Museum the New Llano Colony



Peter "Pete" Kemp

Birth: Born near Detroit, Michigan around 1861.  

Description: Seventy years old in 1932, Kemp was a small, thin gray man who went to work every morning before most colonists had eaten breakfast.  

Pre-Colony History: His father had been a logger who'd fought for the Union in the Civil War and Peter followed in his footsteps. In 1889, Peter went to the redwood forests of California and met a man who gave him a copy of Bellamy's "Looking Backward"; the book had made another Socialist.

His first wife died young, leaving him with a son, James; around 1899 he married again.

By 1914 he and his growing family were settled on the farm he'd acquired in the San Joaquin Valley when he heard the lectures of George T. Pickett who was touring the state seeking new members for the colony. He sold the farm and took his family to the colony, arriving in December, 1915 from Porterville, Calif.  

Family Information: Husband of Dora Kemp.

Father of Jimmy, Myrtle and Nellie and Harold Kemp.

 

Job in Colony: In Louisiana, he served on the Board of Directors. Over the years he worked as a teamster, woodsman, saw filer and blacksmith for the colony. In 1930 he was working as the miller in the colony.  

Home in Colony: In 1920 the family was living in Newllano, Louisiana where he worked as a laborer on the colony farms.  

Other Info: In 1928 he was one of the founding members of the local Conscientious Objectors Union; Theodore Atworth served as the first Secretary-Treasurer with O.E. Enfield serving as the President. The organization was planned to be international, composed of people who refused to go to war as a matter of conscience. Charter members included: Theodore Atworth, Mary H. Atworth, Emily H. Dougherty, I.A. Dougherty, Carl H. Gleeser, S. Weislander, Charlie C. Black, John Hight, Lowell H. Coate, W.A. Shutt, F.O. Jernberg, Reka Jernberg, Anna Tabb, Peter Kemp, F. Rosenburg, B. Wade Hewitt, Hamilton H. McClurg, W.J. Hoag, Theodore F. Landrum, C.N. Butts, Mary Snyder, George Snyder, Anna Garrett, Emma Shutt, M.A. Brattland, Richard P. Condon, Jr., Emily Swenson, W.J. Newman, George T. Pickett, Raymond DeFausell, S.E. Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Molenar, Earl L. Bosch, Guy F. Rogers, Ora E. Newman, James J. Miller, Bert Busick, Mabel D. Busick, Ole Synoground, C.C. Mickey, Fred A. Jensen, Katie Mickey, F. Rahn and Isaac H. Keyes.

In 1929 the theater program featured camera pictures of Llano, California and Newllano which were shown on a white screen while George Pickett paid tribute to the Auld Lang Syners who had been part of the pioneer days of the colony including: Peter, Dora and Harold Kemp; L. Roedemeister, Dad Thomas and Mr. Fox; Septer, Runa and Rhea May Baldwin; Chas. Anderson, Anton Van Nuland and Theo Landrum; Susan and Albert Moore; William and Mrs. Newman; Arthur, Donna, Donna 2nd and Dolores Goble; and George Pickett himself.

 

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living on a farm in Gila, Grant County, New Mexico with his wife Dora.  

Death: He died in 1949 in New Mexico.  

Sources: US Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; "Llano Colonist": October 29, 1927, December 22, 1928, March 9, 1929, June, 4, 1932, January 21, 1933 (Early Days in California), April 11, 1933 (Reprinted from the Colonist May 17, 1924), August 17, 1935; "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 7, 1929; FindAGrave.com  

Left: Harold, Dora and Pete Kemp standing in front of "Stude"

Center: Pete in front of the new Industrial Building

Right: Board of Directors, 1925: (L to R) Septer Baldwin, Sid Merrel, Ole Synoground, Carl Gleeser, Louise Gaddis, George Pickett, Bill Burton, Peter Kemp, Dan Cryer