Aug. 2

On this date …

1962: The Corral Playhouse in Portales was hosting the final night of “Smilin’ Through.”

The love story centered around a family feud was characterized as a “delightfully done tear-jerker,” by Clovis News-Journal writer Frank Smith.

1939: President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act, named for its author, Sen. Carl Hatch, of Clovis.

The act, still in force today, prohibits civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.

1937: The Clovis Evening News-Journal reported farmer A.G. Kenyon had a well pumping 90,000 gallons of water an hour.

Kenyon, whose crops east of Clovis included peanuts, wheat and sweet potatoes, said his well ran 11 hours a day.

The sporting life …

1960: First rounds in a partnership, low-ball, low-total golf tournament were to be played off in both first flight and championship flight.

Don Crockett, Clovis city champion, set the 18-hole qualifying pace the previous weekend with a 1-under-par 71 for medalist honors.

Aug. 1

On this date …

1967: A Tucumcari man was listed in critical condition after being struck by lightning while hoeing on a Grady farm. Camilio Sandoval, 60, died from his injuries about two weeks later.

1955: Five New Mexico cities, including Portales, were to be honored for their 1954 traffic safety records. Plaques were given cities that had no vehicle fatalities in the city limits.

1923: The U.S Post Office announced it would begin providing free city mail delivery in Clovis. The city’s population had grown to more than 5,000 in fewer than two decades.

It’s their business …

1962: Ronnie Blair expressed his “sincere thanks” to customers for 16 years of business at Blair Motor Co. in Clovis. Don Rierson and Danny Mitchell were the region’s new Studebaker-Rambler dealers.

1901: The first Portales newspaper, The Progress, began weekly publication. The Portales Herald followed in 1902, just before the Portales Times launched and eventually merged with the Herald.

July 31

On this date …

1975: New Mexico Gov. Jerry Apodaca spent the day in Clovis, discussing political issues and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Little League all-star baseball game.

He said he did not support expansion of the state penitentiary despite the growing prison population, but he did support the idea of a second state penitentiary, perhaps in the Four Corners area.

1960: Stroud’s Food Market at 523 S. Ave. C in Portales offered bacon for 49 cents per pound.

Cans of peaches were 25 cents, Cokes were six for 29 cents, and 8-inch fruit pies were three for $1.

1960: Clovis dedicated its new Salvation Army building at Second and Axtell streets.

Construction cost $24,500 and was funded with private donations locally and through the Salvation Army, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

July 30

On this date …

1975: Clovis Police Chief Nelson Worley had issued a list of “self-protection tips for women.” The 27 tips included:

• Install a peep hole in the door.
• Replace locks when moving to a new home.
• Draw shades after dark and never dress in front of windows.
• Stay near people and avoid short cuts through parks, vacant lots or other deserted areas.
• Hold your purse close, not dangling.
• If attacked, bite.

1970: Clovis city commissioners were hearing complaints from residents about poorly kept cemeteries.

City Attorney Harry Patton agreed to look into “alternatives to private ownership” of Lawn Haven and Mission Garden cemeteries, the Clovis News-Journal reported.

Plot owners said a Colorado company was supposed to be providing perpetual care, but those services were not being provided.

1960: About $1,000 worth of boating equipment was damaged in a fire at the Curry County Fairgrounds.

Officials said a caretaker was burning weeds near a barn and flames apparently spread inside the barn where the equipment was stored.

The equipment was owned by Red’s Boat Shop, 201 E. First in Clovis, which rented the barn for storage.

1940: K.C. Lea had been named director of student aid at Eastern New Mexico College in Portales.

Lea, a former Curry County superintendent of schools, was to have “charge of all college efforts to provide work for students needing assistance,” according to college officials.

July 29

On this date …

1975: Charles Higdon, the band instructor at Marshall Junior High in Clovis, was among coaches for a summer band camp.

Young musicians participating included sixth-graders Jackie Holt, Kenda Sue Dickenson and Cindy McDaniel.

1965: Heavy rains had pounded the region in recent days.

The Otho Smith farm in Quay County recorded 5 inches of moisture the past two days, the Tucumcari Daily News reported.

Conchas Lake levels had climbed almost a quarter-foot in 24 hours, to an elevation of 4,201 feet.

1955: A front-page photo in The Portales Valley News showed a cat nursing two kittens along with three baby skunks.

The cat belonged to Emory Ferguson who lived near Portales.
The skunks came from an alfalfa field where their mother had drowned.

1955: Barry Stone, 17 of Portales, had a photo op with President Eisenhower in the nation’s capital.

Stone, holder of the New Mexico high jump record of 6 feet, 4 5/8 inches, was in Washington with American Legion Boys Nation.

His picture with the president appeared in the Aug. 5 edition of The Portales Valley News.

It’s their business …

1960: Worley Mills, with locations in Portales and Elida, sold fly spray and fly cake.

The cake could be used “anywhere flies are a problem,” according to a newspaper ad.

Worley Mills also offered a complete line of insecticides for field and garden.

1960: Harding Burris’ cotton crop near Elida was lost to heavy rain and hail.

The hail came with 1.5 inches of heavy rain, Burris said. Other farms around Elida received up to 2.5 inches of rain.

July 28

On this date …

1970: Retirement receptions were honoring two longtime Eastern New Mexico University faculty members.

History Professor Ira C. Inde and education Professor Thelma Mallory had 62 years of service to ENMU between them.

1960: Area softball players were preparing for the weekend Clovis Jaycee Invitational tournament at Jaycee Park.

Teams entered included Horton and Sons, Powell’s Machine Shop and Helton Oil.

July 27

On this date …

1975: A San Jon couple was killed when an explosion rocked their home.

Erman and Thelma Waller, both 67, died in the blast. They’d lived in the area since 1937.

Officials said a leaky butane line caused the explosion, which was so forceful it forced the home’s floors through its roof.

Debris was scattered a block away.

July 26

On this date …

1975: Esther Flores was reigning queen of the Fiesta de Portales, which had been held at Lindsey Park in Portales.

The selection had been made based on contributions, which were used for the next year’s fiesta.

Flores collected $140.

Runner-up was Glorie Corralez, who collected $107.49.

1960: Judy Hallford, 8, was hospitalized at Roosevelt General after a freak accident that occurred on her family’s farm near Arch.

Judy’s father, Lavon Hallford, was running a shredder to kill weeds when he saw Judy, who was playing nearby, jump and begin running, with blood spurting from her leg.

Family members believed the shredder had flung a 6-inch piece of wire that hit the girl in the leg.

The gash required 70 stitches to close.

She was released from the hospital a day later.

Price check …

1970: Furr’s grocery store at 1001 Main in Clovis offered a 20-ounce bottle of Listerine mouthwash for 89 cents.

Fresh ground hamburger was 53 cents per pound.

Three “California-golden” ears of corn went for 29 cents.

July 25

On this date …

1960: Bob White, who farmed west of Portales near the Bethel road, drove the front wheels of his tractor into a long-forgotten well.

Only the tractor’s radiator kept the entire tractor from dropping 8 feet to the bottom of the well.

White, who was not injured, said he had driven over the same area many times. He said the well must have been dug before he began farming the place. He speculated recent rains may have forced years of dirt over the well to settle inside.

1959: Gordon Ellis, 13, shot his parents as they slept in Tucumcari.

The boy’s father, Ted Ellis, died from his wounds on Aug. 16, 1959. That same day, area newspapers reported, Gordon’s mother, Charlotte Ellis, was still hospitalized in good condition while Gordon was undergoing psychiatric evaluation.

Newspapers described Gordon as handicapped and a “cripple” who was born with a cleft palette. They also said the eighth-grader was a good student who delivered papers for the Tucumcari Daily News.

District Attorney Victor Breen told reporters Gordon did not seem to understand the seriousness of what he had done. He asked police officers if they thought he would get a spanking, Breen told the Santa Fe New Mexican.

New Mexico newspapers provided multiple motives for the boy’s actions, ranging from his parents’ refusing to buy him a motor scooter to anger because they would not let him visit his grandmother.

Gordon also told police he decided not to shoot his parents moments after entering their room, but the rifle accidentally discharged.

In national pastime news …

1955: Major League Baseball inducted six of the game’s all-time greats into its Hall of Fame: Joe DiMaggio, Ted Lyons, Dazzy Vance, Gabby Hartnett, Frank “Home Run” Baker and Ray Schalk.

July 24

On this date …

1975: A Clovis News-Journal review by Diana Seiffert began, “Go. Even if it’s the last two dollars in your pocket you’ll be spending, don’t miss ENMU’s ‘Man of La Mancha.’”

The Eastern New Mexico University school of music had put together “one of the most natural pieces of theater to come out of Portales in years,” Seiffert wrote.

1960: Mrs. Cecil Parks, head of the piece goods department at Portales’ J.C. Penney’s, had sold a dress design to McCall’s Pattern Corp.

The design was for a beige and brown regulated cotton “Western dress,” Parks said.

She did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

1950: A Seagraves, Texas, man was arrested by Texas Rangers on suspicion of stealing cattle near Texico.

Investigators received a tip the Seagraves man may have been involved in multiple area cattle thefts and they soon learned he’d spent time in prison for similar cattle thefts.

The suspect was identified as the man who sold a stolen cow and steer to a rancher near Hugoton, Kansas.