Allen D. Payton
Malcolm Lyonal Allen — aka “M.L.” or “Bud”– was born Jan. 7, 1911 in Newcastle, Young County, Texas.
He was the middle of three children, including older sister Juanita and younger brother William “Bill” Allen, born to William and Marie (Adkinson) Allen.
In 1914, his father died at age 27 in a coal mining accident in Texas.
He left home at age 15 after finishing the eighth grade to try and make it on his own. He ventured off into the wild country where the men still carried guns.
In 1936 M.L. met Mildred Wood, introduced by a mutual female friend, in a cotton field in Texas. A few months later, in July of that year, they were married.
M.L. took a job working for the government building roads in Texas and New Mexico. They lived in a tent city put up for the workers. Mildred did some of the cooking for the work crews.
He continued to work for the government, surveying 45,000 acres in New Mexico and working on the new Conchas reservoir and dam, which supplied water to irrigate the newly created farmland in the area.
The couple moved to Brawley, Calif. in 1937 and had a baby girl that year, Mary DeeAnn. But they divorced in 1940 and M.L. moved back to Texas.
M.L. got remarried to Alberta, known as “Bert.” They had one son, Mikey Lee.
In 1942 he and Bill joined the U.S. Army and served in Germany in World War II, during which time he was the driver for General Eisenhower, briefly. He had the choice of continuing to do that or run the mess hall. He chose the mess hall, instead.
When he returned from the war, M.L. bought a section of land, or 640 acres in New Mexico. Then he purchased some land in Tucumcari for $25 an acre where he worked as a farmer, growing cotton and alfalfa and raising dairy cows, as well as selling land and cattle until he retired in 1974. In 1959 he was honored as the Outstanding Farmer in the state of New Mexico, based on progress and conservation achievement, and in 1965 he was one of five farmers honored for top work in soil and water conservation.
After retirement, he served on the Board of Directors of the Tucumcari Federal Savings and Loan, until 1996. He also served on the State Executive Board of New Mexico Children’s Home in Portales in the 1980’s.
His is a unique story of enduring love and longevity. He and Mildred had one daughter, Mary DeeAnn, in 1937. After they divorced they each remarried and each had one more child, Mildred a daughter, Patricia, and M.L. a son, Mikey Lee. Then in 1995, after both their spouses died, they remarried 55 years later, and are together, still keeping each other going, today, in Riverside, California. Mildred will be 92 in February.
Unfortunately, M.L.’s brother Bill, just died last month before Christmas, at age 97.
A lifelong Southern Baptist, M.L. now attends First Baptist Church of Riverside, Calif. every Sunday with Mildred and enjoys going out for tacos with her every Thursday night.