Dentist cared for equestrian clientele

By Don McAlavy: Local columnist

John Edward Homan came to Clovis in 1910. For 12 years he was a horse dentist who had his office in the Beck and Bells Wagon Yard at Second and Mitchell streets.

The wagon yard was on the northwest corner. His family included his wife Myrtle and 10 children, five of them born in Clovis: Buford, Vivian, Lilburn, Pat, and Mary Alice.

Dr. Homan developed a large and highly successful practice and his services were sought after by ranchers and cattlemen from a wide area surrounding Clovis. Then he loaded up his family and moved to Negra and was there three years. Then he moved his family to the McIntosh community in Torrance County and established a store. He had a successful truck line between Mountainair and Albuquerque, the Homan Truck Line, which he started in 1925.

One of the Homan sons, Buford, age 16, drowned in the Soda Lake, 15 miles east of Muleshoe. He had been working for the Spring Lake Ranch, as did other boys.

John Homan was born in Fort Wayne, Ind. in 1866 and received training in a veterinary college in Kansas City. Following graduation he moved to New Mexico in 1904. He had married Miss Myrtle Kingrey of Joplin, Mo. Mrs. Homan was born in Nebraska. Their first child was Verias. One of their sons, Lilburn, became a state legislator and also a rancher and school teacher. When Eisenhower was running for president, Lilburn toured him around New Mexico with Gov. Ed Mechem. Ike wanted a home cooked meal, not “Chicken A La King,” so Lilburn took him home to his mother and Myrtle cooked him a meal there in Torrance County at her home.

Mr. Homan died of a heart attack at his home in McIntosh on Dec. 29, 1934, at age 68. He had been active for many years in civic and education affairs and served for several years as a member of the school board in Clovis and In Torrance County. He was buried in the McIntosh Cemetery.

Author’s note: In a Nov. 1 e-mail from Marge Davis of Clovis she asked me if I knew where Beck and Bells Wagon Yard was. I did and told her. She was helping one of the Homan daughters, Janice Blevins, with her family genealogy. Then I asked for more information on the Homan family and received the story above. I also got from Janice a poem/ad that her dad used for his business while in Clovis that shows he had his business at Beck and Bells Wagon Yard. The poem “How to Tell the Age of a Horse” is long, so I can only print here the last verse:

“At nine is the time when a horse needs care, for in this sandy country his teeth will wear. If your horse’s condition is not good — Then do as all men should. Have his troubles removed today — By Dr. Homan who is here to stay — At Beck and Bells yard, you’ll find him there — Doing business on the square.”

Don McAlavy is Curry County’s historian. He can be contacted at:
dmcalavy@telecopelab.com