Local pens area history book

TV Hagenah

The newest book to hit the bookshelves in Quay County has the words “Quay County” in its title.

Lynn Moncus’ book “Quay County, New Mexico 1903-2003: A Pictorial History” has just been released by its publisher the Donning Company.

“To tell you the truth,” said the Tucumcari native, “Just to watch them unload the copies from the truck was something else again.”

To be exact this is not Moncus’ first book, she has already edited two other works one an in depth history of Quay County families and the other a novel written by her grandmother.

The long-time teacher said the idea for the book came when a representative of the publisher pointed out that 2003 was the 100th anniversary of the Tucumcari’s founding and it fell to her to write the book.

She said her love of writing was just one factor in her stepping up to write the book.

“Well, I’ve lived here all my life, which is about 2/3 of the history of County,” said Moncus.

Moncus claims that she is neither an author nor an historian, but rather is just a person who loves the area that she has called her home for such a long time and a student of history.

She said the hardest part of putting “Quay County, New Mexico 1903-2003: A Pictorial History” together was limiting herself to what could go into the book.

“By far the hardest part of the whole thing was keeping myself within the 100 pages,” said Moncus.

Another challenging part for the former educator was at times staying on task as she poured over the old copies of the 23 different newspapers that were once published in the county that served as her source of research material.

“I would be reading an article and I would find it so fascinating that I would forget to take notes and just read for pure enjoyment,” said Moncus.

The book which runs 128 pages with over 170 photographs in addition to historical records, old newspaper articles and a variety of documents.

“I’m happy with the way it came out,” said Moncus. “The editors did a really great job and the people in charge of lay-out were excellent. Just look at it.”

Moncus said a great deal of what the book is about is captured on the dust jacket art taken from a painting by Barbara Copeland which depicts two covered wagons coming across the prairie in Quay County with Mesa Redondo in the background.

“It just says it all,” said Moncus.

Bruce Nutt, Curator for the Quay County Museum, one of the two sites where the book is on sale said he feels the book is “wonderful” and “truly captures the who county in just a handful of pages. I think wonderful is the perfect word for this,” said Nutt.

Nutt also pointed out that the book had been selling extremely well since the museum first put it out on sale.
“I think we can easily say it (book sales) is brisk. Yes, I think that’s the word for it, brisk.” said Nutt about how quickly are picking up the book. Besides the museum, the book will be on sale at Del’s Restaurant for $29.95.

Moncus said an official autographing session for her book is still “in the planning stages.”