Museum the New Llano Colony

Elsie Richter

Birth: She was born in Ellen, about 10 miles east of Bremen, Germany on March 12, 1884. Came to America on June 11, 1901 aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse -- which was the largest steamship in existence at the time.

Family Information: Married to Adolph Richter.

Mother of Elsie, Sophie, Billie, Bertha (Birdie), Fred (Bud), Juanita and Bobby. The three eldest children were not colonists.  


Pre-Colony History: She arrived at the colony on the bus from Chicago with three of her youngest children -- Bertha, Juanita and Bobby in November of 1933. Her husband arrived with their huge furniture van two hours later.  

Home in Colony: According to her memoirs, they were given an old colony house where she used to break through the floor and skin up her legs.  

Job in Colony: She first worked cooking in the hotel dining room where Mrs. Matz was delighted to have her -- she enthusiastically welcomed the "Deutsche Kochin"; she later ran the cannery, bakery and peanut butter plant. Her bakery crew looked "spic and span" in clean white uniforms and the shop was kept neat and dust free.

In January 1934 she was nursing a bad foot and was off from her job in the hotel kitchen -- Mrs. Ogden and Nona Crotts prepared the evening meals in her absence.

Eventually, (in 1935) due to health problems, she was forced to resign from this position due to health reasons and she joined her husband in the commissary.  

Other Info:

Kaiser wilhelm der grosse 01.jpg  

Post-Colony History: Left the colony in May, 1935 to return to Chicago.  


Sources: U.S. Census: 1930; Handwritten Memoirs of Elsie Richter; "Llano Colonist": November 4, 1933, November 11, 1933, January 20, 1934, August 18, 1934, December 22, 1934, February 16, 1935, April 13, 1935, May 25, 1935  

Photo: Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse  

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