Museum the New Llano Colony



John B. Rix

Birth: He was born around 1853 in Germany.  

Family Information:  

Description: He was always willing and ready to give a helping hand in any work that needed doing.  

Pre-Colony History:  

Home in Colony: Listed as a lodger with George Pickett on the 1930 US Census.

Lived with the Newtons at the Rice Ranch beginning October 1930.  

Job in Colony: The 1930 US Census listed him as a wheel wright in the colony shop. In February 1930 he returned to the blacksmith shop after several week's lay-off and would in future be helping Comrade Mizle in doing general blacksmith work and wagon work.

Colony newspapers frequently mentioned him at the blacksmith shop "fixing up all kinds of farm machinery". There is mention of a "neat looking wheelbarrow that he had evidently built". In June 1929 was showing Anne Yeldell the modern method of blowing the fires for heating the irons which involved a fan with blades hung around the center (like spokes on a wheel), enclosed in a casing and turned with a crank.

In July 1930 the colony received a large order from the Vernon Parish School Board to build some buses. Comrade Rix created the iron supports for the seats, then turned them over to the carpenters.

In October 1930 installed the forge for which he had a new blower at the Rice Ranch. In November 1930 he was repairing tools and machinery at the Rice Ranch. One day there was such a demand for hoes that Mr. Rix walked straight out to his shop and began manufacturing them.

In July 1931 he built a small room on sled runners. When completed he tied it behind the Farmall and dragged it down to the melon patch for Joe to live in while guarding the melons. At that time the Rice Ranch mechanics included Blair Thomas, Royall Thompson, Adrian Risley, Sam Klette, John Rix, and John Swagger.

For May Day in 1932 made a nut cracker that was easy to work and very strong. By pulling a lever, any nut placed between the jaws could be cracked or crushed as the desire would be. He also made two hoes out of a band saw.  

Other Info: In January 1929 he returned to the colony after an unexplained time away. He did not hesitate to praise all the wonderful work that had been done in his few years away.

In 1930 he presented Comrade Graves a gift of a safety razor with 12 blades, "worth at least six dollars." Comrade Graves then felt obligated to shave and make himself more presentable.

He visited the main colony for Christmas 1931.

In 1932 he returned from the hospital and seemed completely well after a minor operation -- he was soon back in the shop turning out repair work in the shape of iron or wood.

In August 1932 signed the protest letter in which colonists protested Walter Groth and E.G. Webb's remaining here to "save" the colonists. The letter stated that colonists wanted the two named colonists to go "away from here where we won't have to hear them or see them."

Post-Colony History:  

Death:  

Sources: US Census: 1930; "Llano Colonist": January 26, 1929, February 2, 1929, May 25, 1929, June 8, 1929, February 22, 1930, October 25, 1930, March 29, 1930, May 31, 1930, July 19, 1930, August 23, 1930, October 11, 1930, November 8, 1930, July 11, 1931, July 18, 1931, July 25, 1931, August 1, 1931, December 5, 1931, December 26, 1931, February 27, 1932, May 14, 1932, August 6, 1932  

 

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