Museum the New Llano Colony

Willliam Lee "Doc" Thurman

Birth: He was born in 1855 at Texas.  

Family Information: Father of Vinita and Kenneth Thurman.


Pre-Colony History: According to a family source, he wrote speeches for Eugene Debs.  

Home in Colony:  

Job in Colony: In March 1922 he, with a group of volunteers, planted a large patch of cucumbers in about an hours time. The author thought the reason he planted so many is that he expects to grow melons, pumpkins, squashes and, some said, a new kind of general fruit, from grafting and budding to his cucumber vines. The author hesitated to poke fun at Doc, he didn't want to offend him for the world, and he holped for success, but he did "have me doots" as to the success of the job.

In January 1932 he was part of a group including Joe Hough, Whitmer, Banks , Goeke and George Williams laying floors in the big concrete building and getting it ready for occupancy. 

Other Info: In 1927 he, Sid Merrel, Dan Cryer and Doc Thurman accused the colony directors, especially George T. Pickett, of mismanagement, specifically that affairs of the colony had been grossly and intentionally mismanaged and conduct of the management so flagrantly opposed to good morals that a receiver assigned by the District Court was necessary to handle affairs.

They created a petition (eventually signed by 42 persons) that alleged that management had: 1. Used misleading propaganda which caused hundreds of people to invest their money in the colony, only to be disillusioned and have to leave with nothing to show for their investment. 2. Reduced the colony to a peon camp - these "peons" being poorly fed, clothed and housed. 3. Advocated "free-love", including promiscuous relations of the sexes and other practices contrary to good morals. 4. Expressed contempt for courts and authorities by taking it upon themselves to punish two boys for stealing from the colony store. 5. Prostituted colony schools by employing nondescript persons as teachers, while issuing fraudulent reports and drawing hundreds of dollars from the Parish School funds in the names of certified teachers and by exploiting child labor. The case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court but eventually was annulled and the plaintiff's demands rejected. Read the entire story here.

Post-Colony History:  

Death: He died in 1938 at Enid, Oklahoma.  

Sources: Family Source: Virginia Harrison; Vernon Parish Democrat": April 28, 1921; "Llano Colonist": April 22, 1922, February 25, 1928, January 9, 1932, May 13, 1933 (Story of Llano), May 20, 1933 (Story of Llano); "Monroe News-Star": January 29, 1927


Clipping from the "Vernon Parish Democrat", April 28, 1921.

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