My turn: Roosevelt County settlers’ legacy continues

Betty Williamson

In 1908, a pioneer named John Gordon Greaves and his wife, Annie, arrived in south Roosevelt County in search of “health, land, hope and faith,” according to their son, Gordon Greaves, long-time editor of the Portales News-Tribune. Settling in a remote location six miles from the nearest windmill, they put down roots that are blooming unexpectedly a century later.

Saturday morning, a great-granddaughter they never knew will be one of the 363 young men and women receiving diplomas from Eastern New Mexico University.

Justine Tydings came to ENMU from Albuquerque in search of a biology degree and the opportunity to play soccer at the college level. She found both, as well as a community she’s been happy to call home for the last four and a half years.

“A place is what you make of it,” Justine says, “and this place has held wonderful friendships and a great education for me.”

I believe those long ago settlers would be happy to know that the land they found to be harsh and unforgiving was carved into a place that could welcome their progeny back three generations later. On Saturday morning, I shall imagine them smiling down on this bright and likeable young woman and her classmates as they set off on pioneer journeys of their own.