Museum the New Llano Colony

John Will

Birth: He was born in 1874 in Germany.  

Family Information:

He married Frances (Slaughter) Will in 1901 at Angels Camp, California.

Father of Oramil, Lois and Roberta Will.

Description: He immigrated to the United States in 1884 and by 1910 was a naturalized citizen.  

Pre-Colony History: In 1910 he was living in California with his wife, two children and mother, and working as a butcher in a shop.

The family joined the colony during the California years and made the move to Newllano, Louisiana with the body of colonists. He rode in the auto caravan with Joe Valek and Otto Swanson.  

Home in Colony: In 1920 he was living in the colony with his wife and three children.  

Job in Colony: In California, he worked on the hog farm which had 600 hogs.

In 1920 he was listed on the US Census as a butcher at the meat market.  

Other Info:  

Post-Colony History: In 1930 he was again living in California with his wife and three children, plus a daughter-in-law (Anna May) and a lodger. At the time he was working as a butcher at a meat packing plant.

In 1930 he also attended a picnic of ex-colonists at Fullerton, California. Each brought a lunch, sufficient for his needs and the needs of several others. Long tables were arranged under the shade of the park trees. The coffee was furnished by Minnie Pickett and John Will saw to it that everyone was generously served. It was unanimously agreed to form an organization that would organize future semi-annual social gatherings for the group. Minnie Pickett was chosen secretary-treasurer and Dr. Robert K. Williams was appointed assistant secretary.

The picnic was attended by more than 65 ex-colonists including: Minnie Pickett, John and Frances Will and Dorothy, Lottie Brown, Professor Lowell H. Coates, Bert Engle, Victor and Alma Swanson and Elwin, Jess and Mildred Morris, Louis and Grace Petty, Louis and Jennie Conlin, Mrs. M.E. Babb, Norman and Ethel Johnson, Ernest and Pearl Wooster, H.L. and Guy Ward, Mrs. Clara Powers and son, George, Mrs. Ada Harper, Ethel Wright, E.E. Vaughn, J.H. Ryan, Val Brown and wife, Lottie Brown, Miss A.C. Austin, Walter Millsap, Jr. and his mother, Cara Millsap, Dr. Robert K. and Dr. Cecil C. Williams, E. Krause and family, John Van Nuland (who passed around a tub of Llano candy sent by Anton, and it was "great stuff" by all those who tasted it) Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Kilmer, Professor Lowell B. Coate, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Wallace, Mr. and Mrs. Charley Earl, Mr. and Mrs. Suhre, A.L Spann, Frederick R. Johnson, A. Hansig.

In 1940 he was still living in California with his wife and working as a butcher at a packing company.  

Death: He died in 1964 at San Bernardino, California and was buried at Vallecito Cemetery #1.  

Sources: California County Birth, Marriage and Death Records; US Census: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940; "Western Democrat": December 1916; "Llano Colonist": May 10, 1930, January 21, 1933 (Early Days in California), February 25 (Story of Llano); California Death Index;  


Photo shows John Will and some of the colony hogs in a clipping from "The Western Democrat" December, 1916.

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