Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Pages past — Aug. 20

On this date …

2003: Ridge Whiteman, the Portales man who introduced Clovis Man to the world, died at age 93. On Feb. 5, 1929, he wrote a letter to the Smithsonian Institute reporting he’d found an arrow point with elephant bones at the site now known as Blackwater Draw. Anthropologists and archaeologists soon realized the discovery was proof that man was living in North America 13,000 years ago.

1962: A Cannon Air Force Base pilot was killed when his plane collided with another Cannon plane whose pilot ejected to safety. “Apparently the two planes sideswiped as they were preparing to land in formation about 9:40 p.m. Monday following a three-hour air-to-air refueling mission,” the Clovis News-Journal reported. Capt. Joseph N. Briggs, 28, was a decorated F-100 pilot who three months earlier had taken a CNJ reporter with him on a practice run. Briggs’ funeral was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Survivors included his wife and three children, ages 7, 5 and 3.

1908: John V. Farwell, one of the primary investors of the XIT Ranch that financed the Texas state capitol building, died at age 82. The Texas Panhandle ranch covered 3 million acres and took 36 days to survey, according to the Texas State Historical Association. Farwell, whose business career focused on wholesale dry goods in Chicago, spent some time on the XIT as its managing director. The town of Farwell on the Texas-New Mexico border is named in his honor.

If only those kids weren’t so messy …

The first Clovis schools janitor was paid $70 per month, according to school board minutes from May 15, 1913. The position paid $30 per month during summer break.

Higher education …

Clovis’ first college was established in 1912. The Clovis Commercial College, at 312 Main, taught shorthand, typewriting and telegraphy.

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

[email protected]

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