Leaders prepared town to be part of state

As we continue to look back to the years just before New Mexico became a state, we note that in 1910, our city government was well organized as were a number of churches, and organizations.

The city government consisted of Mayor J.A. Street, one of the founders of Tucumcari, City Clerk J.R. Daugherty, City Attorney Reed Holloman, Chief of Police H.R. Benson, and City Physician C.J.K. Moore. The Board of Councilmen included President J.A. Street, S.H. Neafus, W.F. Buchanan, A.B. Dauber and G.W. Evans, Jr. The board met every Wednesday at 8 p.m.

The police department was housed in the First National Bank building. The Tucumcari Fire Department met the last Tuesday of each month and for practice sessions the second Monday of each month. J. R. Daughtry was chief, A.D. Pankey assitant chief, S.T Hopkins secretary-treasurer, and J.A.Whitmore and Godfrey Funk were foremen.

Churches included the Center Street Methodist Church South with Rev. C. L. Brooks as pastor, the First Baptist Church with Rev. W.T. Taggart as pastor, the First Christian Church with Rev. G.L. Ament as pastor, the First Methodist Church North with Rev. G.M. McBride as pastor, and the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. W.H. Dubose as pastor.

The Secret and Benevolent Societies included the Brotherhood of American Yoemen, B.P.O.E., I.O.O.F, K. of P., Masons, Eastern Star, and W.O.W Other societies and clubs included the Tucumcari Business Men’s League, which was incorporated in 1907, and the Tucumcari Ministerial Association.

The city government and its various entities made many plans for the future of our town and were able to see some of them come into being. They worked to get our town organized to become a business center and took pains to plan for future development and growth. They wanted us to be ready for statehood and worked to see that we became a place of importance in that new state.

The Territorial Government was also well-organized in Santa Fe and was ready for us to become the 47th state. We can almost feel that excitement as we read various accounts of the celebrations that took place as we cast aside our territorial days and became a state in our country. Both formal and informal parties were held all over this new state just before our first year, and many more took place in 1912.

Those of us who call this state our home can still imagine that excitement and certainly have maintained the pride that those early settlers began building when our town was born in 1901. Let’s see if we can continue to generate it as we approach our 100th year.