Recently, I received a story and pictures from Pat Heasley McDaniel, who now lives in Austin, Texas. The story, entitled “The Family of J.W. Bullington,” was written by her mother, Stella Bullington Heasley in 1977 and was just recently discovered by her younger daughter, Dandy. They are very gracious to share this bit of history with us, and we hope it will be accepted at the museum.
Those of us who have lived here for many decades can remember the Bullington family and can most definitely remember both Pat and Dandy because we either went to school with them or had the privilege of teaching one of them. We also remember Mrs. Heasley because of her working at Tucumcari General Hospital. By going back even farther, we can remember the rest of the Bullington family.
Mrs. Heasley wrote about the pioneers coming to Quay County in 1906. Mr. Builington and four of his six sons came by covered wagon, arriving at the edge of the caprock in a major snow storm. They eventually made their way to town and to their claim. Mr. Bullington then sent word to Mrs. Bullington to bring the other two sons and the two daughters. They arrived by train Dec. 18, 1906. The family lived on the farm for about three years until they had a major crop failure, and Mr. Bullington came into Tucumcari to take up one of his main professions as a carpenter. He helped build the first courthouse, several schools, many homes, and the Methodist Church, which was later razed. He also helped build the two-story house at 602 E. Aber, which later became the family home and which still stands.
In 1932, Mr. Bullington ran for mayor and was elected. He served in that position for three terms and was paid the large sum of $4 per meeting. He was an imposing figure at 6-foot-4 1/2 and always stood out in a crowd. Those of us in my age group remember him best as owner of a second hand store. We also remember Mrs. Bullington as a lady who was always on call to help when doctors Galled to ask for her assistance. I remember her best because she was often on the front porch when I would walk to or from school at Four Points.
The collections of pictures are of Mr. and Mrs. Bullington, Mr. and Mrs. Heasley, and Mr. and Mrs. John Robbins. Mr. Robbins was chief of police and later served as a city officer.
Receiving such an interesting story about our earlier history was a real privilege.
I am sure it can be put to good use in the future as people continue to do research at our museum. Of course, the pictures of the individuals will be outstanding points of history. We need as much history of the early days as we can find. Fortunately, some families are willing to share their stories with us, thus filling in many of the blanks which would otherwise exist.