Pioneers honor their heritage

By Keely McDowell: Freedom New Mexico

Area women shared part of a vanishing legacy through their stories about growing up in a less privileged time Friday at the Pioneer Women’s Breakfast in Clovis.

“We worked from daylight to sunset and had to stay out of school for weeks at a time,” Lorraine Horton, 85, said. “It was a hard life, but it didn’t kill us. I had 10 brothers and sisters and we all lived to be ripe old folks.”

Pioneer women of today are defined by parents who traveled here in covered wagons or by railroad during the early 1900s, according to Gloria Wicker. She said they grew up on a farm with little money and were able to do a “man’s work” while remaining a lady.

“Unfortunately I feel that the younger women don’t know what I am talking about,” Wicker said. “Pioneer women grew up tough, tough, tough.”

State Rep. Anna Crook of Clovis shared her feelings on being called a pioneer woman as she encouraged other women to share their stories during the breakfast.

“We are not pioneer women, we are the children of pioneer women,” Crook joked. “But it was still a hard life.”

The Clovis Chamber of Commerce partnered with ENMR-Plateau to start the Pioneer Women’s Breakfast eight years ago to honor women in the community who helped build Clovis and Curry County. Organizers believe the breakfast is an opportunity for the women to share their past with the younger women, according to Ernie Kos, executive director of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce.

“There are ladies that have been here over the years that really look forward to this. It is like a reunion for them,” Kos said. “They can tell what it was like in the good old days.”