Museum the New Llano Colony



Richard Terrence "Dick" Brannon

Birth: He was born in August 1891 in Kansas.  

Description: On his WWI Draft Registration card dated June 15, 1917 he was described as being tall (over 6 feet) and stout with blue eyes and dark brown hair.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1900 and 1905 he was living with his parents and siblings in Kansas. In 1910 he still lived in Kansas with parents and brother while he worked as a boilermaker for the railroad.

He registered for the draft in June 1917. Though he claimed an exemption as a "producer" on his registration, he served in the Army from 1917-1919. At some point in 1918 he married Anita Neuert in New Jersey and then was sent overseas. On 7 January 1919 he boarded the Pueblo in Brest, France enroute to Camp Merritt, New Jersey with Company "B" 53rd Ammunition Train, Coast Artillery Corps having an expected arrival date of 20 January 1919.

In 1920 he was living in Ohio with his parents-in-law, his wife, and her brother while he worked as a lithographer artist. In 1930 the couple was living in Illinois while he worked as a poster artist. At some point, he had served an apprencticeship and studied art under Guy Lockwood of Kalamazoo.

He and his wife arrived in the colony in December 1928 to visit Dick's parents.  

Family Information: Son of Charles and Sarah Brannon; brother of Ross Brannon.

Married to Anita Brannon.  

Job in Colony: In April 1929 Shipman 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.

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 July 1932 he and Anita served Sunday lunch sandwiches under the supervision of Mrs. Walter Fread.

In July 1932 it was proposed to turn centers on some thick slabs for the top and bottom of some wooden platters which would then be turned over to the artist Dick Brannon for some suitable designs, then to the wood carvers for the exercise of their skill and imagination and finally to the finishers which would bring out the pattern of the grain. "It is not all shingles and sweet potatoes at the colony."

In October 1932 the gang under Dick Brannon's leadership was "wrasslin' with the peanut crop under difficulties." They had about twelve acres of peanuts to harvest, plus remove the tops to save for hay. To complicate matters it rained for several days during the harvest, but it was certain the workers couldn't return to the colony until they'd gotten those peanuts under cover. A few days later the P.E.F. (Peanut Expeditionary Force) returned and it was reported that Dick looked bright and happy and Anita was singing again.

In December 1932 the fire wood ran out in the early hours of morning and Foreman Dick Brannon roused some half-dozen woodsmen to hurry a load to the oil well boilers.

In February 1933 he was preparing to leave for Gila within the week. He was "the big man who c[ould] accomplish big and little things in a big way, and he [wa]s to take the lead out in that big country." He was sent to assess the ditch work to be done there.

In June 1933 he reported that he'd gotten "enough money together to get his seed potatoes and lift the big end of the ditch money."  

Home in Colony: His family lived in a house on the corner of what is today Stanton and Third Streets which was later occupied by the Bernie Stevens family. Their home contained many items that were pleasing to the eye.  

Other Info: In April 1929 Anita showed George Pickett some of the birds and animals that Dick had crafted from the cones of Louisiana long-leaf and loblobby pines in the area.

In 1932 he signed a protest against colonists E.G. Webb and Walter Groth remaining in the colony "to save them".  

Post-Colony History: In 1934 he and Anita "of Chicago" sent a letter to the colonists at Gila, New Mexico stating that they would be sending "more Christmas for the children."

In 1937 he and Anita sent a ten dollar bill to "assist in carrying on the ever-present expenses."

In 1940 he and his wife were living in Illinois where he worked as an artist for a lithographics company.  

Death: He died in December 1976. His last known residence was Canon City, Colorado.  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; Kansas State Census: 1905; WWI Draft Registration; Colorado Soldiers in WWI; US Army Transport Service Passenger Lists; New Jersey Marriage Index; "Llano Colonist": April 13, 1929, April 23, 1929, May 18, 1929, January 9, 1932, July 23, 1932, August 6, 1932, October 1, 1932, October 15, 1932, December 3, 1932, February 4, 1933, February 25, 1933, March 11, 1933, April 22, 1933, May 20, 1933, June 3, 1933, June 17, 1933, December 29, 1934, October 23, 1937; US SSDI; US Dept. of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File;  



Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated October 29, 1932.