Museum the New Llano Colony

Lawrence M. "Doc" Cayton

Birth: He was born in 1880 at Michigan.

Family Information: Husband of Belle Cayton; father of Kenneth and Forrest Cayton.

Brother of Elmer Cayton.

Description: Described as a "horse doctor."

Pre-Colony History: In 1910 he was living with his wife and eldest son in Colorado where he worked as a farmer.

In 1920 he lived with his wife and both sons in Elmwood, Louisiana and he worked as a veterinarian. He came to the colony at some point soon after the move from California to Louisiana.

Home in Colony: In 1921 he, described as an "erstwhile colonist," was living at Cooper, Louisiana.

In 1930 he and his family were living in Vernon Parish, Louisiana where he worked as a veterinarian.

Job in Colony: He was a veterinarian and cared for the goat ranch.

In December 1931 he and Sam Klette came from the Rice Ranch, bringing three friendly goats and Doc took them out to the goat ranch where they were soon gamboling about as though they had been there for years.

In February 1932 he was skinning a goat that had " unfortunately taken a violent chill from the recent rains. The pelts of all such [we]re saved." His brother was nearby, "doing a similar job. Both felt a sense of personal loss, as the two animals were among the best of the not inconsiderable herd."

In 1932 he and his goats were making a good showing, with milk being delivered to the Kid Kolony for the children there.

Other Info: In April 1931 he, Roede and Doc Williams "smuggled potatoes, corn, beans and beets into the bosom of mother earth at the general manager's garden... Anton Van Nuland most decidedly had put the seedbed into superb condition for planting, and when done he said facetiously, Tell Doc he owes me five dollars."  

Post-Colony History: In 1932 E.G. Webb organized the Llano Welfare League, but within only a few months, he was asked to explain some of the actions taken by that organization to the colony Board of Directors. Webb ignored them and continued to make unfair insinuations about colony affairs. The colony was forced to take him to court, in order to evict him from the colony.

In February 1933 Doc Cayton was attending a meeting of that same Welfare League at the Leesville Music Hall, when about 150 colonists arrived to serve notice that the further use of the name "Llano" in connection with their organization would not be tolerated. Cayton pulled a gun on Doc Williams and told him twice that he must not speak and Walter Groth shouted after the body of colonists, who were leaving the hall, that it was a "matter of guns from now on."

In 1940 he was divorced and living in Leesville, Louisiana with a private veterinary practice; living with him were two lodgers -- Grover and Bertie Wales.  

Death: He died in 1965 and was buried in the O'Banion Cemetery at New Llano, Louisiana.  

Sources: US Census: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; "Vernon Parish Democrat": March 3, 1921; "Llano Colonist": April 4, 1931, December 12, 1931, December 26, 1931, February 15, 1932, March 12, 1932, June 25, 1932, February 11, 1933;  


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