My Portales: City proud to mark successes

PNT Staff Report

Editor’s note: The following is one in a series of reports related to the history of Portales. The city celebrates the 100th anniversary of its incorporation in 2009.

So what was Portales like 100 years ago?

On Jan. 6, 1910, the Roosevelt County Herald newspaper listed 12 of Portales’ accomplishments in 1909:

“1. Incorporated under laws of territory.

“2. Drove out the saloons and thus brought a saving of $15,000 to the community.

“3. Established a first class garage with five good cars which are kept moving all the while.

“4. Passed through the worst drought in nine years.

“5. Secured the testing of the underground water supply, indicating an underground river with an almost limitless supply of best water.

“6. Had three heavy losses by fire which swept away most all wooden store buildings which are being replaced by handsome bricks.

“7. Secured a school section of land as endowment to public schools of town, thus ensuring best equipment and highest efficiency in public schools for all time to come.

“8. Built a score of splendid residences, a $5,000 brick sanitarium, a Catholic church, remodeled a Presbyterian church and built several fire-proof business buildings.

“9. Secured the $75,000 cash for bonds of water, light and sewer system for the town to accepted plans and specifications for construction of same.

“10. Organized and incorporated the Portales Irrigation Company and closed the contract for the immediate installation of an electric power plant for irrigating 10,000 acres (plant to be installed by first of May 1910).

“11. Ascertained by government survey that Portales Valley, in the midst of which Portales is located, has 100,000 acres of the best land where the water is from eight to 30 feet under the surface of the earth.

“12. Just awakened to the realization of her almost limitless possibilities in view, her healthful climate, enterprising citizenship, vast acreage of irrigable land and the new enterprises already launched.”