By Don McAlavy: Local Columnist
Editor’s note: This column about Texico’s history is based on an article published in the 1913 weekly Clovis News. Full names of the residents mentioned are not available.
William M. Franklin was the first man to settle on the spot where Texico now stands. He came here prospecting in March 1902, but found no one here, so he went to Portales. He came back in May 1902 and built Texico’s first house.
Mrs. Boone is the second oldest settler of Texico and is still here. Mr. Franklin was the first railroad agent.
The following account is from Mr. Green.
I came here prospecting in August 1902 but located here Nov. 6, 1902. Then there was only one store, a restaurant and a saloon and a few families within a radius of three miles. There was no post office in Texico, but one was established in September 1902 with Mr. Franklin as postmaster.
The year of 1902 was good as were 1903, 1904, 1905 and 1906.
In 1903, the Jenkins Hotel was built, being the first one in Texico. This year 1903, the second store was built, and also Mr. Casey built his blacksmith shop. The third store was built in 1904. There were good crops and everything looked favorable to a successful year.
Mrs. Jenkins is still at her post as landlady of the Jenkins House, while Mr. Casey can still be found at his shop ready to do your blacksmithing. Business seemed to move at a rather slow, but sure gait, until the next year, 1905, when the boom struck the town in June. Then they commenced building the main line of railroad through
Texico and took up the road from Texico to Cameo in 1907.
A year and a half later, a new town just over the state line sprang up. They called it Farwell after a land company in Texas. People came to Texico and to Farwell in crowds so the two towns were scarcely able to feed and to lodge them all.
Beds were readily taken for a dollar each and some could not find them at that price. Cots were being sold at a good figure, and buildings were being rapidly erected.
People came by the thousands to get free homes or homesteads, and in 12 months time, they had them all taken up for a distance of 40 or 50 miles.
The first schoolhouse was built in 1902, consisting of a one-room building that was exchanged for a larger building containing two rooms and more on the ground floor in 1904. The school house was in use for five years, when a fine two-story school building was erected in 1909.
Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist and Christian churches were all built about the same year in 1906. During this year the First National Bank was erected and two more banks were established in Texico, and one in Farwell, being the First State Bank, which is still in operation.
The Cruce building is a fine two-story brick building containing a real estate office and other rooms mostly used for living rooms, a general store, bank, drug store and post office.
The years 1907, 1908 and 1909 were medium crop years, 1910 and 1911 were better, while 1912 bids fair for a bumper crop, say “Old Timers.”
So with another road coming into Texico to be in operation sometime in July and a bumper crop this year, 1913, everything is looking favorable. Texico and surrounding towns should be on the boom. Let it come.