Museum the New Llano Colony



Minnie Hewitt Alternate spelling Hewett

Birth: Born around 1890 in Mississippi.  

Description:  

Pre-Colony History: In 1900 she was living in Tennessee with her parents and siblings.

In 1910 she and Wade were living in Louisiana with his mother and a boarder while Wade worked as a nurseryman running his own business. In 1920 they, along with three children, still lived in Louisiana where he worked as a manager of a Lafayette Pecan Nursery.  

Family Information: She'd married B. Wade Hewitt in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1910.

Mother of Allie Belle, Benny Wade, Jr., Irene, Clark, Eugene and Charlotte Hewitt.  

Job in Colony: She was working as a cook at the colony hotel in 1930. In May 1930 Maxine Palmer helped the Mesdames Oberleitner, Hewett, Kimball, Hardy, and Lacefield; the Misses Lois Thompson, Bonnie Mason, Florence Case and Rhea Mae Baldwin; and the Messrs. Petersen, Wichman and DeBoer serve dinner under the direction of Mrs. Walter Fread.

In 1931 she was in the bakery where she and Maud (Shoemaker) Van Nuland were concentrating on making ginger cookies. In April she was working in the bakery with Kenneth Emry.

In September 1931 she was working at the cannery, under charge of Mrs. Walter Fread, canning pears on shares.

At the laundry in 1934, Mrs. Hewitt was marking and sorting clothes to be washed while Tefteller was running the washing machine; Mrs. Ribbing and Mrs. Hullinger were ironing shirts and underwear and Arlene Watson was keeping the tub full of sprinkled clothes.

In May 1936 she and Charlotte, along with Mrs. Bondell Banta, Mrs. White, Mrs. Hardy, Ed Mansfield, Harold Emery, and Ed and Ida Cole helped prepare for the first reception of the summer season that was held in the Roof Garden.  

Home in Colony: In January 1929 she and Allie Belle were "fixing up their residence in fine style." According to a column in the "Colonist" they had "the finest home in town, so fine that a casual visitor might [have thought they had] received special favors, but that would have been a greivous mistake." All colony families were just as free to fix up their own domiciles equally well, but they seldom did it.

In 1930 the family was living in the Newllano Colony. In 1935 she was still living in the Newllano Colony. 

Other Info: One of 42 colonists who signed a petition, dated January 10, 1928 and sent to the governor of Louisiana, which objected to the securing of a new charter being issued to the colony. Among other things, this petition claimed that affairs of the colony had been grossly and intentionally mismanaged and conduct of the management so flagrantly opposed to good morals that a receiver assigned by the District Court was necessary to handle affairs. It alleged that management had: 1. Used misleading propaganda which caused hundreds of people to invest their money in the colony, only to be disillusioned and have to leave with nothing to show for their investment. 2. Reduced the colony to a peon camp - these "peons" being poorly fed, clothed and housed. 3. Advocated "free-love", including promiscuous relations of the sexes and other practices contrary to good morals. 4. Expressed contempt for courts and authorities by taking it upon themselves to punish two boys for stealing from the colony store. 5. Prostituted colony schools by employing nondescript persons as teachers, while issuing fraudulent reports and drawing hundreds of dollars from the Parish School funds in the names of certified teachers and by exploiting child labor. The case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court but eventually was annulled and the plaintiff's demands rejected.

Preparing for the May Day's entertainment in 1928 Anna Besse was presiding at the piano, accompanied by Peter Borg on the violin while Comrade Condon was practicing his song. Other performers were Kenneth Thurman and Comrade Tefteller. Also the orchestra under Bob Snyder, Mrs. Hewitt and Mrs. Busick.

In April 1929 Mrs. Minnie Hewitt held a birthday party in honor of Billie Busick, five years old, and Charlotte Hewitt, just four. Also attending were Clara Mae Fread, Byron Busick, George Maki, Jimmie Dix, Eugene Hewitt and Buddy Synoground.

After the May Day Revolution of 1935, signed a statement supporting John Szpila's letter, which had been published in the September 21, 1935 issue of the "Llano Colonist" and spelled out the reason's the overthrow of former General Manager, George T. Pickett, had been necessary.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 she was living in a home in the unincorporated New Llano, Louisiana (site of the old colony) with children Eugene and Charlotte and working as a bookbinder for WPA project.  

Death: She died in California in 1983.  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; New Orleans, LA Marriage Records Index; "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 28, 1929, October 12, 1935; "Llano Colonist": February 25, 1928, May 26, 1928, January 12, 1929, April 27, 1929, May 3, 1930, May 17, 1930, January 24, 1931, September 12, 1931, September 19, 1931, May 13, 1933 (Story of Llano), May 20, 1933 (Story of Llano), August 4, 1934, May 30, 1936; California Death Index; FindAGrave.com