Other Info: 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.

In June 1929 he, Fred Hamel and Anna Besse rendered two German songs with feeling and spirit.  

Post-Colony History:  

Death: He died in 1931 from a bowel complaint that had been bothering him for some time. He was buried hastily in the colony cemetery, as the warm weather made it necessary to attend to the burial without loss of time.

The burial took place on the campus where  benches were arranged and it was decorated by many beautiful flowers that had been donated by colonists. A large number of colonists attended the services, for which he had stipulated that no church music should be sung and no minister should officiate.

In accordance with his wishes Doc Williams led the Girls Glee Club in an appropriate song after which Editor Gleeser held the funeral oration, lauding the nobility of character of the deceased most highly. To let Comrade Wichmann speak for himself, the editor read the following monogram, written by Wichmann in German, in English:

"What is a genuine Republic? A genuine republic exists where every one controls and rules himself; is well-informed, and properly adjusts and adapts himself to his fellow-workers and his environment. Where everyone thinks for himself and is not diverted from his chosen course by insidious misinformation. Where everyone works and is industrious and no one profits under false pretenses and cunning trickery at the expense of his fellow man..."  

Sources: "Llano Colonist": February 16, 1929, June 15, 1929, June 13, 1931; US Census: 1930


Cover from the hand-copied songbook of Albert Wichmann.

From the hand-copied songbook of Albert Wichmann.

From the hand-copied songbook of Albert Wichmann.

From the hand-copied songbook of Albert Wichmann.

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