Museum the New Llano Colony

W.A. "Bert" Engle


Family Information:  


Pre-Colony History: He was an ex-military man whose first brush with labor organizing had come when he organized the military band at an old soldiers' home in Ohio.

He was chairman of the Central Labor Council of Los Angeles and had been part of Job Harriman's political campaign in 1911.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: He served as one of the original directors of the colony and was elected secretary of the colony in November 1915. When the colony was re-organized under the new Nevada charter it was issued in the names J. Harriman, F. Wolfe, W.A. Engle as secretary. 

Other Info: In 1930 he attended a picnic of ex-colonists at Fullerton, California. Each brought a lunch, sufficient for his needs and the needs of several others. Long tables were arranged under the shade of the park trees. The coffee was furnished by Minnie Pickett and John Will saw to it that everyone was generously served. It was unanimously agreed to form an organization that would organize future semi-annual social gatherings for the group. Minnie Pickett was chosen secretary-treasurer and Dr. Robert K. Williams was appointed assistant secretary.

The picnic was attended by more than 65 ex-colonists including: Minnie Pickett, John and Frances Will and Dorothy, Lottie Brown, Professor Lowell H. Coates, Bert Engle, Victor and Alma Swanson and Elwin, Jess and Mildred Morris, Louis and Grace Petty, Louis and Jennie Conlin, Mrs. M.E. Babb, Norman and Ethel Johnson, Ernest and Pearl Wooster, H.L. and Guy Ward, Mrs. Clara Powers and son, George, Mrs. Ada Harper, Ethel Wright, E.E. Vaughn, J.H. Ryan, Val Brown and wife, Lottie Brown, Miss A.C. Austin, Walter Millsap, Jr. and his mother, Cara Millsap, Dr. Robert K. and Dr. Cecil C. Williams, E. Krause and family, John Van Nuland (who passed around a tub of Llano candy sent by Anton, and it was "great stuff" by all those who tasted it) Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Kilmer, Professor Lowell B. Coate, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wallace, Mr. and Mrs. Charley Earl, Mr. and Mrs. Suhre, A.L Spann, Frederick R. Johnson, A. Hansig.

Post-Colony History: In 1921 he was seen at Pasadena in the Flower Parade on New Year's Day -- he was "all dolled up as a mystic Shriner or something like that and was drum major for the band."  


Sources: "Vernon Parish Democrat": February 10, 1921; "Llano Colonist": May 10, 1930, January 14, 1933 (The Story of Llano); "Bread and Hyacinths; The Rise and Fall of Utopian Los Angeles" by Paul Greenstein, Nigey Lennon and Lionel Rolfe; "Southern Exposure": Vol 1; No 3 & 4 (Llano Cooperative Colony, Louisiana)  


W.A. Engle, superintendent at Llano del Rio colony.

Job Harriman in front seat next to driver, G.P. McCorkle, and from left, in rear seat, Frank Wolfe and Bert Engle at Llano, California.

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