Museum the New Llano Colony



Hulda Mahler

Birth: She was born in 1923 at Grand Rapids, Michigan.  

Family Information: Daughter of Ludwig "Louis" and Mrs. Hulda Mahler.

Sister of Wayne, Carl, Martha, Esther and Joe Ann Mahler.  

Description:  

Pre-Colony History: In April 1932 the family came to the colony from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  

Home in Colony: In May 1932 the family were living in a house recently vacated by the Kilroy family.

In April 1934 she, her mother and two sisters went to the Gila unit to join her father and two brothers.  

Job in Colony: In 1933, she was among six girls who were assigned to work in the kitchen all summer -- Jane Lentz, Mae Gossett and Ruth Wooley would work one shift while Frances Roe, Hulda and Albertine Lennon worked the other, with each shift taking turns working mornings and afternoons, week by week. They would take care of the dishes, wash the tables and sweep the floors. Also, was helping her mother peel potatoes in the hotel kitchen.

In 1934 she was preparing vegetables and serving food at the hotel dining room, along with her mother, Miss Linderman, Mrs. Murray, Arlene Watson, May Gossett, Mary Harlow-Fay, Doris Layer and Erma Hayes.

Most evenings in June 1934 she and her sisters entertained Donald Ray, son of Madeline and Carl Van Buskirk, while his mother and her aunt, Opal Layer, prepared the evening meal. Sometimes they played the Victrola to keep him happy.  

Other Info: Soon after her arrival in December 1932 Jasmine Lewis was helping Lloyd Potter, the fourth grade teacher, teach a Hungarian folk dance to Hilda [sic] and Genevieve Quipp, ages 9 and 10, to be performed at the Christmas program.

In June 1933, Oscar Needham loaned his big Buick coupe so the fourth grade could have their spring outing on the banks of the Sabine river. They enjoyed swimming, fishing, ice cream, mud baths and a perfect day. The group included: Hulda, Frances Roe, Genevieve Quipp, Billy Busick, Eugene Hewett, Ernest Ogden, Raymond Campbell, Joe Lentz and their teacher. When they left the colony, four children were hanging on the outside, while five rode on the inside with plenty of eats and an ice cream freezer filled with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. Their picnic included biscuits with egg, honey and peanut butter filling and raw carrots for relish. While the teacher read to some, others threw stones far out into the stream, with Ernest and Raymond claiming to have thrown into Texas. The 'colored' ferryman, having come down, went into convulsions of laughter after spotting Eugene, who had covered every square inch of his body, except his eyes and mouth, with mud.

In March 1934 she accompanied Mrs. Watson, Sylvester and Arlene on a trip to Evans, Louisiana to visit relatives of Mrs. Watson. While there they went to a singing, a box supper and a pie supper and Arlene visited the school that she'd once attended, but Hulda couldn't go because she had a sore foot making her unable to wear her shoes and she didn't want to go barefoot.

One evening after dusk in June 1934, she and Wayne were coming down the road in front of the hotel at Gila, Hulda riding the burro while Wayne led it. All at once the burro unloaded Hulda and left her sitting by the roadside with a skinned elbow. When she recovered enough to get up, she made her way slowly toward the first-aid office.

In November 1934 some of the Gila colonists went on a trip to the "Lodge" which was about 50 miles up the river, but to get there it was necessary to cross the river about 150 times. Among those going were Zelma de Fausell, Huldah, Wayne and Carl Mahler, Isom and Ward Shoemaker, A. Van Nuland and Mr. Goodwin.

In December 1934 Hulda and Carl Mahler each gave a reading at the Christmas program. Mr. Mahler won the men's checker game; Violet Reynolds the lady's game; and Isom Shoemaker the dominoes.

In March 1935 she passed her eighth milepost on Valentine's Day.  

Post-Colony History: In March 1936 the Mahler family were the only colonists left at the one-time Gila unit, the people having scattered to the 4 winds as best they could. Mr. Mahler has so far succeeded in finding enough employment to keep them in the same location.

She was married twice -- first to Benjamin R. Parker and later to Frank D. Kennett.  

Death: She died in 2013 and was buried at Silver City, New Mexico.  

Sources: "Llano Colonist": April 9, 1932, May 7, 1932, December 24, 1932, May 27, 1933, June 17, 1933, August 19, 1933, March 3, 1934, April 7, 1934, April 21, 1934, May 5, 1934, June 2, 1934, November 10, 1934, January 5, 1935, March 2, 1935, March 7, 1936; Ancestry.com; US SSDI; FindAGrave.com  

 

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