Celebration to honor homesteading couple


A historical celebration is planned for 6 p.m. today in honor of a pioneer couple who trekked from Oklahoma to New Mexico in December of 1906.
Not only is a celebration planned — which will include the couple’s only two living children, Lewis O. Caton and Oran T. Caton, about 100 Caton family members, and anyone from the general public that wants to attend — but a historical marker has been erected at the old Caton homestead site near Forrest, according to Marilyne Caton, a granddaughter-in-law of the couple.
N.L. and Consuela Beatrice Gilmore Caton married in 1894, eventually bore 9 children, and took 45 days to complete their journey from Allen, Okla., to eastern New Mexico, according to surviving family members.
The family of 8 at the time moved into a one-room dugout on the homestead site in the spring of 1907 which they later replaced with a two-room dugout, then a house in 1919. The new house was occupied until 1949, according to information on the marker.
If one misses the celebration — not to fret. The 5-foot granite marker will be in place at the Caton homestead site. The marker lists the dates of birth and deaths of all the Caton’s children and includes a poem.
To get to the marker from Ragland, drive 1/2 mile east of mile marker 50 on the Grady Hwy., then turn north for 1 mile. For more information, call Charles Caton, a grandson of the pioneer couple, at 762-9013.

Poem from the Caton homestead marker:
We are pilgrims on a journey of the narrow road.
Those who’ve gone before us line the way.
May the footprints that we leave — lead our children to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
May all who come behind us find us faithful.