Museum the New Llano Colony

Joe Slaughter

Birth: He was born in Lincoln, Arkansas.  

Family Information:  

Description: Described as "stout."  

Pre-Colony History: Came to the colony from Arkansas in 1930 where he had worked for years on public works.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In 1930, he was working in the orchard.

His main job was in the veneer plant -- in July 1931 the veneer plant was going in full force with Johnny Dougherty, Long, Ole Synoground, Carl Bradshaw, George Jensen, Slaughter, Ray Bradshaw, Fred Hamel, Hoag and Roede on the job; as well as Bennie Brown, Jimmie Brown, Helen Joe Dougherty, Lucille Oberlitner, Rhea Mae Baldwin, George Maki and Jimmie Dix.

In 1931 it was decided that if the tobacco users must have tobacco, then it must be produced within the colony. Bill DeBoer started the first crop -- but when it came to how it should be cured and prepared, DeBoer and Bickle were for using one method, Slaughter was for another. Both were successful -- DeBoer produced smoking tobacco and Slaughter specialized in chewing tobacco. Gus Kretzschmar had the cigar end of the enterprise.

The group were providing "honest-to-goodness" tobacco for the colonists, which seemed to prove the wide-spread rumors that the tobacco trust had been using largely alfalfa and various chemicals to infect their commodity. Colony tobacco was much stronger -- users were warned to take it in mild doses at first, otherwise it had a tendency to make your head go "round and round."

Slaughter asked Comrade Webb to write to the Department of Agriculture to try and find out how to take the bitter taste out of tobacco, but the answer was disappointing, as the suggestion was to keep the tobacco two or three years, which wasn't at all practical for Llano.

By 1931, he'd planted many acres of tobacco and a big tobacco barn had been erected. He produced the largest single tobacco crop ever harvested in the colony in 1932 -- the yield per acre considerably above the average for the state or the nation.

In August 1933 he was helping a crew of men chop wood for the kitchen stove. The crew included: Comrade Slaughter, Dad Lloyd, Harry Ribbing, Nichols, Lindwall and Bingham. John Hight was among them, but not having poor sight, pleaded exemption due to sore feet. Shortly afterwards he was reported hot-footing towards Leesville.

In 1934 he was helping Chuck Bates at the planing mill -- they were building cabbage crates for an urgent order from Houston.

Other Info:  

Post-Colony History:  


Sources: "Llano Colonist": June 21, 1930, July 4, 1931, August 15, 1931, September 26, 1931, November 7, 1931, May 7, 1932, November 5, 1932, December 17, 1932, August 5, 1933, April 28, 1934  


Tobacco farmer at the New Llano Colony -- possibly DeBoer, Slaughter, or Gus Kretzschmar.

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