Museum the New Llano Colony

Joe Billick


Family Information:  


Pre-Colony History: He arrived in the colony in July 1935 from Racine, Washington, where he'd been a student in the vocational school at Racine for the previous year studying printing and linotype operation. He came to the colony to complete his training by acquiring speed and learning something of the linotype mechanics in the colony print shop.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: He was immediately put to work under the direction of expert operator, George Leevey, and was expected to make rapid progress and give the colony a considerable lift with their work at the Llano printery. He soon discovered that he would gain, not only experience at the keyboard, but also a great deal of mechanical experience on the older colony machines.

In August 1935 he worked late into the night, along with Emery and Bauer to get the "Democrat" out with some special effects to the front page. Dave Rice, night watchman at the print shop, said that he was the one who'd worked, trying to make enough coffee to keep up with their appetites.

Soon after his arrival, both Editor Emery and Myrtle Kemp were on the sick list leaving Billick and Kenneth Thurman who spent a busy day at the linotypes trying to get the "Democrat" into the cold lead stage of its progress toward the press.  

Other Info: He left the colony, probably in the fall of 1935 because in October he sent a letter saying he'd be returning soon. In late November he did return from Houston where he'd been working on a PWA project.

In January 1936 Cy Horney, Kenneth Thurman, Andy Madigan, Hans Holmgren and Joe Billick cleaned the flue of the hotel heater; afterwards supper was eaten comfortably without the diners being fairly smoked out.  

Post-Colony History: He left the colony with Hans Holmgren on leave of absence in February, 1936. There is no further mention of him in the colony newspapers, so probably he never returned.  


Sources: "Llano Colonist": August 3, 1935, August 10, 1935, August 17, 1935, November 9, 1935, December 7, 1935, January 11, 1936, February 29, 1936  


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