A hundred years ago we needed raincoats

David Stevens

David Stevens

By David Stevens

PNT Editor

Raincoats sold for $3.95, men’s blue suits were $14.95 and canvas gloves cost a nickel a pair.

William C. McDonald was New Mexico’s first governor and Woodrow Wilson was our 28th president. Wilson proclaimed the first Mother’s Day on May 9 that year.

Franz Ferdinand was the archduke of Austria until his assassination led to World War I.

Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson were the best baseball players in the land, but Boston was about to trot out this rookie named Babe Ruth …

The best college football teams were Army, Illinois and Texas — they would each claim to be national champion by year’s end.

Competitive events from the Curry County fair that year included
• best quilt made by lady over 60;
• best bundle of kaffir corn;
• and best handmade handkerchief.
A $10 prize went to the best decorated farm wagon full of agricultural products.

The Santa Fe Railway opened a hospital in Clovis. The first patient was a machinist, A.L. Atkinson, who lost a finger on the job.

Portales saloon owners were convinced state law trumped local prohibition and defiantly kept their doors open.

In Deming, a “mule breaking” show was held on Pine Street.

“The mule won the first round, spilling his rider, but gave up the fight as soon as the rider mounted again,” the Deming Headlight reported.

Clayton in northeast New Mexico had water 6-feet deep after a 10-inch rain, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported on May 8.

All of eastern New Mexico received 4-6 inches of rain that week, the paper claimed.

When May 1914 came to an end, Portales had set a record that stands today — 12.67 inches of rain for the month.

Was life better 100 years ago this month?


But it was wetter.

David Stevens is editor for the Portales News-Tribune. Contact him at:

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