New Mexico woman recounts her past

By Don McAlvy: Columnist

Editor’s note: Miss Nelle Gable moved to Santa Fe in the late 1890s. On Jan. 3, 1899, she married Charles Adolphus Scheurich, who in his lifetime became known as a pioneer builder in New Mexico, Curry County, and especially Clovis, she said. This is her story.

“My husband was the grandson of Charles Bent, first American governor of the Territory of New Mexico, and was killed defending his family in the uprising of the Taos Indians in 1847.

“For six years, Charles Scheurich was a postal clerk for the Denver-Rio Grande Railroad on the now extinct run between Colorado and Santa Fe. It was during that time that we were married. We later moved to Bland, N.M., a mining town where Los Alamos is now, where he operated a general store.

“Leaving the merchandising field, my husband became chief of commissary for the Santa Fe, but when the railroad started a new line from Texico to Belen, we homesteaded near Encino, a town he was instrumental in naming, together with E. P. Ripley, president of the Santa Fe Railroad. My husband opened a merchandise store there.

“Mr. R. C. Reid, who laid out townsites for the railroad, told my husband that a division point was to be built in eastern New Mexico and advised him to buy property in anticipation of the creation of a new town. As Melrose was originally scheduled for the site, my husband bought lots there, later exchanging them for lots in Clovis.

“We came to Clovis shortly after the turn of the century and first operated a general merchandise store with R. C. Reid and Chester Iden where the Hotel Clovis now stands. In 1907 my husband established the Scheurich Agency at 110 West Grand Ave. after the post office was moved from that site to another. For over 40 years he managed this business, selling out in 1947, but retaining the office for his personal business until December of 1948.

“In the early days, my husband accepted the commission to go to Santa Fe to attempt to secure a county designation for the area around Clovis. Roosevelt and Quay counties were both fighting the creation of a new county, and my husband found himself in the midst of a battle royal . . . a situation he enjoyed tremendously. He is said to have diverted attention from his county bill in the legislature by introducing another measure which would have prohibited sale of intoxicants in the state. He often bragged that in the resultant confusion, his Curry County measure slid through to passage almost unnoticed.

“One of the first county commissioners, he also served on the first city commission, state highway commission and the state REA board, in addition to belonging to numerous local civic groups. He also carried the designation of an honorary member of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.”

Mrs. Scheurich also became known for her work in the community. It was in her home that the PEO Sisterhood was organized in 1923. She also raised money for the Clovis Woman’s Club clubhouse. The couple had no children of their own. But they did raise their niece Bernice Gable Hall and a grand-nephew, Carlos Hall. Mrs. Scheurich died Jan. 24, 1964.

“Uncle Charley,” as Charles Schevrich became known here, died on Oct. 12, 1949, at 82.
Funeral services were held at Sacred Heart Church, and he was buried in Clovis.

He was born in Taos, the oldest of five children of Aloys and Teresina Bent Scheurich, and was a great-nephew of Kit Carson, his grandfather and Kit Carson having married sisters. Uncle Charley was the leading citizen in Clovis for 40 years, an experienced man in finances, real estate and politics, and knew the history of Clovis and Curry County, and was called on many times to make decisions in the early growth of our town.