Museum the New Llano Colony



William H. "Will or Bill" Shipman

Birth: He was born around 1876 in Mississippi.  

Family Information: Brother of Anna (Shipman) Kimball.

In October 1930 it was reported that he'd married Mrs. Casey while living at the Rice Ranch. After the wedding, Sam Klette and the reporter (Aunt Anne) helped them celebrate by going to Jennings, Louisiana with them for supper.  

Description: His WWI draft registration card is undated, though his next of kin is Mrs. Rebecca Shipman, described him as being tall, of medium build with blue eyes and dark brown hair -- in fact he was more than six feet tall.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1900 he and his sister, Anna, were living with their mother, Nancy, and her sister in Orange, Texas where Will was working as a lumber stacker. In 1910, only he and his mother living in their home in Orange, Texas where he was working as a carloader at a lumber mill.

In 1920 he was living with his wife, Rebecca, and her four children in Orange, Texas while working as a laborer at a power plant.  

Home in Colony: Listed as a lodger with the Charles Kimball (his brother-in-law) family on the 1930 US Census, though for most of 1930 he seems to have been working at the Rice Ranch.

After his marriage to Mrs. Casey, the couple moved into the house "down the lane where the Newtons live." This must have been near the Rice Ranch. In June 1931 he was "putting the finishing touches on the levees of the rice fields of the farm where he lives," and in July he and Bessie were up to the Rice Ranch for potatoes, peaches and other supplies. Bill was reported to be "happy as usual in spite of the fact that he is being much annoyed by the neighbors livestock and some pesky mosquitoes that no one has their brand or ear-mark on."

In August 1931 they moved to the main colony.

In December 1932 those living at the Isle of Cuba Plantation (near Thibodeaux, LA) included: Sam Hall, Harry Morgan, Henry and Bennie Frahm, Beldon Lewis, F. Gossett, John Horney, Roy McLean, Mrs. Swilley and Mr. and Mrs. Perkins with their four children.

By the end of the month, the group had added Mrs. Gossett, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Shipman, Albert Wicks, Dolly McCullough, Jim Nash, Earl Swenson, Ranny Wells and Mrs. Swilley.  

Job in Colony: In 1928 he was working on the saw and wagon, loading the wagons and taking care of the materials that came from the trucks.  A month later, he had stacked all the hardwood that was in the lumber yard and was turning his attention to cleaning up around the mills after a minor injury to his leg. Also he was firing the engines at the power plant, relieving Comrade Hanson at 3 pm, and staying on that job until 10:30 pm. In late April the crew at the cut-off saw consister of Condon, F. Jensen, John Dougherty, Dane and McGee while Extrom and Shipman helped the carpenter kiddies to pile the lumber.

In May 1928 he began working at the Rice Ranch. Cuno reported that "irrigating the ricefields at this Llano-Elton Ranch is now progressing at full speed of our rotary pump, driven by a powerful steam-engine, the boiler for supplying the steam being fired all day and all night by Leonard, Shipman and Baldwin who are taking turns at shifts varying from eight to fourteen hours. The self-sacrificing spirit of these brave comrades is really wonderful to behold." He laid the upper floor of the tool shed, took one of the mule teams and hauled sufficient fire wood to last the engineers a good many days while continuing to irrigate. 

In September 1928 the work in the Rice Ranch vegetable gardens and orchards proceeded with Harold Kemp operating the tractor and 28 disc harrow, Leonard and Ben Roe ploughing and planting Irish potatoes, and Shipman hauling and spreading fertilizer. Robert Roe and Roy Swenson helped out where they could. Condon took a trip to Newllano, leaving Mrs. Swenson to perform her household duties without an assistant.

In April 1929 he and Kimball, Baldwin and Brannon planted Irish potatoes on the large plot west and north of the vegetable garden where Duckett has been cultivating and planting sweet potatoes in the new hotbeds; also helping R.V. Shoemaker build a brick foundation for the new boiler and engine house connected to the machine shop at the Rice Ranch.

In May 1929 Maxwell doctored up the giant rotary pump at the Rice Ranch which then "spouted such a tremendous mouthful of water that the banks of the irrigation canal would have overflowed had not Leonard, Shipman, Brannon and others banked them up and compelled the flow to run where we want[ed] it to run."

In 1930 he was listed as a farmer in the colony.

In 1931 he was working at the power plant along with Claude Long. In early 1932 Lentz, Noggles, and Kenneth Emry were "splitting pine stumps and sawing wood near the power plant to furnish Bill Shipman with sufficient pabulum to feed the mouths of his voracious furnace." In November he and his wife accompanied Ross Brannon and George Collins to Kurthwood where the colony had purchased some buildings which were being torn down for the lumber.

By April 1933 he was working at the transplanting garden with Ed Bohnstedt where they were setting out bermuda grass sod around the border of different vegetable plots to help hold the top soil in the garden.

In 1933 he and Chauncey DuProz were regular workers at the transplanting garden. 

Other Info: In 1929 the eldest son of his sister, Buel, and his pretty bride of a year, Mrs. Billie, visited him in the colony. They traveled 1180 miles from the oil fields of Wink, Texas to visit the family, bringing with them Mrs. A.G. Courmier of Orange, Texas who turned out to be an old sweetheart of "Uncle Will's".

In 1930 he was nursing a bruised back and blue head and Sam Klette an injured knee due to one of the horses' friskiness from their enforced idleness during the previous few days.

In September 1931, he and his wife, along with his sister Anna Kimball and her two children -- Gladys and Ernest, attended a reception at the Roof Garden where they enjoyed cards, music, dancing and refreshments.  

Post-Colony History:  

Death: From the "Llano Colonist" October 27, 1934: "Comrade Bill Shipman is dead. He is resting from a life of labor and sacrifice for others. He was never heard to speak of any slights or indifferences that came his way. There are those in the colony that miss Bill's cheerful demeanor, his frank and open countenance."  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930; US WWI Draft Registration Cards; "Llano Colonist": March 31, 1928, April 21, 1928, May 26, 1928, July 7, 1928, September 22, 1928, October 13, 1928, October 20, 1928, January 26, 1929, April 13, 1929, May 18, 1929, October 11, 1930, October 18, 1930, March 13, 1931, June 27, 1931, July 11, 1931, July 18, 1931, August 8, 1931, September 5, 1931, September 26, 1931, October 3, 1931, October 10, 1931, October 31, 1931, November 7, 1931, November 21, 1931, December 5, 1931, December 19, 1931, December 26, 1931, January 9, 1932, February 20, 1932, March 26, 1932, April 2, 1932, April 23, 1932, April 30, 1932, May 7, 1932, December 10, 1932, December 24, 1932, April 29, 1933, June 17, 1933 (The Story of Llano), June 24, 1933, September 23, 1933, October 27, 1934  

 

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