Museum the New Llano Colony

Cyrus "Cy" O. Horney

Birth: He was born in Illinois around 1872.  

Family Information:  


Pre-Colony History:  

Home in Colony: In 1935 he was living inside the Newllano Colony.  

Job in Colony: In April 1933 he and Smith Sanford were in the thick of cleaning day at the hotel.

Later that month he, as Commander-in-Chief, with Mesdames Ogden, Maki, Neill, and Mademoiselle Maki were serving a bountiful breakfast of pancakes, cereals, and more.

In December 1934 and January 1935 he and Mrs. Richter were doing the bulk of the work about the bakery and cannery.

In May 1935 he was back at his job working in the hotel, on the breakfast shift with Margaret Brough and Irene Maki.

In June 1935 Cy, Mrs. Hewitt and Mrs. Frank Harris were getting dinner ready at the hotel. Katie Bell Goin had charge of the silverware and her sister, Iola Goins, helped with the washing of the dishes. Mrs. Matz had a sore foot and was unable to help at the time. Later that month Mrs. Hewett and her helpers along with Horney and Rude were preparing lunch.

In July 1935 Cy Horney and an aggregation of feminine beauties in the persons of Violet Dix, Jane Lentz, Irene Maki and Mrs. Harris were caught sitting on the service counter drinking coffee -- come to find out, they were only having their breakfast, after they'd finished serving the colonists.

In August 1935 he was off from work as the hotel manager after spilling some hot gravy on his foot. John Sipes was lending a hand with the heavy work there. Later that month he resigned from his post running the hotel and over-seeing the cafeteria needs, although he did continue to help his successor, Mrs. Birdie Du Proz.

In September 1935 he was caught red-handed, paring off the beefsteaks for the night's dinner. Birdie DuProz, manager of the hotel kitchen, was superintending the process.

In November he briefly acted again as head of the hotel crew following the departure of Mrs. DuProz, until Chester Page appointed Mrs. Anna Shoemaker to be the manager of the hotel.

In January 1936 Sarah Murray and Bondell Banta were the dinner cooks, also helping, along with Mrs. Matz and Jane Lentz to serve the meal. Cy Horney was the dishwasher -- washing dishes three times a day, Lucille Carr the wiper, Mrs. Murray did the scraping and Ruth Wooley cleaned the silverware.

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

In October 1936 he was chief launderer on the laundry crew with Mrs. Leo Watson, foreman; Charley Murray, his helper; Mattie Turner, Sarah Murray and Esther Brown, ironers; and Mrs. Hullinger, mangler. Cy also pressed the men's pants.

In September 1937 Pickett was again in charge of colony affairs and he encouraged everyone to immediately begin planting as much as possible since immediate food production was paramount to the survival of the colony. Pickett stated that he would ensure the entire "Garden Forty" was plowed and disked, but asked every colonist to plant 1-2 acres each with fall crops. Otto Hoeffel, head of gardening agreed that the plan was a hit with him. Cy and J.R. Rude immediately accepted responsibility for their plots.

Also in September 1937 he was the only helper for Charlie Worden, who was in charge of the boiler plant, which had to be kept running or water pumping would be stopped, lights would be out, colony functions would stop and industry in the colony would be done.

In October 1937 Horney, Mrs. Watson, Kerwin and Mrs. Turner were functioning as usual, being lucky enough to have steam to carry them through the two days of washing.

Other Info: In 1932 he, along with many other colonists, signed a protest against colonists E.G. Webb and Walter Groth remaining in the colony "to save them".

In March 1933 he attended a good-bye party for the Sanford family, along with Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Banta, Mrs. June Black, Sybil Black, Mr. and Mrs. DuProz, Mr. and Mrs. Hess, Mr. and Mrs. Brannon, Mr. and Mrs. B. Stevens, Mr. and Mrs. Marve Sanford, Lou Colt, and the Messrs. Githens, D. Sanford, Beanfellow, and Starkweather.

In May 1933 he celebrated Marvin Sanford's birthday, along with DeForest and Smith Sanford, Anita Brannon, Florence Anderson, Mrs. Ivy Hoag, Mr. and Mrs. DuProz, and Bernie and Leona Stevens.

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, Lionel Crossland, Charles Derleth and J.H. "Dad" Ribbing.

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.

In January 1936 he was "laid up with a severe chest cold." In February he visited the Rice Ranch, returning to the main colony after a week.

Post-Colony History: In November 1935 he left the colony for a change of scene after years of strenuous and faithful service in the hotel. He planned to visit friends in Texas and probably Florida.

In 1940 he and his wife, Mattie, were living in a home in the unincorporated New Llano, Louisiana (site of the old colony).  

Death: He died at the Pine Haven Rest Home in Rosepine, Louisiana in June 1958. His funeral services were held at the Hixson Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. R.S. Crawford officiating. Interment was in the New Llano Cemetery.

Surviving him were one son, Cyrus C. Horney of Phoenix, Arizona and a step-son, Wallace E. Barnette of Groves, Texas.  

Sources: "Llano Colonist": August 6, 1932, March 4, 1933, April 8, 1933, April 29, 1933, May 6, 1933, December 22, 1934, January 5, 1935, May 25, 1935, June 15, 1935, June 22, 1935, July 20, 1935, August 17, 1935, August 31, 1935, September 7, 1935, October 12, 1935, November 23, 1935, January 11, 1936, January 18, 1936, January 25, 1936, February 1, 1936, February 8, 1936, October 24, 1936, September 11, 1937, September 18, 1937, October 2, 1937; "Leesville Leader": June 19, 1958  


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