Museum the New Llano Colony

R.V. Shoemaker

Birth: He was born around 1884 in Missouri.  

Family Information: First husband of Maud (Shoemaker) Van Nuland.

Father of Hope, Ruth, Isom and Ward Shoemaker.

Married Anna (Shutt) Shoemaker while living in the colony.  

Description: Of about average or a little above medium height, he was described in the Colonist as being muscular, light complected, with sandy hair and Roman features. He was compact and stockily built, which explained his strength.

In conversation he had little to say, but when he talked people listened. His mother had died when he was only 11 years old and he and his two brothers and father had run the farm on a co-operative plan among themselves.

Over the years, he had built concrete bridges, done a lot of stone-mason work and been involved with five other co-operative concerns before coming to the colony.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1920 he was living in Missouri with his first wife and children and working as a farmer.  

Home in Colony: Prior to 1931 he lived at the colony dairy with his first wife and children, but in December 1931 it was reported that he had begun living at the Rice Ranch.

In 1934 he was living at the Gila location.

In March 1933 a group departed for the new unit at Gila, New Mexico, along with RV Shoemaker and his wife, Ann; McCullough and his wife; Beanfellow, shoemaker; Dan Taran, blacksmith; Royal Thompson, Kenfield, Charley Desiderio, Frank Plaga, farmers; John Neill, poultryman; Ludwig Mahler, butcher; and Milton Maki, machinist; with Warren Mitchell and Lee Fread as chauffeurs. The chauffeurs would not stay, but return to the colony with the truck. That was two fiddles, a guitar and a flute lost from the orchestra... 

Job in Colony: In November 1927 the colony was selling their crates as fast as they could get them out. Shoemaker, Oberlitner, Tefteller, Aaby, Dixon and Maxwell were getting out materials for ends and putting them together while Shutt and Gerber were sawing logs into blocks for veneer.

In 1929 he was in charge of construction and the planing mill in the colony. He also wrote articles under the heading "Construction Department" for the Llano Colonist.

In April 1929 he and Will Shipman were building a brick foundation for the new boiler and engine house connected to the machine shop at the Rice Ranch.

In 1930 he was listed as a horticulturist in the colony nursery.

In January 1931 Comrade Stevens was running the sawmill, with his small crew cutting including: Comrade Ruffner, Sturman, Ikey Jensen, Shoemaker, Peterson and "Buzzard" Wilkerson.

In 1934 he was elected to the Council for the Gila location. 

Other Info: In 1932, he helped Frank Quipp, Harry Morgan and Isom Shoemaker fill the silo at the dairy barn with corn, sorghum and peanut vines; Ward Shoemaker was inside the silo with a half dozen grade students, diligently tramping down the ensilage.  

Post-Colony History: In 1940 he was living in Gila, New Mexico with his daughter, Ruth, her husband L.W. Littlefield, and their daughter Bonnie Mae (born around 1936 in New Mexico), and working as a farmer on a farm.  

Death: He died in May 1980 in New Mexico.  

Sources: "Llano Colonist": November 5, 1927, April 13, 1929, September 21, 1929, January 24, 1931, December 5, 1931, November 5, 1932, March 25, 1933, April 14, 1934; US Census: 1920, 1930, 1940; US SSDI  


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