Museum the New Llano Colony

Lionel Crossland


Family Information: He married Vivian Busick while living in the colony.  


Pre-Colony History:  

Home in Colony: In January 1937 there was a re-shuffling of homes in the colony -- Lionel and Vivian took a home that had been vacated by the Stansburys and Bill Brough took theirs.  

Job in Colony: In July 1933 he was working in the bakery managed by Runa Baldwin. In October of that year he and John Dougherty were driving the ice truck to Leesville after a series of events, including the departure of Carl Van Buskirk to the Gila location and Roy McClean twisted his knee while trying to change a flat tire on his ice truck.

In 1934 he was delivering ice with Fred Busick. In August his ice truck broke down and Lee Fread had to deliver his ice. That afternoon he helped Fread haul logs from the woods. Also in 1934 he was part of a crew which went out to the hills west of the colony to cut up the tree tops that had been left by the choppers some time ago to feed the boiler.

In 1935 he was delivering ice every day of the week throughout the year. In July he and Glen Burns worked on the ice truck all night to get it in running condition for the next day's ice delivery.

In July 1936 he and Roscoe Busick relieved the situation at the power plant when they joined the "graveyard shift" there. Those old boilers were "gluttons for fuel" and there'd been a shortage of workers which had caused much trouble.

In August 1936 he returned to driving the ice truck.  

Other Info: In 1935 he was part of the Colony baseball team under the managership of Ernie Prudhon who claimed to have a very spirited and crackerjack team. Players included: John Dougherty, C; ??? Long, P; Cecil Thompson, 1B; Ernie Prudhon, 2B; Lionel Crossland, 3B; Milton Maki, SS; and Les Caves, Archie Ogden, and Elmer Jensen as outfielders.

On May Day, 1935, some dissatisfied colonists -- most of them younger members who had not yet earned their right to vote on colony decisions -- held a meeting while Pickett was out of town and elected a new Board of Directors that didn't include George Pickett. Doc Williams, an on-again / off-again colonist from the early years in California, was elected President; Eugene Carl, a new member who'd only been at the colony about three months -- he was still a probationer and consequently didn't even have voting rights in colony matters, was elected Executive Director; and Walter Robison, also a recent arrival, was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Pickett and his supporters fought the action in the Vernon Parish courts, but even though the courts ruled the new board was not legal, they also refused to name Pickett's board as the legal directors, so the disagreements within the colony only continued to escalate.

Read the Court Judgment dated September 6, 1935.

In order to claim that an official board had been properly elected after the court judgment had been handed down, the new board and leaders held another election. They advertised for former colonists to send in their proxies and adopted a rule permitting all resident members who had been at the colony more than sixty days to vote in the election, provided too few proxies were received to hold a regular stock holders' meeting.

In October 1935 he was nominated to be on the self-proclaimed "legal" Board of Directors, along with (in order of nomination), Robert K. Williams, E.D. Carl, Lester Caves, Crockett Campbell, John Szpila, Harold Emery, Charles Lawrence, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Chester Page, Horace Cronk, George Hullinger, Walter Robison, "Chauncey" DuProz, Mrs. Olive Lentz, Mrs. Mabel Busick, Charles Derleth, J.H. "Dad" Ribbing and Cy Horney.

As expected, less than one fourth the required stock was represented at the Stockholders' meeting, so the colonists proceeded with the election of a new board of directors as planned. Those selected were: Robert K. Williams, E.C. Carl, Lester Caves, Crockett Campbell, Harold Emery, Chester Peecher, E.O. Joynes, Charles Lawrence, and Chester Page. Runners up were Mrs. Mabel Busick, Horace Cronk and John Szpila.

This new board tried to make improvements to colony life, but after the first year, finances were in such a state that the court appointed a receiver to help them straighten out their affairs. Two different receivers tried to calm the colonists and persuade them to work together, but this proved fruitless.

In June, 1937, as disaster loomed, some control was returned to Pickett when he was asked to be, first the Farm Superintendent, then the Ice Plant Manager, and finally in control of all colony industries. Unfortunately, it was too late; within months the receiver petitioned the court for permission to sell the land and soon began to divide the property into smaller lots which were sold at auction for much less than their actual value.

Also that month, he and Fred Busick left with the "V-8" at 3:30 pm on Friday for Mena, Ark. to bring back the effects of DeForest Sanford, who was expected to return to the colony within a week or so. About 4:30 Saturday afternoon, just 25 hours after leaving they drove up in front of the store again. "Some trip," the boys said.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he and Vivian were living in Washington where he worked as a laborer with poultry at a WPA Experimental Station.  


Sources: "Llano Colonist": July 8, 1933, July 22, 1933, October 28, 1933, November 11, 1933, July 7, 1934, August 25, 1934, December 29, 1934, April 20, 1935, May 18, 1935, June 15, 1935, July 13, 1935, October 12, 1935, October 19, 1935, October 26, 1935, November 2, 1935, November 23, 1935, January 4, 1936, January 11, 1936, February 8, 1936, February 15, 1936, May 23, 1936, July 18, 1936, August 22, 1936, January 30, 1937, September 18, 1937, October 2, 1937; US Census: 1940  


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