Museum the New Llano Colony

Ward Shoemaker

Birth: He was born around 1919 in Missouri.  

Description: In 1942 he was 70" tall and weighed 168 pounds.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1920 he was living in Missouri with his parents and his mother's sister, Naoma Isom.  

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

Brother of Hope, Ruth and Isom Shoemaker.

His father later married Anna (Shutt) Shoemaker and he became step-brother of Zelma and Royall Thompson.

His mother later married Anton Van Nuland.


Job in Colony: In November 1928 Carl Besse, Chris Jensen, Ward Shoemaker and Robert Roe were on the job in the garden, using wheel hoes among the growing plants.

In 1932, while Frank Quipp, Harry Morgan, R.V. Shoemaker and Isom Shoemaker filled the silo at the dairy barn with corn, sorghum and peanut vines, Ward was inside the silo with a half dozen grade students, diligently tramping down the ensilage.  

Home in Colony: In 1934 he traveled to the Gila, New Mexico location, with his mother and step-mother to join his father and step-father who were already there working.  

Other Info: He was often part of the program at the theater.

In July 1934 he wrote a letter from Gila to the boys at Newllano stating: "Fishing is good here. The rivers are full of fish. They are so thick you can kill them with rocks. Carl Mahler and I went fishing one Sunday. Carl caught four and I caught thirty-one, the smallest about eight inches long. We fish about every Sunday."

In November 1934 some of the Gila colonists went on a trip to the "Lodge" which was about 50 miles up the river, but to get there it was necessary to cross the river about 150 times. Among those going were Zelma de Fausell, Huldah, Wayne and Carl Mahler, Isom and Ward Shoemaker, A. Van Nuland and Mr. Goodwin.


Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living in New Mexico with his mother and her second husband, Anton Van Nuland, and brother, Isom. He was working as a farm laborer.

In 1942 he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the Army Air Corps. At the time he claimed he was single, had 3 years of college, and his civil occupation was "Actors and actresses".  


Sources: Photo Archives; US Census: 1920, 1940; "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 28, 1929; November 5, 1932; "Llano Colonist": November 17, 1928, April 15, 1933, April 14, 1934, April 21, 1934, July 7, 1934, November 10, 1934; US WWII Army Enlistment Records  

Left: Photo is labeled (spelled as labeled): "Grammar School - Clarence Fread, Myrtle Fread, Byrn Busick, Iris Busick, Vivian Busick, Reah Mae Baldwin, Lin Rogers, Mary Gregson, Helen Joe Dougherty, Warren Shoemaker, Myrtle Gregson."

Center: Clipping from the "Llano Colonist" dated April 15, 1933.