Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Pages past — Aug. 29

On this date

1968: Fire was reported in the Diamonds LTD store, 316 Main, in Clovis. Firefighters battled the blaze almost five hours before it was under control. Norman Petty, the building’s owner, said fire was caused by a short circuit in the display window. Everything close to the front of the building was extensively damaged and the rest of the store had smoke damage, Petty said.

1964: Police were on the lookout for two teenage girls accused of launching water-filled balloons into the car of a man stationed at Cannon Air Force Base. The incident occurred on Main Street on a Saturday night.

1905: Work began on Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway tracks between Texico and St. Vrain, heading west to connect with the main line near Belen. A railroad siding, where cars could be pulled off the main line, was soon established 8 1/2 miles west of Texico. A small store and post office were then located nearby and homesteaders began calling the site Riley, or sometimes Riley Switch, referencing a family of Rileys in the area. It became Clovis in 1906, for reasons unknown, months before it was considered a townsite.

A movie star …

Lila Lee Wilkinson was a Clovis schoolgirl before she made national news in Hollywood. She had roles in 11 movies and starred in “Lady in the Lake,” “Wild Weed,” and “Moonrise” as Lila Leeds. Her acting career was derailed after she was arrested for smoking marijuana with Robert Mitchum on Aug. 31, 1948.

Did you know …

Longtime Clovis High School music educator Norvil Howell received his first trumpet at age 11 — a gift from his father, who bought it at a jewelry store for $25.

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

[email protected]

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