Museum the New Llano Colony

George Matz

Birth: He was born at Bosnia Herzo-Govina, Hungary in 1874.  

Family Information: Married to Mary Matz.

Father of Rocina "Rosa" Matz.

Description: In 1918 he registered for the draft while living at Stables, Louisiana (later to become Newllano). At the time he was short, with a medium build, gray eyes and brown hair.

In one of the colony papers he was described as a "placid Hungarian accordion player".  

Pre-Colony History: In 1910 he was living in West Virginia with his niece, Marie Mesnyak and her daughter Rosa. He was working as a house carpenter and had been naturalized as an American citizen in 1903.

The family arrived at the colony from Cleveland, Ohio during the California days and probably were on the chartered train that brought most of the colonists from California in November 1917. In 1920 George and Mary were married and living at a Leesville, Louisiana address with their daughter, Rosy.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In 1920 he was hoeing the sweet potatoes in the colony garden.

Later worked in the carpenter shop -- in 1933 he was building a lined closet for the bathroom in Pickett's new house. In 1934 he was working at the planing mill.

In June 1937, soon after Pickett began operating the colony once again (as farm superintendent) Mr. Matz was working behind the Pickett home when Rex K. Dell showed up; he stopped working and showed the visitor around the gardens where there were quite a number of Youngberry and strawberry plants, besides corn, Irish potatoes, and even young tobacco plants.  

Other Info: He was one of the members of the colony when George Pickett first named General Manager.

In April 1934 a lovely gathering was held at the home of Frank Brough, another New Englander, to "God-speed" the Fay family to Norfolk, Connecticut where they hoped to arrange their affairs over the next few months and return to the colony in the fall.

Attendees enjoyed music, games and a wonderful lunch. They included: Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Archer, Drs. Robert K. and Cecil C. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. George Matz, Mrs. Maki, Smith Sanford, DeForest Sanford, George Leevey, Wm. Bingham, Dennis Stanley, Forest R. Waters, Mary Emery and the Brough family, consisting of Margaret, William and Frank.

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he and Mary were living in a home in the unincorporated New Llano, Louisiana (site of the old colony) while he worked as a carpenter. Their adopted son, George E. Kabotzy (born in New York) lived with them. That same year an advertisement for a Jersey cow and calf he offered for sale listed his address as Newllano, La.  

Death: He died in 1946 while living in Leesville, Louisiana and was buried at O'Banion Cemetery in New Llano, Louisiana.  

Sources: Baltimore Passenger Lists; US Census: 1910, 1920, 1940; US Draft Registration: WWI; "Can We Cooperate" by Bob Brown; Letter dated August 3, 1988 from Rocina Matz to "Florence"; "Vernon Parish Democrat": July 29, 1920; "Llano Colonist": February 11, 1933, April 11, 1933 (Reprinted from the Colonist May 17, 1924), January 27, 1934, April 21, 1934, June 19, 1937; "Leesville Leader": September 26, 1940, May 23, 1946, October 3, 1946;  


George Matz and (Right) Mary Matz with their daughter Rocina and her son, George Benz.

George and Mary Matz

Clipping from the Leesville Leader, May 23, 1946.

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