Aug. 22

On this date …

1971: Police were looking for four men accused of attacking a Clovis couple and stealing $87 as they walked through an alley in the 100 block of Connelly Street shortly after midnight. The couple told police they were walking home from a bar at 221 W. First. No serious injuries were reported.

1953: The Lubbock Hubbers dropped the Clovis Pioneers, 5-1, in a West Texas-New Mexico League baseball matchup at Bell Park. Bob Galey was the winning pitcher; he finished the season with 18 victories for his hometown Hubbers.

1949: The Clovis News-Journal reported Max Meadors was resigning as chairman of the Democratic Central Committee for Curry County, citing health concerns and business requirements. Meadors, who lived another 38 years, was an automobile dealer best known for his civic leadership. He was on the original “Washington Committee” representing the Chamber of Commerce that convinced Defense Department officials to reopen Clovis Army Air Field, which had closed after World War II.

In national news …

1966: Two people were killed and at least 54 injured after an explosion rocked a crowded church in Plainview, Texas, during a revival meeting. About 150 people were in the Church of God in Christ; 12 had to be carried out, unconscious, when the roof collapsed. An accumulation of gas triggered by a spark from an electric organ was likely the cause of the explosion, investigators said.

Those were the days …

In 1908, the Clovis Democrat newspaper reported the city had 14 saloons, five barber shops, three livery stables and an opera house. Passenger trains made regular stops but the city’s population was fewer than 3,000 people.

Aug. 21

On this date …

1965: The emergency room at Clovis Memorial Hospital was being misused as an extension to the physician’s office or as an outpatient clinic, the hospital’s administrator and board chairman claimed. They said the hospital saw 6,050 patients in its emergency room in 1964, but only 25 percent of them were “true emergencies.”

1954: Several Clovis families living on West First Street were evacuated from their homes after 4 inches of rain fell on the city in less than two hours. First Street was a river from Hull Street east to Prince, the Clovis News-Journal reported. The underpass on the Portales highway was filled with 10 feet of water — and under the water was an unidentified automobile.

1944: Maude Pierson found out how blue a blue Monday can be, a newspaper society columnist reported. “It seems her mother had found a moth in the clothes closet, so she awakened her daughter early to help empty three closets to air the clothes.” The unidentified “Up and Down The Street” columnist quoted Pierson saying, “Carrying all those clothes out to the line sure got tiresome.”

Price check …

1961: Cashway Super Market at Seventh and Main in Clovis offered back-to-school specials: pencils 1 cent, rulers 5 cents, 8-count Crayola boxes for 10 cents. “As off to school we go, please folks … drive slow,” the grocery store cautioned in a newspaper ad.

Gone gone …

Hollene, located 32 miles northeast of Clovis, had three general stores, a post office, a school, a blacksmith shop and more in 1907. The school consolidated with Bellview in 1940, the post office closed in 1953. Only a cemetery remains today.

Aug. 20

On this date …

2003: Ridge Whiteman, the Portales man who introduced Clovis Man to the world, died at age 93. On Feb. 5, 1929, he wrote a letter to the Smithsonian Institute reporting he’d found an arrow point with elephant bones at the site now known as Blackwater Draw. Anthropologists and archaeologists soon realized the discovery was proof that man was living in North America 13,000 years ago.

1962: A Cannon Air Force Base pilot was killed when his plane collided with another Cannon plane whose pilot ejected to safety. “Apparently the two planes sideswiped as they were preparing to land in formation about 9:40 p.m. Monday following a three-hour air-to-air refueling mission,” the Clovis News-Journal reported. Capt. Joseph N. Briggs, 28, was a decorated F-100 pilot who three months earlier had taken a CNJ reporter with him on a practice run. Briggs’ funeral was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Survivors included his wife and three children, ages 7, 5 and 3.

1908: John V. Farwell, one of the primary investors of the XIT Ranch that financed the Texas state capitol building, died at age 82. The Texas Panhandle ranch covered 3 million acres and took 36 days to survey, according to the Texas State Historical Association. Farwell, whose business career focused on wholesale dry goods in Chicago, spent some time on the XIT as its managing director. The town of Farwell on the Texas-New Mexico border is named in his honor.

If only those kids weren’t so messy …

The first Clovis schools janitor was paid $70 per month, according to school board minutes from May 15, 1913. The position paid $30 per month during summer break.

Higher education …

Clovis’ first college was established in 1912. The Clovis Commercial College, at 312 Main, taught shorthand, typewriting and telegraphy.

Aug. 19

On this date …

1963: The piggy bank thief struck again. The latest victim was the Joe Vasquez home at 112 Thornton St. in Clovis. The thief cut a hole in a window screen, raised the window, and made off with a piggy bank that contained about $15 in change. Police said the city had been having a rash of similar thefts for about two weeks.

1954: Clovis’ Hillcrest Park pool was the location planned for a swim meet later in the month. Organizers said swimmers from Fort Sumner had already signed up to compete in freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke races as well as diving competitions. “Routines and trick acts” were also scheduled for a water carnival planned in connection with the event, according to Mrs. Ellis Green, who was in charge of entries.

1934: Escaped convicts from Dickens County, Texas, avoided traps set up in Clovis and Fort Sumner and remained on the run. Virgil Stalcup and Clarence Brown, who escaped the Dickens jail on Aug. 18, were seen filling up with gas at Muleshoe late that night. About 3 p.m. on Aug. 19, police received a report the men had robbed a gas station in Bovina and were headed to Clovis, where police attempted to set up a roadblock. But officers were able only to fire “a warning shot,” before the suspects dashed past, the Clovis Evening News-Journal reported. Officers then placed a stop sign on the highway eight miles east of Fort Sumner. While several cars did stop when they came upon the sign, the accused bandits sped through “without the officers having a chance to fire into it,” the paper reported. Both suspects were captured soon after in Clarendon, Texas, and returned to Dickens. Then in October, they escaped again and the sheriff of Dickens County was killed. Stalcup was executed in 1936 for the sheriff’s slaying. Brown was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

That would be a bargain today …

Marshall Junior High School was built for $123,102.28 — about $3,000 under budget — Clovis school records show. Construction was completed in 1936. The building was originally planned as a high school, but plans changed and school officials purchased land at 21st and Main for the high school. Plans changed again and the high school was built at 1900 Thornton St.

Rapid growth …

Thirteen students were on hand when Clovis started public school classes October 1907. By February 1908, the number had grown to 105. Newspapers report the students came from 30 states.

Aug. 17

On this date …

1967: Turner’s first anniversary sale featured a large stock of “genuine blue Levis” for $4.79. The Clovis department store, located at 520 Main, had waist sizes 27 to 42 with lengths 28 to 38.

1963: Clovis residents had donated four tons of used clothing to migrating residents of Alto Beni, Bolivia, who were trying to escape an outbreak of disease. The drive was organized by Clovis Jaycees, which President Morris Stagner said “exceeded all our expectations.” One unidentified man donated 90 pairs of shoes.

1952: Schools at Center, Ranchvale, Field and Rosedale all announced faculty changes. The four rural Curry County schools, combined, were expecting about 40 beginning students when classes were set to begin on Sept. 2.

Impressive …

Clovis native Varetta Shankle Heidelberg was crowned the 12th Miss Black America in 1979 in Los Angeles. She was a 1976 Clovis High graduate.

So that’s who that guy was …

Roy Walker Recreation Center at 316 W. Second St., is named for a longtime Clovis civic leader who was a charter member of the military support group Committee of Fifty, which helped establish Cannon Air Force Base. Walker, who died at age 87 in 1997, was a Clovis native and a high school football star. He quarterbacked the 1927 team, which went 4-0 and outscored its opponents, 90-0.

Aug. 16

On this date …

1970: Fort Sumner opened its Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation state monument. The site honors the Mescalero Apache and Navajo people forced by the U.S. Army to march hundreds of miles to the fort five miles southeast of Fort Sumner in 1863. The monument’s initial cost totaled $40,000, including $25,000 approved by Fort Sumner residents in a bond election.

1957: Clovis was in the midst of five consecutive days of rain. Officials reported 2.37 inches had fallen on the city by the end of the wet spell.

1950: Clovis stood last in the West Texas-New Mexico League baseball standings, trailing leader Pampa by 28 1/2 games. Making matters worse, Pioneers shortstop Bill Ehrhardt was hospitalized with a concussion after a bad-hop ball smacked him in the left eye in an 8-7 loss to Albuquerque.

Did you know …

At least seven newspapers were published for Clovis residents from 1907 to 1922. The Clovis News and The Clovis Journal merged in 1929 to become today’s Clovis News Journal.

No. 1, baby …

The Norman Petty Recording Studio produced three songs between 1957 and 1967 that hit No. 1 in Billboard magazine’s ratings charts — “Party Doll,” by Buddy Knox, “That’ll be the Day,” by Buddy Holly and “Sugar Shack,” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs.

Aug. 15

On this date …

1984: Music producer Norman Petty died of leukemia in a Lubbock hospital. He was 57. The Clovis native was best known as Buddy Holly’s first manager.

1974: An Albuquerque accountant auditing Clovis Memorial Hospital disclosed a loss of $80,000 in operations during fiscal year 1973-74. Hospital board members asked for the audit to help decide whether they should borrow money. “I’m upset beyond belief,” board member Fred Tharp said. Hospital Administrator Bob Brooks said he was “shocked” by the findings.

1949: A membership drive was organized for the Clovis Quarterback Club. Memberships were $1 per person, which meant a seat in the reserved section of the grandstand at Wildcats home games.

Heroes all …

About 175 Curry County men have died in service to their country during wartime. The first was Everett Fitzhugh, 18, in 1916. He died from injuries suffered when he was thrown from a wagon pulled by a team of mules. Fitzhugh had volunteered to fight Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa as a member of New Mexico’s National Guard. He is buried in Mission Garden of Memories on West Seventh Street.

Old-time religion …

Clovis’ First Baptist Church was established in 1907, built on land donated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in the same location it stands today — at Grand Avenue and Gidding Street.

Aug. 14

On this date …

1965: Melrose was expecting 325 students to register for the 1965-66 school year. Superintendent Willard Moon said the number was down from about 350 the year before. Melrose employed 21 teachers in its system and had one new teacher — Wayne Moore, an instructor of physical education.

1955: The annual all-veterans picnic was slated for the Eastern New Mexico University campus. All veterans and their families were welcomed to the basket dinner. Free melons and snow cones were served.

1949: A 3-year-old Grady girl was admitted to Clovis Memorial Hospital after drinking rat poison while playing at home. She was released from a physician’s care two days later.

It was the law …

Clovis passed a series of laws in 1908, including:
• No music in saloons. The fine was up to $100.
• No one under 21 allowed in a saloon or pool hall without written consent of a parent or guardian.
• No playing ball in the street. Violators could spend up to three days in jail and pay a $5 fine.

Where’s the fair …

The first Curry County fairs were held on the west side of Pile Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets. From about 1920 to 1931, the fairgrounds were between Pile and Gidding streets, from 11th to 13th streets. Today’s fairgrounds began to evolve about 1948, all according to County Historian Don McAlavy.

Aug. 13

On this date …

1962: Curry County’s fair board approved multiple features for the fair scheduled Sept. 5-8. Officials approved $120.90 for additional electrical outlets in the beef barns and voted to install new garbage cans on the grounds. General admission would still be free, board members decided, and a charge of 50 cents per car would remain in effect for parking. Board members also approved a fireworks display and allowed a television station to broadcast live during the fair.

1947: Yeggmen got away with $800 to $900 in cash from the Campbell’s Dairy and Ice Cream Co. plant at 1400 Main. Police said a safe containing the money was battered and broken by the robbers.

1937: Clovis’ zoo had a new fawn. Zookeeper Ivan Hoadley said the baby deer was discovered in the grass on zoo property, presumably the offspring of two of the five adult deer on the grounds.

Promotional event …

1971: Wakefield’s Texaco was hosting its grand opening at First and Prince streets in Clovis. Owner Louis Wakefield was offering a free carton of Pepsi-Cola with a fill up of eight gallons of gas or more. A mechanic was on duty for major and minor tuneups.

Did you know …

The first known mention of Clovis in a railroad document was in a Sept. 1, 1905, memo from Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Chief Engineer James Dun. The memo listed possible names for proposed railway stations on a new route west. The recommended name for the proposed station 8.5 miles west of Texico was Strohm, in honor of railroad Superintendent C.B. Strohm. Clovis was listed among alternate names for unspecified sites, according to “Clovis, New Mexico: The First 100 Years.”

Aug. 12

On this date …

1974: Clovis Police Chief Nelson Worley issued certificates to 13 officers who completed a training program. “When you are dealing with the public,” Worley told them, “they demand courtesy and respect. Anyone can stop a fight or direct traffic or make an arrest, but that’s only 10 percent of the job. The other 90 percent is how you go about doing the job.”

1964: Jackie Blackard of Clovis and Jorda Miller of Bellview were receiving psychiatric nursing training at a state hospital in Austin, Texas. The training was to help nurses recognize psychiatric disorders and to teach techniques useful in caring for emotionally ill patients.

1924: Two prominent Clovis residents — John F. Taylor and Odis Echols — were preparing to perform in the Swisher County Singing Convention set for Aug. 24 in Tulia, Texas. The all-day meeting, held at the school auditorium, included a basket dinner. Taylor organized Clovis’ public schools in 1907 and was the city’s first superintendent. Echols, a career musician and radio station owner, was best known as the co-author of the McGuire Sisters’ hit song, “Sugartime,” recorded in 1958.

In national news …

1964: Ian Fleming, who wrote the series of James Bond spy novels, died from a heart attack. He was 56.

A first …

Clovis’ first doctor was J. Foster Scott, who came from Knoxville, Tennessee. He arrived in Texico in 1906 and moved to Clovis in 1907, where he remained until his death in 1923.