Museum the New Llano Colony

Mary Erma Wilson

Birth: She was born in 1889 at Indiana.  

Family Information:

Sister of Alma (Wilson) Bell.


Pre-Colony History: In 1910 both she and her sister Alma are listed twice on the census -- first, she and her siblings were living in Indiana with their parents; and second she and Alma were lodging with the George O. Larnsey family in Illinois where Erma was unemployed.

In 1920 both girls were again living with their parents and both unemployed. In 1930 Erma was living with her father in Indiana and working as a music teacher at a private studio.

She arrived at the colony on an afternoon train in January 1928 from Indiana.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: After her arrival at the colony she visited the Kid Kolony and moved no further, intending to work with the kindergarten children and also teach music to the older ones who desired it. In 1929 she was the director of the voice and piano department.

In April 1928 she was teaching piano classes to several boys and girls in the colony. The members of the Boys' Harmonica Club had had six weeks of classes and included Carl Besse, Roslyn Armacost, Robert Roe, Charles Wichmann, Kenneth Thurman, Isom Shoemaker, Roy Swenson, Fred and Roscoe Busick.

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 September 1928 he was on the college faculty along with: Lowell H. Coate - Superintendent and instructor in Sociology, Economics and Public Education; E.C. Bennett - English and History; Benjamin Roe - Scientific Agriculture; Guy F. Rogers - Mathematics; Eugene Hough - Psychology; F. Hamel - Spanish, German and Latin; Mary Erma Wilson - Voice and Piano; R.B. Snyder - Director of Orchestra, Wind and Stringed Instruments, Chorus and Ensemble; Geo. T. Pickett - Industrial Science; Daisy Daugherty - Domestic Science; Edna Mae Coffin - Manual Art, Sculpture and Architectural Drawing; Austin McLane - Journalism; Nell Rogers - Botany; Hope Shoemaker - Shorthand, Typewriting and Book-keeping; Mr. Daugherty - Intermediate Grades; Mrs. A.E. Bennet - Primary Grades; Esther Allen - Health and Hygiene; Mary H. Atworth - Librarian and Instructor in the Art of Expression; Anna Tabb - School Nurse, Dr. J.P. Kimmel - College Physician; Alice Pickett - Girls Counselor; Theodore Atworth - Oil and Watercolor Art; Alma Wilson Bell - Dramatic Art.  

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.

Post-Colony History: In 1930 she was living in Indiana and several times sent in correspondence which was printed in the "Llano Colonist." In 1933 she reported that she'd sent to Llano "50 Latham Red Raspberry plants... considered the best plants obtainable."

Her last residence was in Los Angeles, California where she'd been a member of several musical and ladies' organizations and served as an organist at the Christian Science Church.  

Death: She died in 1969 at Tijuana, Mexico and was buried in Block Cemetery at Indiana.  

Sources: US Census: 1910, 1920, 1930; Llano Colonist: January 21, 1928, April 14, 1928, September 15, 1928, September 22, 1928, February 16, 1929, March 2, 1929, March 29, 1930, September 16, 1933; "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 28, 1929; US SSDI; Obituary: "Steuben Republican" dated December 3, 1969;


Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated March 2, 1929. Expand Image

Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated September 22, 1928.

Photo is labeled: "College Group: (Back Row) Pete Harmon, John ?, Mrs. Garrett, Dad Gleeser, Mrs. Dougherty (Front Row) Mr. Stocking, Mr. Black, Mrs. Busick, Miss Wilson (Two of the men in front are not identified)".

Contact Us:


Copyright 2018 Museum of the New Llano Colony