April 1

On this date …

1975: Texas International Airlines announced the end of its four-month strike and said most of its flights would be operating again by week’s end. That included TIA service to Clovis Municipal Airport, said Jim Malloy, chairman of the Clovis Civil Aviation Board.

1965: Eastern New Mexico had a new club — “Mollie’s Knitting Club,” named for a Hereford woman who was the club’s instructor. Members at the initial gathering ate sack lunches at a Bellview woman’s home “to give more time for the ladies to knit and receive special instructions,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1953: Clovis city bus service had been unavailable since March 16, but was expected to return in a few days with a new schedule and new fares. Adults could ride for 15 cents; children for a nickel. The new scheduled called for three hours of runs in the mornings and three hours of runs in the afternoons with “special” service on Saturdays, Mondays and holidays, the Clovis News-Journal reported. Evening service between the city and Clovis Air Force Base was also tentatively planned.

1950: John Burroughs headed the “Good Government” ticket in Portales’ upcoming city elections.
Burroughs’ group, which also included City Council candidates Pat Patterson, Jack Mears, Joe Ray and Roger Pattison, said they wanted to eliminate politics from the hiring of city employees. Another priority was to purchase a two-way radio system for city police.
Opponents questioned whether Burroughs, who said he had lived in Portales four years, was even eligible to run for office. Opponents also alleged the “Good Government” was representing interests at Eastern New Mexico University.
Floyd Kennedy defeated Burroughs in the mayor’s race, but Mears and Ray were elected.
Burroughs went on to become New Mexico’s 18th governor in 1959.

Their business …

1970: The largest land sale in the Southwest in 23 years had been completed with the sale of the Bell Ranch. The Keeney family had owned the 130,855-acre ranch northwest of Tucumcari since 1947 before selling it to William N. Lane of Chicago. The ranch had 28 miles of reservoir and river frontage bordering its western acreage. One of its major landmarks is a jutting mesa, made famous as a backdrop for the television series “Rawhide,” which filmed in the region for six weeks in 1959.

Transitions …

1975: The Clovis News-Journal celebrated its 46th birthday, marking the date Mack Stanton purchased two local weeklies and combined them into a daily. That makes CNJ 86 today.

March 31

On this date …

1975: Two men wearing blue ski caps and armed with a small revolver and a knife robbed the Seafood Shop at 1005 W. Seventh in Clovis about 9 p.m. One of the robbers put a knife to the throat of waitress Debbie Beanudet. Another waitress, Ann Meador, was told to empty the cash register and the robbers fled with about $100, officials said.

1955: The underground water level in the new Curry County irrigation area showed a drop of 2 feet, according to a study released by the U.S. Geological Survey. The number of acres irrigated had grown from 30,000 to 40,000 during the year, the survey showed. The survey estimated 60,000 acres would be irrigated in Curry County by 1956.

1950: The City Council race was heating up in Portales, or at least the newspaper ads were becoming more interesting. Art Jones Jr. promised, if elected councilman from the second ward, he would not sit around on his (photo of a donkey) but would “git.”

1949: Cricket Coogler, an 18-year-old Las Cruces waitress, went missing. She was later found dead, raped and run over by a car. Pittsburgh Steelers football player Jerry Nuzum of Clovis was accused in her death, but a district judge declared Nuzum innocent at trial. “The judge said the prosecution failed entirely to connect Nuzum in any way with the death of the waitress,” The Associated Press reported. One woman said she saw two state police officers throw Coogler into a police car and drive away after slugging her unconscious, but no one was ever convicted in her slaying.

Their business …

1975: The Melrose Industrial Corp. approved its bylaws. Its mission was to “enliven the city of Melrose by increasing employment, payroll, business volume and corresponding factors and profits,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

1950: The Dairy Queen was open in Portales at 800 SW State St. Ice cream cones were “delicious and nutritious” and priced at 5 cents and 10 cents, according to a newspaper ad.

Transitions …

2004: The Clovis News Journal reported Curry County had more registered Republicans than Democrats for the first time in its history.

1955: Neil Nicholas of Kenna was preparing to graduate from Elida High School. The Portales Daily News reported Nicholas was “quiet and shy, but a swell guy.” He played baseball, was the business manager for the basketball team, had been cast in the senior play and was a member of the annual staff.

March 29

On this date …

1975: A surprise snow storm that dumped about 5 inches across eastern New Mexico was reported as “generally beneficial to area farmers,” by Curry County Extension Agent Phil Crystal. “I’m sure the farmers would rather have a storm like this than a sandstorm any day,” Crystal said.

1962: Clovis police reports included the alleged theft of a billfold containing $600. A bike was also reported stolen on Gidding Street, a mattress caught fire at 307 Reid St., and a Clovis man was fined $10 for “failure to have vehicle under control,” the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Portales-Causey 1960 box score

Portales-Causey 1960 box score

1960: Portales defeated Causey, 17-14, in a high school baseball game at Portales’ Morrison Field. Shortstop Ronnie Hooper hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Rams to victory just as darkness set in. The Tomcats scored five runs in the top of the first inning and finished with 14 hits.

1955: Norma Smith, a senior at Eastern New Mexico University, was named Miss Portales over 20 other contestants. The Portales native was majoring in education and would represent the city at the Truth or Consequences Fiesta a week later.

A new beginning …

2004: The historic Mesa Theater on Clovis’ Main Street had been donated to Clovis Community College by Lyle Walker, Kenneth Broad, Julian Bivins and the estate of Vi Petty. The theater was renamed the Norman and Vi Petty Performing Arts Center.

Their business …

1970: There was “no need to build on … just bring those unused items to Mennell’s Auction,” at 2021 E. Second St. in Clovis. A newspaper ad reported Mennell’s held an auction at 7 p.m. every Thursday.

1960: Mac’s Drive In was looking for car hops. Experience was not necessary. Shifts were available for day or night work.

Transitions …

1971: An overdose of barbiturates was blamed for the accidental death of an 18-year-old Portales boy. The boy had recently been arrested for possession of illegal drugs, but charges were dropped because of an invalid search warrant, the Clovis News-Journal reported. He was awaiting trial on his alleged role in a recent burglary at Portales Drug.

March 28

On this date …

1975: Snow blanketed the region and low temperatures came in at 16 degrees. Nine traffic accidents were blamed on the early-spring storm, including one that sent three people to Memorial Hospital in Clovis. Fort Sumner’s Irene Stout reported 45-mph winds uprooted three telephone poles, blew street signs down and tore off three barn roofs in the area. Portales had seen close to 2 inches of snow by noon.

1955: Portales Floral, at 301 S. Ave. C, was planning to give away a live rabbit on Easter morning. Anyone interested could register when purchasing plants.

1955: Worley Mills announced plans to build an electronically controlled feed mill in Clovis. The plant, which Worley said would be among the most modern in the nation, would manufacture livestock and poultry feeds in mash, crumble, pellet and cube form. Completion was scheduled for November. The plant planned to employ 50.

A nation mourns …



1969: Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who led the European allies to military victory in World War II, died of congestive heart failure at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Eisenhower was 78. Eisenhower was the only sitting president to visit Curry County. He’d been to the Raymond Worrell farm eight miles west of Clovis on Jan. 14, 1957, part of a two-day drought-inspection tour of the Southwest.

Transitions …

1969: L.M. Wood, 82, of 2100 Gidding St. in Clovis, died at Clovis Memorial Hospital. He operated Clovis’ first livery stable when he came to the city in 1909, the Clovis News-Journal reported. He also operated several grocery stores and was the Chrysler-Dodge dealer in town for 20 years, the paper reported.

1955: A transient peddler found unconscious in a Portales rooming house a day earlier died at Roosevelt General Hospital. Officials said he died from a stroke. Family members were located in Oklahoma and made plans to bury Roy Randolph, 60, at a Clovis cemetery near his brother. Randolph was a World War I veteran and had been a frequent patient in veterans hospitals, The Portales Daily News reported.

March 27

On this date …

1975: The government’s peanut subsidy, which had cost more than $600 million to help farmers in the past 20 years, was about to cost taxpayers another $140 million — to dispose of surplus peanuts, The Associated Press reported. The Agriculture Department had a policy that it would not sell surplus peanuts at prices less than it guaranteed growers.

1969: First Assembly of God Church in Clovis was preparing to host The Singing Meeks Family of Houston for two nights. The Saturday night program offered a “special youth emphasis,” a promotional advertisement reported.

1960: A new direct dialing system was in effect for Portales Telephone Co-Op subscribers who wanted to call Dora. The Dora prefix was formerly GReenwood 7; the new prefix was GReenwood 8. “Unless the new prefix is dialed, you won’t get your number,” the Portales News-Tribune reported.

1955: Baptist churches throughout Southern New Mexico began hosting simultaneous revivals. Fourteen Baptist churches in Roosevelt County began revival services, which were scheduled to continue until April 9.

1944: A four-engined bomber from Clovis Army Air Base crashed into a plowed field nine miles north of Clovis on a routine training flight. All nine men on board were killed. Rancher A.J. Kemp saw the crash and rushed to the scene. He said bodies were strewn over a wide area and wreckage was scattered for about a half mile.

It’s their business … 4 Lane

1952: The 4 Lane Drive-In movie theater on East Mabry Drive outside Clovis was preparing for its “gala opening.” The first two shows were “Best of the Badmen” and “The Boy with Green Hair.”

1950: G.L. Drake, of Bateman’s women’s clothing store in Portales, announced he had bought T.R. Bateman’s interest in the store. Drake said he would change the store’s name to Drake’s, but store policies and lines carried would remain the same. Drake had been a partner in Bateman’s for two years.

Transitions …

1960: A Clovis man was found dead off of a lonely country road, holding a white and gold crucifix in his right hand, with a note written in Spanish by his side. A long, green hose attached to the exhaust pipe of his 1950 Studebaker poked through a window in his car. Sheriff Nelson Worley said the death was apparently a suicide. He said the note “just told his brothers and sisters to be good, you know, to go to church and to confession. It didn’t say anything about why he did it,” Worley said.

1955: Pvt. Sonny Smith, a Portales High School graduate and former student at Eastern New Mexico University, had completed his Army basic training and was stationed at Fort Hamilton, New York, with the AAA 69th Batallion

March 26

On this date …

1975: James Harding, a veteran teacher with stops at New Mexico Military Institute, Gadsden High School and Truth or Consequences, had been hired as principal at Texico High School. “He was mainly chosen because he has a good attitude toward education and a good philosophy of education,” said Jim Pierce, the school’s new superintendent. “He also has the ability to cope with the students.”

1973: Josie had won the pedigree poodle class for dogs over 9 months old at the Eastern New Mexico Humane Society Dog Show. Josie, owned by Richelle Fawcett of Portales, also won best-dressed honors in a red skirt and red hat.

1970: The board of deacons at Clovis’ Central Baptist Church voted to withhold all support from the Christian Life Commission. It also asked the commission be abolished “unless there is an immediate change in policy.” Actions followed a commission seminar about two weeks earlier in which a “Playboy” magazine manager was among guest speakers. Anson Mount of “Playboy” had said, “… sex can and ought to be fun (while) all the organized church has ever had to say about unmarried sex is ‘Don’t.’” Amarillo’s First Baptist Church also withdrew its financial support after the seminar.

1960: New Mexico Secretary of State Betty Fiorina was spending the weekend in Portales, mixing business with pleasure. She talked with Bishop Printing and Lithographing about printing ballots for the primary election and also stopped in for a visit with the Roosevelt County clerk’s office. The pleasure time was spent with her son Tommy, a student at Eastern New Mexico University.

1955: E.G. Minton, the man in charge of underground water regulations for the state engineer’s office, was pitching an idea to recharge the reservoir that supplied irrigation water to the Portales Valley. His plan was to use a “well in reverse” that would pump floodwater into the reservoir.

Word on the street …

1960: A Portales News-Tribune reporter asked area residents if “installment buying” was getting out of hand and, if so, should government intervene. Carl McCoy of 1616 S. Ave. E said he thought it was out of control, but not a government issue. “I think people should (stop) it themselves,” he said. “Our biggest problem is people trying to live it up before they make it.”

It’s their business …

1964: Clovis city commissioners were planning to pass a resolution requiring labeling of all meat imported into the city. The purpose was to “protect local meat dealers,” the Clovis News-Journal reported. Tucumcari City Manager Jim Fleming said his community was planning similar action. “We can’t compete with cheap goods flooding the country,” Fleming said.

1950: Dr. Lela Townley, whose chiropractor’s office was at 202 1/2 NE State St., reminded customers, “Your health is priceless — Care for it.” The office phone number was 59.

In service to his country …

1958: Elvis Presley was in the Army now. The musician had been drafted and was stationed in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Military officials offered Presley opportunity to enlist in the Special Services where he would entertain the troops and live in priority housing, but he declined and served a two-year stint as a “regular soldier.”

March 25

On this date …

1975: A 70-year-old California woman with $6,000 cash in her purse was found by Clovis police pawing through trash at the city dump. Police had first encountered the woman earlier in the day when she collapsed at Prince and Brady streets. “She refused any treatment and asked to be allowed to go on her way,” the Clovis News-Journal reported. After police found her in the dump, they discovered the cash and learned she had been traveling through Clovis with a sister who had gone on to Louisiana without her. The woman was turned over to social services in Clovis and family members were en route to pick her up.

1975: Navy Seaman Matthew Acker of Portales had graduated from Mess Management Specialist School at the Naval Training Center in San Diego. The eight-week course included instruction and on-the-job training in food preparation, menu planning and food service.

1960: Eastern New Mexico University was committed to a 10 percent budget reduction, but Board of Regents President Clarence Worley said faculty pay would remain the same. Most of the cuts would come in maintenance and supplies, Worley said, and just three new faculty members would be hired, instead of the seven planned.

1955: Tommy Cook of Portales, a freshman at Eastern New Mexico University, had been elected president of New Mexico’s Future Farmers of America. Another ENMU student, Alta Hamilton of Clovis, had been named the organization’s secretary.

Headed nowhere fast …

1970: A pair of 19-year-old hitchhikers were picked up on West Seventh Street by Clovis Police Chief Ken Kingsbury. They agreed to accompany the chief to the police department for questioning, and were then released. Soon after, police found a “sack full” of marijuana near a chair where one of the youths had been sitting, the Clovis News-Journal reported. They were picked up again and jailed on drug charges. Bonds were set at $1,000 each.

Their business …

1968: Poor Boys Butcher Shop, at 801 Prince in Clovis, reminded customers, “Meat is our business, not a sideline.” Poor Boys offered club steaks and sirloin steaks for 89 cents per pound, and a bag of three cornish hens for $1.29.

1960: Ellerd & Ellerd Feed Store, formerly Ben’s Feed Store at 723 S. Ave. C in Portales, offered “fast, clean production line milking with a De Laval combine milker.” The system was “easier on cows’ udders,” an Ellerd newspaper ad claimed.

Transitions …

1950: Bob Slone had taken over the Farmers Hatchery and Supply Co. on South Montana Street and would operate it as sole owner. He planned to discontinue the hatchery, but would handle farm implements, The Portales Daily News reported. The business would be known as the Slone Implement Co.

March 24

On this date …

2007: Communities across Roosevelt, Curry and Quay counties were picking up debris and evaluating losses after multiple tornadoes tore through the region the night before. Clovis was hardest hit with more than a dozen hurt and more than 100 homes and businesses destroyed. Two Clovis residents soon died from injuries suffered in the storm.

1959: Vernie McGhee of 309 W. Tierra Blanca in Clovis reported to police that someone had stolen women’s clothing from the wash line in the yard of her home.

1955: Clovis house mover Homer Bennett was fined $106 for traffic violations in Portales. Bennett pleaded guilty to failing to obtain a permit from state police and failing to have his equipment inspected by state police. Two other charges against him were dropped.

For future reference …

1909: Clyde Barrow was born in Ellis County, Texas. A petty thief as a child, he soon became one of the nation’s most notorious outlaws of the Great Depression. His gang, which included Bonnie Parker, was believed responsible for killing 13 people in daring bank robberies and other criminal activity, according to biography.com. Bonnie and Clyde were frequently rumored to be in eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle and Bonnie was badly burned in a car accident near Wellington, Texas, in June 1933. The pair was killed by more than 100 bullets fired by law officers on May 23, 1934, near Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

Memories …

2004: The Mesa Theater on Clovis’ Main Street had been donated to Clovis Community College by the estate of Vi Petty. Originally a movie theater, the building was renovated as a recording studio by Norman and Vi Petty in the late 1960s. LeAnn Rimes and the Fireballs were among artists who recorded in the historic studio. Renovations continue at the theater, now called Norman and Vi Petty Performing Arts Center.

March 22

On this date …

1975: Medical reports showed two Iranian students attending Eastern New Mexico University died March 13 from carbon monoxide poisoning. Seyed Moshen Ariarad, 31, and Ebrahim Karimi, 27, were found dead on the bedroom floor of Karimi’s home at 1519 W. 17th St. in Portales. Officials said a friend found them earlier passed out on the floor in the living room, thought they were drunk, and summoned more friends to move them to the bedroom. The graduate students were found dead eight hours later. Tests showed “a concentration of carbon monoxide” was found in Karimi’s car, and officials theorized that may have been the source of the poisoning. Their bodies were being flown to Tehran, Iran.

1967: Wayne Hallmark, an all-state wingback from Clovis, had been named to the high school all-American football team by “Coach and Athlete” magazine. Hallmark had scored 172 points during the 1966 Clovis High season, breaking Tommy McDonald’s record of 151 points.

1960: Lions Clubs in Portales and Elida were preparing to celebrate the opening of a new gym at Elida High School. Both clubs had formed basketball teams and would play each other at the gym’s dedication on March 24. Players included Bill Tinsley, Pete Jones, Pat Patterson and B.B. Lees.

1953: Nine people had been arrested following late Saturday night raids conducted simultaneously on two West First Street homes in Clovis. Officers seized alcoholic beverages allegedly held for illegal sale and broke up a poker game.

1950: Portales’ community-financed hotel was scheduled to be built on the Carr-Jones property at the corner of Union and Nevada streets, next to Hobbs Chevrolet. A $20,000 contract for the purchase of the property had been signed. Estimates to build the hotel were at $400,000. About $240,000 had already been paid, though 12 subscribers were behind in payments, The Portales Daily News reported.

In state news …

1955: Gov. John Simms announced he would not sign a bill that would have built a youth reformatory in Quay County. Simms cited cost as his primary concern. The proposed institution’s price tag was $650,000.

Their business …

1960: Portales National Bank reported it had deposits totaling more than $4 million. Douglas Stone was bank president. Directors were Lewis Cooper, Frances Hatch, T.E. Mears, T.E. Mears Jr., and Stone.

Quotable …

1975: “It’s a real rat race. And the rats are winning.” — State Rep. Hoyt Pattison of Clovis, when asked about activities in the Legislature.

March 21

On this date …

1971: Clint Judah of 1808 Axtell in Clovis authored a letter published in the Clovis News-Journal offering praise “where praise is greatly deserved but is so seldom given. I would like to say thanks to a policeman (or cop or pig as they are so unjustly called) who knocked on my door while I was asleep to let me know my large wood pile was burning up. Our faithful fire department was already on the job trying to extinguish the fire,” he wrote.

1962: The firing of all kinds of guns, whether they shoot bee-bees, darts or real bullets, were illegal in the Portales city limits, Police Chief Keith Rowland reminded residents. With one picture window and a couple of car windows recently punctured with bee-bee shots, Rowland also reminded parents they could be held liable for any damage caused by their children.

1960: Melvin Berry, of 142 S. Indio, won the $100 cash award in the Portales Days Bingo contest. About 300 people entered the contest in which businesses marked customers’ Bingo cards.

Their business …

1940: Haynes Motors & Co., at 112 E. Grand in Clovis, asked potential customers, “Why lug the drum when you can twirl the baton?” A newspaper ad explained, “You never yet saw a band come down the street without someone out in front setting the tempo, while someone back in the crowd obediently thumped in time. So why drive a car that’s along for the march — when you can pilot a Buick and show the others the way?” Prices began at $895 for business coupes.

Transitions …

1955: The first day of spring arrived in “an overcoat and galoshes,” The Portales Daily News reported. Area residents awoke to snow covering the ground and temperatures in the teens. By noon, the sun was shining and temperatures had climbed to 30.