Museum the New Llano Colony



Gordon Pickett

Birth: He was born in 1913 at Idaho.  

Description: In 1932 colony papers reported he was "a little bit of a fellow. only six feet two. The day after he arrived he had [colonists] scratching [their] head[s] to beat the band trying to get out a bed long enough for him."

In 1940 he was described as being 6'2" tall and weighing 165 pounds with a ruddy complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. His next-of-kin is listed as William Pickett (his father) and his employer is Fish Lumber Co.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1920 he was living in Idaho with his parents.  

Family Information: Nephew of George Pickett.

Married Jasmine Lewis while living in the colony. He'd first met "Jack" in Salt Lake City when he'd arrived to collect the family for the trip to Newllano. It was said they "sized each other up with a single glance and their mutual smile seemed to reveal the thought, 'You'll do.'

The trip was unlike anything Jasmine had ever experienced before, and the driver was exceptionally entertaining. They marvelled at the colorful bluffs and mountains... but on the highway through Texas they were almost driven into each other's arms for warmth as they faced wind and rain and sleet that finally started the engine of the car to freezing and they were forced to seek shelter in a tourist camp.

Their journey was continued at four am and from then on, the driver raced on, and on, and on through the storm, on glassy pavement, scarcely pausing for food or rest till the next morning at five A.M. when he plunged the car into a mud hole near the hotel at Llano with a deep sigh of relief, while the Lewis ladies sat dazed until urged to come to the hotel and get warm.

Since then, "Jack" and Gordon have been inseperable. Their first walk, "to view the colony," was done in a snow storm with "Jack" wearing stilts. and the recent moonlight nights among these yellow pines have filled the hearts of this young couple with such romantic ideas that -- well 'ere this paper goes to press the judge shall have pronounced them man and wife. And may they live happily ever after and God bless them."

When the time (February 1933) came, he made his way to the Septer Baldwin house to "borrow" the big Studebaker, the same Studebaker in which he'd driven the Lewis ladies from Salt Lake City during the past summer, among them a dark-eyed maiden named Jasmine. And so, the same car that drove them from Salt Lake City yesterday, now drove them three miles south for the tying of the knot. The happy couple would continue to make their home in Llano.

Job in Colony: In 1930 he was working on the building program whenever the weather would allow. In February, he was working on the McClurg house, but expected to soon be pulled to work on the new farm house that was being built where the Jernbergs lived and where the crew ate their noon-day meal when out on the farm working.

He returned to his home in Idaho in 1930 but returned in December 1932 and was helping Pete Kemp hull rice at the grist mill.

In January 1933 he, Warren Fread, Blair Thomas and George Campbell were "wrecking some of the old wrecks that have been wrecking the looks of the place for so long." They were putting up bins in the old shed back of the machine shop to hold the parts that could be saved from the wrecked cars.

In February 1933 he and Mr. McClurg were burning brush on days when the grass was wet so that the fire wouldn't get away from them. In March 1933 he was among the men who made the trip to Longville, Louisiana to pick up fencing which had been donated to the colony by the Schutz family.

In April of 1933 McClurg had planted most of the beans with the two row planter except a piece of the garden which Gordon had planted with the one-row planter. Mrs. Gordon Pickett had put in many beans by hand with whatever help she could get.

Both Gordon and Jasmine ran the wheel hoes in places where the horse-drawn cultivator couldn't reach, but after several hours of pushing a wheel cart, Gordon asked Ben Roe when he might get "a little tractor out there so he could put it to work?" He had it figured out that with the machine he could do more work than a man with a good mule; and the tractor wouldn't eat more than 15 cents a day. He also reminded him that the tractor wouldn't require any need for pasture and would use less housing space than a mule. Arthur replied, "You let me know when your tractor has a colt and we'll change from horses to tractors.  

Home in Colony: In early February 1933 the little cabin Claude and Belden Lewis had occupied before the ladies of the family arrived became the center of interest at the Kid Kolony, for "Jack" (Jasmine) Lewis and Gordon Pickett had been seen slyly scouring it and furnishing it with a few neat articles of furniture. The school children kept asking, "when is it going to happen?" but they only smiled and said, "Oh, you'll know soon enough." 

Other Info: In May 1930 he returned to Idaho, but colonists were hoping he will return again in the fall.

In February 1932 he was listed a new subscriber for the "Llano Colonist".

In December 1932 he arrived in the colony along with members of the Lewis family -- Ella, her two daughters Jasmine and Marjory and Miss Lou -- all in a Studebaker sedan which had been donated to the colony by George Bancroft of Portland, Oregon. Young Gordon had been sent to pick up the car and on the return trip to collect the Lewis family from Salt Lake City. It was reported that he'd done "some tall driving, keeping it up for over 24 hours at one stretch."

In January 1933 Doc Williams was planning a Gypsy Program for the theater; Sidney and Ethel Archer were helping him work it out "while the fiddles and etycetery were plinging and a plunking at the roof garden." Lloyd Potter, Gordon Pickett and Margaret (sic) and Jasmine Lewis were practicing the steps for Mrs. Archer's act.  

Post-Colony History: In 1935 both he and Jasmine were living in Lewiston, Idaho.

In 1940 he was still listed as married, but living alone in Washington, while Jasmine was living at North Idaho Insane Asylum and Sanitorium..

In 1970 he married Jessie Pickett in Reno, Nevada.  

Death: He died in 1971 in Oregon and is buried there.  

Sources: Idaho Birth Index; US Census: 1920, 1940; "Llano Colonist": January 25, 1930, February 15, 1930, May 8, 1930, February 6, 1932, December 24, 1932, January 28, 1933, February 11, 1933, March 4, 1933, March 11, 1933, March 25, 1933, April 8, 1933, April 15, 1933, April 22, 1933; Draft Registration Card: WWII; Oregon Death Index; FindAGrave.com