Museum the New Llano Colony

Charles "Charley" Derleth

Birth: He was born around 1881 in New York.  

Family Information:  


Pre-Colony History:  

Home in Colony: In 1935 he was living in the Newllano Colony.  

Job in Colony: He was the "official gravedigger" for the colony. In 1931 Lentz was leading the woodsmen crew consisting of Maurice Collins, Paul Bradshaw and Charley. At that point they were cutting four miles west of the village, sawing and splitting pine wood for boiler fuel.

In January 1932 he with his big, good-natured mule, and Garfield Miller were gathering compost -- they had raked up about five acres.  

Other Info: In October 1935 he was nominated to be on the Board of Directors, along with (in order of nomination), Robert K. Williams, E.D. Carl, Lester Caves, Crockett Campbell, John Szpila, Harold Emery, Charles Lawrence, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Chester Page, Horace Cronk, George Hullinger, Walter Robison, "Chauncey" DuProz, Mrs. Olive Lentz, Mrs. Mabel Busick, Lionel Crossland, Charles Derleth, J.H. "Dad" Ribbing and Cy Horney. The meeting also adopted a rule permitting all resident members who had been at the colony more than sixty days to vote in the election, provided too few proxies were received to hold a regular stock holders' meeting.

Less than one fourth the required stock was represented at the Stockholders' meeting, so the colonists proceeded with the election of a new board of directors as planned. Those selected were: Robert K. Williams, E.C. Carl, Lester Caves, Crockett Campbell, Harold Emery, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Charles Lawrence, and Chester Page. Runners up were Mrs. Mabel Busick, Horace Cronk and John Szpila.

In 1936, he walked out to see former colonists, Mr. and Mrs. Weatherwax, and found that Mr. Weatherwax had been ill for a week. Their woodpile was not any smaller after his visit.

Also that month he shared an evening snack with his "twin" William Bingham's on his birthday.

He enjoyed a hilarious wood-cutting party in Mrs. Shutt's yard, where he helped Joe Winegar and Rosebud Cuno work up a sizable amount of fuel that was shared by a neighbor and a good time was had by all.

In August 1936 Charley, Doc Williams and Roy Parson made a hasty run to Shreveport searching for a much-needed "dado" or groove cutting machine to be used, but none could be found. While there, they stopped to inquire after two colonists who'd been some time in the Shreveport hospital -- E.A. Bennett and George Collins. It was too early for visiting hours, but they inquired of the head nurse and she assured them that both patients were doing finely.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living in a home in the unincorporated New Llano, Louisiana (site of the old colony) while working at a general store / lumber yard.  


Sources: "Llano Colonist": July 11, 1931, January 23, 1932, December 22, 1934; February 15, 1936, February 29, 1936, August 8, 1936; US Census: 1940  


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