By Don McAlavy: CNJ Columnist
I have very little history on C. Roy Smith of Clovis. His full name was Charles Roy Smith. For some reason, he is not in our history books, but he had a good keen sense of what to do with $5,600 in 1934.
With two employees, without salary, but with a small office in the 100 block of West Fourth Street, he built a building and loan association business into a very successful venture.
I am not going into the history of his building and loan business or his abstract or insurance association.
Smith was born in Matagorda, Texas. When he enlisted in the U.S. Army on Dec. 12, 1917, he was a 25-year-old a bank clerk. He was 5-feet, 9-inches tall. He became a corporal on Jan. 9, 1919, and made sergeant on May 18, 1919.
Smith was engaged in war in France on April 23, 1918, and again on May 7, 1918. Other skirmishes or engagements was not listed. He received a Victory Medal. He had received no wounds. His character was listed as excellent. He was never AWOL nor absent from duty.
He was a single man. He was discharged at Camp Travis, Texas, on Aug. 6, 1919. He was paid in full when discharged: $143.19, including a bonus of $60. He was given travel pay to Portales. His honorable discharge document was stamped with a seal on Aug. 9, 1919, in Portales and recorded and signed by Seth A. Morrison, county clerk.
His wife was Minnie Mary Ann Porter of Deadwood, S.D. They had one child, Charles, who had to have special care. His father took him fishing almost every weekend. They had a nice cabin at a lake and spent many weekends there. On July 4 weekends, the entire crew from Smith’s two businesses were taken to Red River for a short vacation, with Smith paying all expenses. All Christmas Eve parties were held at the Smith residence at 500 N. Wallace.
The three Smiths are deceased. I don’t know where their son was buried or when. Smith was buried in Lawn Haven cemetery. Smith was born Feb. 19, 1892 and died Jan. 13, 1975. His wife died Oct. 10, 1988, and I think she is buried near her husband.
Minnie Smith had given Sam Covington, a long-time employee of Smith and Durham Abstract and Insurance, an old typewriter long ago, and Sam types letters on that typewriter to this columnist occasionally. That typewriter works good.