Museum the New Llano Colony

Bernie Stevens


Description: A slim, highly mental-type of red-headed young man with the ease of a business man and the sangfroid of a statesman.  

Pre-Colony History: He grew up in Iowa. At the age of 14, he discovered the fact that the cost of production on his family's farm was more than they could get for their produce, so he left the farm and went to Chicago, developing his mechanical ability in machine shops and in the automobile industry, winding up in the airplane field as an aviator, but still found no security, no guarantee.  

Family Information: His parents also lived in the colony - "Dad" and Mrs. Stevens.

He married Leona (Hayes) Stevens in 1931, while living in the colony.  

Job in Colony: In September 1931 was working on the farm -- at that point taking care of the late cow peas -- along with Quipp, Bartram, Grover, Jernberg, McClurg, Harry Morgan, Luther Mackentyre, Robert Roe, Fred Busick, Waters and Ogden.

In April 1932 he and his wife had moved to the Rice Ranch to become mangers there.

By November 1932 was manager of the Sugar Bowl Unit in South Louisiana, though in November of that year it was reported that he'd been confined in a New Orleans hospital for the past three months.

In July 1933 was working at the dentists' office on a set of plates. He was "an artist at mechanical dentistry but was the sort of person who might bob up anywhere due to his versatility." He was an auto mechanic, industrial foreman, and cared for numerous other jobs.  

Home in Colony:  

Other Info:  

Post-Colony History: In 1934 he wrote a column for the Colonist titled "Ozark Colony News". He had first visited the new site, near Mena, Arkansas in October 1933 and was impressed with it's possibilities. Fred and Florence (Roe) Hamel joined him at that location in February, 1934, along with four of the Roe children and definite organization plans were agreed upon and adopted.

The colony there was similar to Newllano, but it was decided that on the first of December every year, they would divide all available colony money, excepting necessary running expenses for the following year, between themselves. The work there was mostly agricultural after his arrival, though the sawmill had provided lumber and cash.

The Stevens family remained at the site at least through 1936.  


Sources: "Llano Colonist": September 5, 1931, April 16, 1932, December 12, 1931, November 12, 1932, July 29, 1933, April 14, 1934