Photos link to past

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Photo courtesy of Jeanette Pitcher
Charlie Amussen in his buggy calling on Elida woman Hazel Gore Raydon, who lived into her 90s.

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Photo courtesy of Jeanette Pitcher
Ed Raydon at the Ed Raydon Filling Station and Garage, which employed many locals.

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Photo courtesy of Jeanette Pitcher
Henry Rammage and family arriving in Roosevelt County area by covered wagon.

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Photo courtesy of Jeanette Pitcher
This is an unidentified family at an adobe home near Elida sometime between 1900-1915. Jeanette Pitcher is hoping someone in Roosevelt County can help her find out who they are. Pitcher can be reached at pitcherjeanette@yahoo.com

By Christina Calloway
CMI staff writer
ccalloway@pntonline.com
Jeanette Pitcher says the buffalo grass grew freely in New Mexico during the early 1900s, well at least that’s a tale she heard passed down from her ancestors who homesteaded in Elida.
Pitcher, who lives in Oregon and is a native of Artesia, has collected photos that she had to pry out of the hands of relatives of early settlers in Roosevelt and Curry counties.
“All those people came to get free land in New Mexico as homesteaders,” Pitcher said. “A lot of them were in Kansas working on the railroad when they heard about New Mexico. They all went there as a family with nephews and children and brothers to homestead that area and they had to work it six years and improve it in order to get the approval on their homestead claim.”
While others will be celebrating their Roosevelt County heritage this weekend during the Heritage Days celebrations, Pitcher continues to find hers through her photos.
Emmitt Gore of Elida is Pitcher’s great-grandfather. Her other family names include Raydon, Kingsolver, Rammage, Horney, Campbell and Goldston to name a few. There is one photo in her possession with an unidentified family and she hopes readers in the area can help her out.
“They are obviously early settlers and I am beginning to think they might be the Levi Jones family,” Pitcher said. “There is a particularly old woman in the photo born about 1830-1840.”
That’s the only picture that Pitcher has no information about. She said most of her family moved out of the area by the 1940s.
“They became store owners and gas station owners and they did a lot of work on roads,” Pitcher said. “When the bad (1930s) came, they slowly began to go to California to work in the factories and in the (1940s) they really went because they had to eat.”
Pitcher said she and other descendants have moved about the country but she still believes she could have family in Fort Sumner and the Clovis area.
Here are the photos that Pitcher shared with the Portales News-Tribune:

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