Museum the New Llano Colony

Ethel K. Archer

Birth: She was born around 1884 in England. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1912 and was a naturalized citizen in 1918.  

Family Information: Wife of Sydney Archer.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1917 she and Sydney were living in Umatilla, Oregon and listed as fruit growers. In 1920 and 1930 they were still living in Oregon where he worked as a farmer.

In July 1932 Sydney wrote a "Letter to the Editor" of the "Llano Colonist" stating that "he and his wife always read the Colonist from cover to cover and hoped to be in the colony soon." They arrived in November 1932.  

Home in Colony: She lived at Chicken Ranch Unit Number 2 with her husband -- in 1935 it was described thus: "west from the dairy, over the red clay road... [was] the bailiwick of our good friend, Sidney Archer. He was busy spading up the front garden and had about a dozen fig cuttings set out in business-like fashion, from which new trees w[ould] be grown.

Archer's spring garden include[d]: mustard, radishes, turnips, beets, bermuda and multiplier onions. He also ha[d] some cabbage seed in. Further over [was] a nice patch of strawberries in bloom.

The poultry flock look[ed] fine and the production of eggs ha[d] increased... and incubation [was] to start soon. Mr. Crisp [was] taking over the brooders and the incubation work, and [was] enthusiastic over the poultry possibilities in Llano."

Before he left, the reporter "couldn't help noticing how the temperament of the Archers [was] revealed in their love of flowers. [He] remarked that there always seemed to be a "pull" to a place where flowers were to be seen. Said... the pianist: 'It is good to have something about that one can't eat. It's food for the soul.'"  

Job in Colony: She and her husband ran one of the chicken ranches. In 1937 it was reported that egg production was coming along very nicely. 

Other Info: Ethel often performed at the theater -- usually every week. She sometimes played on the washboard with mallets.

In January 1933 Doc Williams was planning a Gypsy Program for the theater; Sydney and Ethel were helping him work it out "while the fiddles and etycetery were plinging and a plunking at the roof garden." Lloyd Potter, Gordon Pickett and Margaret (sic) and Jasmine Lewis were practicing the steps for Mrs. Archer's act.

In 1934 she and Mrs. Roe led a music-hall skit during a theater performance.

In 1937 she, Mrs. Ann Shoemaker and Ted Landrum performed in a playlet called "The Letter" accompanied by Sydney on the piano.  

Post-Colony History:  


Sources: 1917 Umatilla, Oregon City Directory; US Census: 1920, 1930; "Can We Cooperate" by Bob Brown; "Llano Colonist": July 30, 1932, December 3, 1932, December 10, 1932, January 28, 1933, June 30, 1934, February 16, 1935, May 29, 1937, June 5, 1937, August 21, 1937  


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