Museum the New Llano Colony



Edward "Lee" Fread

Birth: He was born around 1906 in California.  

Description: He was a little, gangly tyke in the California colony, but in 1934 he was a six-footer.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1910 he was living in California with his parents and siblings; In 1920, he was still in California with his parents and brother, Warren.  

Family Information: Son of Walter Fread and Ida May Fread; brother of Alberta, Warren and Clarence Fread. Three other siblings never lived in the colony -- Ivan (who died in 1900 at the age of 2), Clara J., (who died in 1914 at the age of 7) and older brother Charles.

He married Ruby Oberlitner while living in the colony; in April 1928 they welcomed their first son, Emory Lee Fread; in September 1933, another son, Arthur Lee Fread, was also born while the family lived in the colony.  

Job in Colony: During his first stay in the late 1920's he often worked skidding and hauling logs to the mill with mule power. When he returned to the colony around 1931 he did that same type work and worked on the oil wells.

In March 1933 a group departed for the new unit at Gila, New Mexico, along with RV Shoemaker and his wife, Ann; McCullough and his wife; Beanfellow, shoemaker; Dan Taran, blacksmith; Royal Thompson, Kenfield, Charley Desiderio, Frank Plaga, farmers; John Neill, poultryman; Ludwig Mahler, butcher; and Milton Maki, machinist; with Warren Mitchell and Lee Fread as chauffeurs. The chauffeurs would not stay, but return to the colony with the truck. That was two fiddles, a guitar and a flute lost from the orchestra...

In 1933 he went along as a helper in the big Chevy truck piloted by Blair Thomas -- they left at 3 a.m. for the Patterson unit with a truck load of bee supplies. In 1934 he was driving the new Ford V-8 and planning a trip to the Premont, Texas unit to bring back some onions.

In August 1934 he helped Lionel Crossland deliver ice after his ice truck broke down and then that afternoon Crossland helped Fread haul his logs from the woods.  

Home in Colony: In 1933 Lee and his family lived along what is today known as Pershing St. in New Llano. He had been doing some "Irish plowing", building a fence, and waiting to see what effect their beautiful big Rhode Island Reds would have on their garden. The neighbors were betting on the hens unless Lee got practical and clipped their wings.  

Other Info: In 1932, Lee took advantage of the shut down of the oil well to make some repairs to his wood truck.

In 1934 he, his wife, and son, Arthur Lee, were among many other colonists who attended Walter and Ida May Fread's 40th anniversary party which was held in the colony.  

Post-Colony History: In 1929 it was reported that baby Emory Lee Fread had died while the family was living in Toledo, Ohio.

In 1930 he and wife Ruby were living with her siblings, Floyd (who married Beatrice Jensen), Emery and Lucille while Lee worked as a laborer in a paper mill. Soon after this they returned to the colony for a time.

In 1940 the family was living in Colorado where Lee worked as a coal miner.  

Death: Died in 1976 in Colorado.  

Sources: "Vernon Parish Democrat": March 28, 1929; "Llano Colonist": October 29, 1927, April 13, 1929, March 14, 1931, October 10, 1931, August 6, 1932, December 17, 1932, March 25, 1933, April 22, 1933, April 29, 1933, May 27, 1933 (Story of Llano), September 16, 1933, January 27, 1934, May 19, 1934, July 21, 1934, August 25, 1934;  US Census: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; FindAGrave.com