Museum the New Llano Colony

Irene Maki

Birth: Born around 1919 in Minnesota.  

Family Information: Daughter of Mary Maki.

Sister of Milton, Willhart, Gertrude, Myrtle and George Maki.  


Pre-Colony History: She came to the colony with her family in November of 1928, when she was in 4th grade.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In June of 1932 she helped Mrs. Killian and her "busy beavers" make peanut butter. The helpers were Doris Layer, Myrtle Maki, Vivian Busick and Marguerite Killian.

In April 1934 Chet Page took over in the hotel and announced that his breakfast cooks were Mrs. Maki, her daughters Myrtle and Irene, and Margaret Brough.

In June 1934 she volunteered to help out in the Oil and Mineral office by addressing post cards.

In May 1935 she was working in the hotel, on the breakfast shift with Cy Horney and Margaret Brough.

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.

Other Info: She attended the colony school through 8th grade, but because the colony high school was not accredited, she and two friends decided to attend the high school in Leesville, where she later graduated.

She was often part of the program at the theater; A junior member of the Glee Club.

In May 1929 she was part of a quartette who performed in the theater, along with Delsie Hopkins, Iris Busick and Dorothy Bridwell. Those "four little girlies most certainly s[a]ng most excellent to the piano accompaniment by Miss Mary Erma Wilson."

She was one of 16 girls who wound the broad ribbons round the Maypole at Llano's birthday party in 1932 (other dancers included Nellie (Kemp) Bradshaw, Laura (Synoground) Swenson, Ruth Shoemaker, Sylvia and Ruth Tuber, Verda Bradshaw, Hortense Self, Esta Caves, Helen Emry, Vivian Busick, Irene Hewitt, Myrtle Maki, Winnie (Ogden) Dougherty, Marguerite Killian, Iris Busick, Flora Young and Rhea Mae Baldwin.)

In 1932 played the violin in the newly organized Junior Orchestra which was being organized and taught by Fred Hamel.

In 1934, was among a group of high school girls including Iris Busick, Margaret Brough, Nona Crotts, Vivian Crossland, Erma Hayes, Afton Lewis, Rhea Baldwin, Myrtle Maki, Crystal Schutz, Jeannette Woolley and May Gossett who reported to the orchard to help with berry picking.

In March 1934 the High School assembly elected for the new student body officers: Vivian Crossland, President; Iris Busick, Vice-President; Afton Lewis, Reporter; and Rhea Baldwin, Jeanette Woolley, Irene Maki, Program Committee.  

Post-Colony History:  


Sources: YouTube Videos by son, Chuck Harper; Vernon Parish Democrat: February 28, 1929; Llano Colonist: May 25, 1929, May 14, 1932, June 16, 1932, December 10, 1932, March 3, 1934, April 7, 1934, May 12, 1934, June 2, 1934, May 25, 1935, July 20, 1935; US Census: 1930  


Banta home in background -- Standing R to L is Rachel Valleau, Mrs. Mary Maki and Irene Maki; Sitting in front is Myrtle Maki.

Irene Maki (Harper) in 2015. She currently lives in Indiana. Watch her YouTube videos about living in the colony.

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