March 15, 1939

A 700-pound steel safe taken in the burglary of Clovis Food Market, 416 Pile, was found abandoned about eight miles north of town. The safe had been pried open and officials said “several hundred dollars” had been removed. … Clovis stayed “wet,” voting to continue its current system of licensing liquor sales. The vote was […]

March 16, 1970

Former New Mexico Gov. and Clovis resident A.W. Hockenhull wrote a letter to the editor from his home in Dallas, declaring Clovis “will always be my Magic City.” Hockenhull also wrote that he’d enclosed his check for a year’s subscription to the Clovis News-Journal. … Dear Abby was asked how a newlywed couple could get […]

March 17, 1948

Anthony’s was selling bedspreads for $5 and lace tablecloths for $2. … Five men were fined $25 each for drinking in public. Another man was fined $25 for wife beating, the Clovis News-Journal reported. … Woody Electric Co. at 117 W. Grand was offering free 10-day home demonstrations on radio-phonographs.

March 18, 1953

Police announced they had arrested 14 youth in a gang-related incident at Fourth and Main. The juveniles were armed with pop bottles, belt buckles, short lengths of chain, screw drivers, garden hose and knives. … A Clovis woman who lived at 409 W. First was recovering from a gunshot wound to her left arm. She […]

March 20, 1966

Frances Liles reported the purse stolen from her several days earlier had been found in the alley behind Sutton’s Bakery, 515 Main. Thieves took $15, but failed to find a $20 bill she had “secreted away” in a photo compartment of her billfold, she said. … Phil Crystal, Curry County’s extension agent, was writing a […]

Railway’s ‘brashness’ put Clovis on the map for good

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Don McAlavy Santa Fe Railway mechanical department workers numbering about 120 mass together on a steam locomotive in the Clovis railroad yards on April 8, 1926. Photo courtesy of the High Plains Historical Foundation. The brashness of the railroad in choosing a site on the bald prairie for a new town and division point sent […]

Long-standing house has wild history

Don McAlavy The first homes in early-1900s Clovis were tents and one- or two-room shacks. But one of the homes built in 1908, at Ninth and Gidding streets (almost out of town at the time) was the J. S. Fitzhugh home that ranked among the best homes in eastern New Mexico. It cost more than […]

Clovis History Tied to Land

Don McAlavy David Calvin Myers and his family stand outside of their home at 123 Prince St. in Clovis in 1916. Photo Courtesy of High Plains Historical Foundation. “The old-time cowmen were a type of which we will never see again. They are as distinct as gold is from silver. They came from the same […]

Golden years saw Clovis population double

Don McAlavy A decade that has been called Clovis’ “Golden Era” saw the population double in a 10-year period, and has not been matched since. The decade got off to a slow start with the early 1920s financial recession and Congress enacting prohibition in 1919, which didn’t look good to a lot of people. Even […]

Nature, military aggression tests Curry County residents

Don McAlavy “From 1931 to 1934 was the driest years I ever saw in New Mexico, and there were a lot of sandstorms,” said Lee Merrill, who owns a 10,000-acre ranch in Running Water Draw. “Back then, you could buy all the groceries you could carry for $1.50. During the big drought in 1934, the […]

Deep-well irrigation changes farming

Don McAlavy Following the end of World War II, the first irrigation wells dug are credited to either N.L. Tharp or L.R. Talley. Along the east side of Curry County and over into Parmer County, Texas, N.L. Tharp farmed. It was said that he, an inventor, fashioned an upside-down truck differential over the well casing […]

Buddy Holly, Norman Petty at the heart of the ‘Clovis Sound’

Don McAlavy In 1949, Hank Williams was all over the radio, as were a dozen cowboy, western and hillbilly singers. A few years later, Elvis Presley came out with his first hit, “That’s Alright, Mama,” and popular music would never be the same again. Then came Buddy Holly, who in 1957 soft-rocked the world with […]

Area Events of Note

Don McAlavy Events that helped the area… –1901-1907 – The Santa Fe Railway building the 250-mile Belen cut-off from Texico to Belen and founded Clovis. The railroad made possible the great influx of homesteaders from 1903-1912. –1907-present: Clovis created a 5,000-square-mile trade area that became a major factor in our growth. –1909 – The creation […]

Sources

Don McAlavy Reading sources on east-central New Mexico, Curry County and Clovis: “Curry County History,” 1978, published by the High Plains Historical Foundation of Eastern New Mexico. “High Plains History,” 1980, published by the High Plains Historical Foundation of Eastern New Mexico. “Our Kind is Hard to Kill,” 1997, by Don McAlavy. “Clovis Revisited – […]