By Tony Parra
The Floyd Citizen of the Year award honors someone who is a reflection of the people who live in the small farming community. That would describe Pauline “Polly” Bigler to a tee.
Bigler was selected by the Floyd Lions Club as the 2006 Outstanding Citizen of the Year. Polly was recognized during Saturday’s performance of the 56th annual Floyd Country Jamboree.
“I was shocked,” Polly said about receiving the award. “When they started reading about the winner, it sounded familiar. Then later on I realized they (presenters) were talking about me. When I got up there I couldn’t even speak. I was surprised.”
Polly and Panny Bigler married at Littlefield, Texas in April of 1946 and during that summer Panny and his brother-in-law went west in search of land in eastern New Mexico and west Texas. In their quest for farmland, they arrived at a 160-acre plot west of Floyd.
Polly, who is 82 years old, has been living in that area ever since and raised a family with Panny.
Panny said during their 60 years living at Floyd they never considered living anywhere else.
“Oh, no we never thought of living anywhere else,” Panny, who is 81 years old, said.
Polly and Panny farmed the land and were some of the pioneers of the dairy industry.
The couple worked in every agricultural vocation the eastern plains of New Mexico had to offer, from milking cows, hauling cotton, growing corn to hoeing cotton, peanuts and other crops in the hot, dry summers. They milked 25 cows by hand.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in my life because of technology and electricity,” Polly said. “When I first got here there were no roads leading to our place.”
Polly said during her time living in Floyd one of the other things she has seen is the diminishing of the population.
“When our children were going to school there were a lot of Floyd people here,” Polly said. “So many have passed away or moved away.”
Polly said she’s been surprised that her children Dale Bigler and Jackie Clark still live in the area. Generations have continued to live in Floyd and continue the Bigler legacy. Polly said her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have gone or are going through the Floyd Consolidated School system.
Jeff Essary, a family friend, understands why the couple never wanted to leave the Floyd area. Essary, who is 33 years old, said Floyd is the place he has chosen to raise his four children.
“I’ve known them (Polly and Panny) all of my life,” Essary said. “I seen them a lot at the jamborees. They are wonderful, pleasant people who are always very helpful.”