Museum the New Llano Colony

Ruth Shoemaker

Birth: She was born around 1914 in Missouri.  


Pre-Colony History: In 1920 she was living in Missouri with her parents.  

Family Information: Daughter of R.V. Shoemaker and Maud (Shoemaker) Van Nuland.

Sister of Hope, Isom and Ward Shoemaker

Her father later married Anna (Shutt) Shoemaker and she became step-sister of Zelma and Royall Thompson.

Her mother later married Anton Van Nuland.


Job in Colony: In 1927 she was helping her mother with the cooking and garden at the colony dairy. In 1934 she was training Alta Needham to take over as librarian since she, herself would be leaving shortly for the new Gila, New Mexico unit. In April she did travel to the Gila, New Mexico location, with her mother and step-mother to join her father and step-father who were already there working.  

Home in Colony:  

Other Info: She was often part of the program at the theater and a senior member of the Glee Club.

In April 1928 Miss Wilson was teaching piano classes to several boys and girls in the colony. The Girls' Melody Way Club had had twelve weeks of classes and included Hope and Ruth Shoemaker, Beatrice Jensen, Lynn Rogers, Rhea Mae Baldwin, Irene Hewitt, Vivian and Iris Busick, Mary and Myrtle Gregerson.

She was one of 16 girls who wound the broad ribbons round the Maypole at Llano's birthday party in 1932 (other dancers included Nellie (Kemp) Bradshaw, Laura (Synoground) Swenson, Winnie (Ogden) Dougherty, Sylvia and Ruth Tuber, Verda Bradshaw, Hortense Self, Esta Caves, Helen Emry, Vivian Busick, Irene Hewitt, Myrtle and Irene Maki, Marguerite Killian, Iris Busick, Flora Young and Rhea Mae Baldwin.)

In November 1933 the weekly bridge club met at the new home of Mrs. Myrtle Bradshaw. Those present were Misses Ruth Shoemaker, Vivian Busick, Mary Lou Monk, Doris Layer, Rhea Baldwin, Lloyd Potter, Earl Swenson, Lionel Crossland, Roy McClean, John Dougherty and Fred Busick.


Post-Colony History: The birth of Bonnie May Littlefield, daughter of Ruth (Littlefield), then living on a ranch near Gila, NM, was noted in the Llano Colonist in 1936.  


Sources: US Census: 1920; Photo Archives; "Llano Colonist": December 10, 1927, April 14, 1928, April 13, 1929, May 14, 1932, November 4, 1933, March 24, 1934, March 14, 1934, April 21, 1934, February 15, 1936; "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 28, 1929  

Left: Hope and Ruth Shoemaker in the Colony Laundry

Right: High School Group -- Back (L to R) Laura Synoground, Allie Bell Hewitt, Raymond "Frenchy" Fausell; Front (L to R) Beatrice Jensen, Ruth and Hope Shoemaker, Zelma Thompson