Museum the New Llano Colony

Carl Henry Gleeser

Birth: Born around 1856 in Germany. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1872 and had become a naturalized citizen by 1930.  

Family Information:  


Pre-Colony History: In April 1918 he was the publisher of the "Missouri Staats Zeitung" and was convicted in Kansas City, Missouri under the Espionage Act on charges of circulating seditious matter. He was sentenced on three separate counts to serve five year terms in the Federal Penitentiary. He had served one year and one week at Fort Leavenworth when he was released on parole after President Wilson commuted his sentence around May 1, 1919.  

Home in Colony: In the 1930 US Census he was listed as a lodger with the Homer Loutrel family.  

Job in Colony: In March 1922 the crew at the print shop included Mrs. Cantrell and Rose, Comrades Buck, Gleeser and Newman with assistance from students C. Shutt, Maxine and Victor Gaddis, Albert Kapotsy and Arthur Montrose.

In 1930 he was again working as a journalist in the colony. In April 1930 the print shop crew included Gleeser -- (editing, proofreading and making up both papers; Raymond, Jake, Mrs. Wilkerson, Fred and Florence Hamel -- all taking turns at linotype work, job presses and anything else that needed doing.

At the peanut butter plant in December 1934 he was running the peanut sheller while Woodrow Brown roasted the nuts each morning.

On May Day, 1935, some dissatisfied colonists -- most of them younger members who had not yet earned their right to vote on colony decisions -- held a meeting while Pickett was out of town and elected a new Board of Directors that didn't include George Pickett. Doc Williams, an on-again / off-again colonist from the early years in California, was elected President; Eugene Carl, a new member who'd only been at the colony about three months -- he was still a probationer and consequently didn't even have voting rights in colony matters, was elected Executive Director; and Walter Robison, also a recent arrival, was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.

This new board tried to make improvements to colony life, but after the first year, finances were in such a state that the court appointed a receiver to help them straighten out their affairs. Two different receivers tried to calm the colonists and persuade them to work together, but this proved fruitless.

In May 1937, Ferguson -- the second court-appointed receiver -- appointed two groups to work with him in an advisory capacity as he tried to get the colony's finances sorted out -- first a membership committee who would settle questions about returning members, which might or might not be allowed. This committee consisted of H.S. Stansbury, chairman; George Pickett, E.O. Joynes, R.K. Williams and Carl Gleeser. The second was expected to organize the industrial work so as to ensure that everyone had a job somewhere. That committee consisted of Dr. Williams, chairman; Chester Page, Chester Peecher, Charles Worden and Crockett Campbell.

In August 1937 it was explained that publication of the "Llano Colonist" had been suspended by order of Receiver Dwight Ferguson since the July 17th issue because the paper had previously been published with Carl Henry Gleeser as owner which was shown by annual reports to the Post Office Department. After the 1935 "revolution" the paper had been taken into the hands of the "revolutionary" board. Since that time Gleeser had contested the right of the Colony to deprive him of the paper. The Receiver agreed with him and returned the paper to Gleeser, subject, of course, to approval of the court.

Other Info: 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.

In April 1929 he attended a birthday party held for Billie Busick (five years old) and Charlotte Hewitt (turning four) at the home of Mrs. Minnie Hewitt.

Post-Colony History:  


Sources: Photo Archives; "New York Times": April 30, 1918; "Vernon Parish Democrat": April 28, 1921; "Llano Colonist": March 25, 1922, December 22, 1928, April 27, 1929, April 12, 1930, May 1, 1937, August 21, 1937; "Town Talk": January 28, 1927, December 22, 1934; "Abilene Reporter-News": January 30, 1927; US Census: 1930; "Industrial Democrat": February 4, 1937  


Poem by Carl Gleeser.
Clipping from the "Vernon Parish Democrat" of a poem by Carl Gleeser.

College Group
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).

Clipping from the Vernon Parish Democrat dated April 28, 1921.
Clipping from the "Vernon Parish Democrat" dated April 28, 1921.

Board of Directors, 1925
Board of Directors, 1925 - Septer Baldwin, Sid Merrel, Ole Synoground, Carl Gleeser, Louise Gaddis, George Pickett, Bill Burton, Peter Kemp, Dan Cryer.

Carl Gleeser in his later years.
"Carl Gleeser -- For Ten Years Editor of the Llano Colonist; Has a Record as a "Political Prisoner," and has been an Indefatigable Opponent of Militarism, Monopoly, and Mammon." (Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated April 21, 1934.)

Carl Gleeser in his later years.
Carl Gleeser in his later years.

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