Museum the New Llano Colony

Dover Cryer 

Birth: He was born in 1903 in Rosepine, Louisiana.  

Family Information: Son of Dan and Leah Cryer.

Brother of Docia, Denver, Dora and Dawson Cryer

Description: Based on his WWII Draft Card dated August 13, 1945 he was 5'11" tall and weighed 149 pounds with gray eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1910 and 1920 he was living with his parents and siblings in Louisiana.

In March 1922, when Dan decided he couldn't "stand the competition any longer" he brought his family to live in the colony.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: The Cryer family were farmers and in 1922 when they first came to the colony it was expected that Dan and his sons would soon take up some useful line of work.

In April of 1922 he was part of a group of students who worked in the garden along with Emma Kapotsy, Bennett Babb, Roscoe Busick, Fred Busick, Clifford Synoground, Harold Kemp, Dawson Cryer, Charles Lee, Brooks Merrel and Max Beavers.

In May 1922 Loutrel, assisted by C. Shutt, Dover Cryer, Warren Fread and Truman Benthal put up electric poles, wires, etc. and prepared to wire the houses to provide electric lights throughout the colony.  

Other Info: One of 42 colonists who signed a petition, dated January 10, 1928 and sent to the governor of Louisiana, which objected to the securing of a new charter being issued to the colony. Among other things, this petition claimed that affairs of the colony had been grossly and intentionally mismanaged and conduct of the management so flagrantly opposed to good morals that a receiver assigned by the District Court was necessary to handle affairs. It alleged that management had: 1. Used misleading propaganda which caused hundreds of people to invest their money in the colony, only to be disillusioned and have to leave with nothing to show for their investment. 2. Reduced the colony to a peon camp - these "peons" being poorly fed, clothed and housed. 3. Advocated "free-love", including promiscuous relations of the sexes and other practices contrary to good morals. 4. Expressed contempt for courts and authorities by taking it upon themselves to punish two boys for stealing from the colony store. 5. Prostituted colony schools by employing nondescript persons as teachers, while issuing fraudulent reports and drawing hundreds of dollars from the Parish School funds in the names of certified teachers and by exploiting child labor. The case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court but eventually was annulled and the plaintiff's demands rejected.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living in Rapides Parish with his wife, Alice, their daughter and two step-children. At the time he was working as a laborer for a WPA road construction project.

He enlisted in the U.S. National Guard as a Private in the Infantry on November 25, 1940 and served until July 2, 1945.  

Death: He died in 1980. His last residence was Grant Parish, Louisiana.  

Sources: Photo Archives; US Census: 1910, 1920, 1940; "Llano Colonist": March 18, 1922, March 25, 1922, April 22, 1922, May 27, 1922, February 25, 1928, May 13, 1933 (Story of Llano), May 20, 1933 (Story of Llano); WWII Draft Cards; WWII Army Enlistment Records; US Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File; US SSDI  


Llano children involved in the 1918 play, Pandora
Llano children involved in the 1918 play, "Pandora": (Front row L to R) Ross Brown, Mabel Synoground, Lois Will, unknown, Roberta 'Pete' Will, Mary Bellrawski, Ruby Synoground, John Dougherty; (Back row L to R) Irene Brown, Nellie Kemp, Rosa Matz, Elizabeth Brown, Mr. Cryer and his sister Dora Cryer.

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