Museum the New Llano Colony

Muriel (Smith) "Smitty" Sanford


Family Information: Married to Marvin Sanford.  

Description: A most uncommon name for a most uncommon girl, doubtless that's why they call her that; she was slender, with golden hair and big blue eyes and believed to be the happiest bride of recent years -- she adored her husband.  

Pre-Colony History:  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: Eager to help out with whatever work needed to be done. In 1932 she was busy helping to launch the new unit in the Sugar Bowl of south Louisiana.

In April 1933 she and Manager Horney were in the thick of cleaning day at the hotel.

In April 1934 she was in overalls topping the colony print shop roof with new shingles.

Other Info: Smitty's first encounter with the colony came in 1931 when she heard George Pickett speak at a meeting of California co-operators. Pickett told the crowd that Mr. Post had offered to give half his crop of prunes and all of his crop of pears to the Llano colony if they could make arrangements to pick them. She volunteered to help pick the fruit and described the adventure for the colonists.

Dressed in overalls, she and the other volunteers gathered up prunes by the bucketful from the ground - you didn't want to pick them off the trees because they dropped off naturally when they were ripe and full of saccharine. The orchard was on a steep hillside, so you got down on your knees, or sat and rolled around in the dust and dirt till you'd picked a bucketful, then slid over to the nearest box and emptied it. Later, the prunes were dipped into a solution of lye and boiling water -- fire in a large brick stove underneath kept the water boiling. That solution cracked the skin of the prune which allowed them to dry much more quickly. Then they were spread on trays and placed in the sunshine to dry.

Late in 1932, she and Mary Maki, having received several sacks of wool from the Rice Ranch, borrowed a spinning wheel which Dad Eldred used as a model to build one for the colony. Mrs. Maki was an expert in the art of spinning and knitting and said they had enough wool to make sweaters for every man in the colony.

In March 1933 he attended a good-bye party for the Sanford family, along with Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Banta, Mrs. June Black, Sybil Black, Mr. and Mrs. DuProz, Mr. and Mrs. Hess, Mr. and Mrs. Brannon, Mr. and Mrs. B. Stevens, Cyrus Horney, Lou Colt, and the Messrs. Githens, D. Sanford, Beanfellow, and Starkweather.

In May 1933 she celebrated Marvin Sanford's birthday, along with DeForest Sanford, Anita Brannon, Florence Anderson, Mrs. Ivy Hoag, Mr. and Mrs. DuProz, and Bernie and Leona Stevens.

In April 1934 a lovely gathering was held at the home of Frank Brough, another New Englander, to "God-speed" the Fay family to Norfolk, Connecticut where they hoped to arrange their affairs over the next few months and return to the colony in the fall.

Attendees enjoyed music, games and a wonderful lunch. They included: Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Archer, Drs. Robert K. and Cecil C. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. George Matz, Mrs. Maki, Smith Sanford, DeForest Sanford, George Leevey, Wm. Bingham, Dennis Stanley, Forest R. Waters, Mary Emery and the Brough family, consisting of Margaret, William and Frank.

Post-Colony History: In 1935, Smith was living at Commonwealth College near Mena, Arkansas. In December 1936 she and Leona Stevens visited the colony for a few days before returning to Arkansas.  


Sources: "Llano Colonist": September 5, 1931, September 12, 1931, October 3, 1931, January 23, 1932, November 12, 1932, March 4, 1933, April 8, 1933, May 6, 1933, April 21, 1934, April 28, 1934, February 2, 1935, December 26, 1936; "Can We Co-operate" by Bob Brown  


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