Museum the New Llano Colony



Dr. Samuel Wesley Irwin

Birth: Born in Canada in 1876.  

Description:  

Pre-Colony History: He came to the colony in 1930 with his wife and children.  

Family Information: Husband of Edith Irwin.

Father of Warren, Barbara, Lois and Jeane Irwin.

 

Job in Colony: He was a teacher at the colony school.

He also established the Christian Commonwealth Community just three miles south of the colony (at the site of previous Commonwealth College).  

Home in Colony: Dr. Irwin had one of the few new homes that was built within the colony. It had been completed during the winter of 1930 and was a large two and a half story structure which had many comfortable porches and sun rooms with the park in the background. In 1931 a similar house was being built for him at the site of his planned Christian Commonwealth Community and when the second one was completed, the Septer Baldwin family moved into this original home.

His second home featured a lawn planted with various shrubs and flowers. The two-story house stood near the highway and had a front fence with brick pillars that looked as though no smart old bell-cow could get through. It had been built by colony carpenters and was modern, including conveniences like a tub and shower, hot and cold running water and of course, electric lights.

Other buildings stood nearby, including another house (housing eight people in 1932 with room for more), a cabin back in the woods, a barn and garage where cows, mules and pigs were kept, as well as an enclosure for chickens. Also in 1932, across the road from the main house, was being built a home for teachers and orphans in anticipation of a school which Dr. Irwin planned to open the following year. This one had the appearance of a log house, the sides being of split logs and with a beautiful fireplace.  

Other Info: Rev. J.W. Faulk, pastor of the Methodist church in Leesville, along with Mrs. Faulk, made a call on Dr. Irwin and spent some time at the Rest Haven recently.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living in Vernon Parish, Louisiana with his son, Warren, and lodger Theodore Atworth.

At some point Dr. Irwin contributed to many publications including "Musing Through the Years" and "The Hills of Rome." Living in Washington in his later years, he visited Congress regularly and wrote a column for the Church Press entitled "Washington Diary." He also founded a Children's Hospital.  

Death: He died in 1961.  

Sources: US Census: 1920, 1940; "Llano Colonist": November 1, 1930, February 28, 1931, August 1, 1931, October 15, 1932, February 2, 1935, September 12, 1936; Obituary, Louisiana Conference Journal, 1963  

Left: Dr. Irwin's home inside the Llano colony, later the Septer Baldwin house.

Right: Photo taken in 2010 of the dormitory which was built at the Christian Commonwealth Community. The building was located on the west side of Hwy. 171 near present day Fort Polk Entrance Road.