Museum the New Llano Colony



Chester R. Peecher

Birth: Born around 1901 in Illinois.  

Description:  

Pre-Colony History: Brought his family to the colony in 1930.  

Family Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Peecher of Pittsfield, Illinois.

Brother of Vera Peecher and uncle of Richard and Dortha Peecher.

Married Florine Davis of Nebo, Illinois on February 24, 1923.

Father of Frances (Karamales), Robert, Roy, Carl and Lyndle Peecher.

 

Job in Colony: He was one of the colony electricians and he also operated the lights at the theater for performances.

In 1930 he was helping set out about 5,000 plants in the gardens.

In 1933, he had left his bench in the electric shop to do a repair job on a 50-kw. generator at the Weber-King sawmill in Leesville. He was often called "out-of-town" for extra work like that.

After the rubber tubing was changed at the ice plant in May, 1936, Chester kept an ever watchful eye on the Ridgeway (generator) which was kept running from nine in the morning 'till twelve at night due to the increased demand for the crystal clear ice.

In 1937, when times were becoming hard for the colonists, Mr. Peecher asked colonists to use electricity only when necessary so as not to overload the plant.  

Home in Colony: In 1935 the family was living in the Newllano Colony.

Other Info: Spent some time in the hospital in July 1932, but was soon improving.

In October 1935 he was nominated to be on the Board of Directors, along with (in order of nomination), Robert K. Williams, E.D. Carl, Lester Caves, Crockett Campbell, John Szpila, Harold Emery, Charles Lawrence, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Chester Page, Horace Cronk, George Hullinger, Walter Robison, "Chauncey" DuProz, Mrs. Olive Lentz, Mrs. Mabel Busick, Lionel Crossland, Charles Derleth, J.H. "Dad" Ribbing and Cy Horney. The meeting also adopted a rule permitting all resident members who had been at the colony more than sixty days to vote in the election, provided too few proxies were received to hold a regular stock holders' meeting.

Less than one fourth the required stock was represented at the Stockholders' meeting, so the colonists proceeded with the election of a new board of directors as planned. Those selected were: Robert K. Williams, E.C. Carl, Lester Caves, Crockett Campbell, Harold Emery, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Charles Lawrence, and Chester Page. Runners up were Mrs. Mabel Busick, Horace Cronk and John Szpila.

In 1936, Mrs. Caves saw flames shooting up from the chimney of the Roof Garden building. She spoke to industrial superintendent Ikey Jensen, who went over to warn the sweet potato kiln men to go carefully with the pine knots. About half an hour later, Mrs. Caves again saw flashes on the roof of the big building and again she roused the colonists next door. This time Willie Brown rang the alarm on the hotel bell, which soon drew a number of people and the big hose to the scene of the fire.

Meanwhile, Mr. Peecher, in the electric shop next door to the Roof Garden, grabbed the chemical fire extinguisher, ran around, up the stairs, and in through the dance hall door, where he climbed onto the roof through the trap door near the edge of the roof and soon had the blaze out.

Also in 1936, he, along with Rex Dell gave two very acceptable numbers on the violin and the accordion at the theater.

Post-Colony History: In 1940 the family was living in a home in the unincorporated New Llano, Louisiana (site of the old colony) while Chester worked as an electrician at a power plant.  

Death:  

Sources: US Census: 1930, 1940; "Llano Colonist": May 3, 1930; March 26, 1932, July 9, 1932, July 29, 1933, October 12, 1935, February 29, 1936, May 23, 1936, May 29, 1937; "Leesville Leader": March 8, 1973  

Photo shows (L to R) C.R. Peecher, Homer Loutrel and unknown colonist. At the "old electric shop" with the Roof Garden in background.