Local historians share stories

More than a dozen residents attended a historical recounting Saturday at the Tucumcari Historical Museum.

Local historians shared stories of their experiences growing up in and near Quay County, Horace Woods was one of those historians.

A video of this and more of Woods' story can be seen online at qcsunonline.com.

Woods said he was born in 1915 in Wheeler, Texas, and first came to the area when he was three months old.

"My dad, had already been here working on the homestead where he built a shack," Woods said. "My mom and I arrived by railroad, and were picked up at Endee."

Woods said his parents were married in Wheeler, where they began to raise the family. The people of that area were all cotton farmers, so he raised cotton for a few years.

"By the time he harvested the cotton, got sold it and paid off his debt he didn't have any money left," Woods said. "That was the way many of the cotton farmers lived."

Woods said that he can remember his grandfather saying, "When you get so poor you can't do anything else you can rent a piece of land farm cotton," When you get so poor and you can't farm cotton, you can go somewhere else and start a service station."

Woods said his dad didn't like being in the hole, and he didn't like to harvest cotton. He said being on your knees moving down the rows was not a pleasant way to make a living.

"That is why his family was so interested in moving into New Mexico," Woods said.

Woods said the homestead was located just inside the Curry County line, north of Broadview. He said his father had made enough trips with equipment to be able to build a box house on the homestead.

"By box house I mean it had no studs, and no foundation," Woods said. "It had cracks between boards. The house was 12 foot by 18 foot, most living rooms are bigger than that these days."

Woods said the solitude of the area of that time was a problem, especially when someone got sick.

"It was best not to get sick," Woods said. "There was one doctor in the area though he would travel to your place by horse and buggy."

Woods said when he started school at 6 years old, his mother came down with appendicitis. He said his father could not take his mother to the hospital due to lack of transportation.

"People would just hang out until they got better, though with appendicitis you know that doesn't happen," Woods said. "By the time we got her to the hospital her appendix had burst and gangrene had set in."

Woods said the family was told she would not survive, but she did and was out of the hospital four weeks later.

The event, organized by museum staff, also included talks from Chipper Breem and Nola Hendrickson.

Linda Moore, a staff member at the musuem, said future Tucumcari Talks events will be held, with times to be determined.

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