Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Pages past — Aug. 19

On this date …

1963: The piggy bank thief struck again. The latest victim was the Joe Vasquez home at 112 Thornton St. in Clovis. The thief cut a hole in a window screen, raised the window, and made off with a piggy bank that contained about $15 in change. Police said the city had been having a rash of similar thefts for about two weeks.

1954: Clovis’ Hillcrest Park pool was the location planned for a swim meet later in the month. Organizers said swimmers from Fort Sumner had already signed up to compete in freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke races as well as diving competitions. “Routines and trick acts” were also scheduled for a water carnival planned in connection with the event, according to Mrs. Ellis Green, who was in charge of entries.

1934: Escaped convicts from Dickens County, Texas, avoided traps set up in Clovis and Fort Sumner and remained on the run. Virgil Stalcup and Clarence Brown, who escaped the Dickens jail on Aug. 18, were seen filling up with gas at Muleshoe late that night. About 3 p.m. on Aug. 19, police received a report the men had robbed a gas station in Bovina and were headed to Clovis, where police attempted to set up a roadblock. But officers were able only to fire “a warning shot,” before the suspects dashed past, the Clovis Evening News-Journal reported. Officers then placed a stop sign on the highway eight miles east of Fort Sumner. While several cars did stop when they came upon the sign, the accused bandits sped through “without the officers having a chance to fire into it,” the paper reported. Both suspects were captured soon after in Clarendon, Texas, and returned to Dickens. Then in October, they escaped again and the sheriff of Dickens County was killed. Stalcup was executed in 1936 for the sheriff’s slaying. Brown was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

That would be a bargain today …

Marshall Junior High School was built for $123,102.28 — about $3,000 under budget — Clovis school records show. Construction was completed in 1936. The building was originally planned as a high school, but plans changed and school officials purchased land at 21st and Main for the high school. Plans changed again and the high school was built at 1900 Thornton St.

Rapid growth …

Thirteen students were on hand when Clovis started public school classes October 1907. By February 1908, the number had grown to 105. Newspapers report the students came from 30 states.

Pages Past is compiled by Clovis News Journal Editor David Stevens. Contact him at:

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