Tucumcari Historical Museum
Businesses Of Tucumcari
No Author listed on write up
Alex Street can be credited with the first business in Tucumcari although not the first business building. That is because his business operated out of the back of his wagon.
Traveling up and down and the railroad line during construction, Street brought whiskey from his saloon in Liberty to sell to the workers. He began his business approximately in October 1901. From his beginning other businesses soon followed.
The first businesses edition of the Pathfinder as reported in the April 26, 1902
a butcher shop
a hardware store
one jewelry store
one furniture store
a shoemaker shop
two real estate offices
a good live newspaper
two first class barber shops
carpenter and paint shop
a bank with $25,000 capital stock
three lumber yards with big stocks
a population of about 500
one school house and another under construction
total resources at over a hundred thousand dollars
nine new stores
one livery stable
four general stores
one millinery store
a big new coal chute
three new restaurants
plenty of free land
two up-to-date drug stores
two big new railroad lines
one completed church building
two hotels both of which are new.
Tucumcari's Oldest Businesses
First National Bank
The oldest business in Tucumcari still in operation, opened its doors as the Exchange Bank of Tucumcari. Changed to First National bank in June 1902. H.B. Jones founded the First National Bank of Santa Rosa. As the railroad shifted more from Santa Rosa to Tucumcari, he decided a move to Tucumcari was in order.
In 1910, Jones purchased controlling interest of First National Bank in Tucumcari from W.F. Buchanan. he moved to Tucumcari and became the bank's president until his death in 1941. The bank merged with the American National Bank of Tucumcari in 1934.
First National moved into a newly completed building at the corner of Main and Second Streets in 1948. A drive-in-facility was added at the corner of First and Gaynell in June of 1956. The specialty use building , fourteen feet wide by six foot long, was in operation for 18 years before it was closed in 1974 when the present bank was built. "There was not enough benefits to have it open," "It was not very easily accessible at the corner because of traffic", he added. Jones went on to point out the corner became increasingly congested as cars attempted to enter traffic on First Street on Highway 66 (Tucumcari Blvd). Having the drive -in away from the main bank also created security risk.
Opened for business on Friday , June 15, 1956, the drive-in became the county's first. It was centrally located in a high traffic pattern area. In addition to being open on week days, it was also open on Saturdays from 9 am to noon. The Tucumcari Daily News congratulated the bank on its new venture, " The new building will be an asset to the community both economically and aesthetically. It also is a symbol of the bank's faith in the future growth and prosperity of Tucumcari - a faith we all share."
--- The piece tells a little more about the bank
Dunn's Funeral Home
Dunn's was founded in 1918, when Elton F Dunn took over the mortuary business form O.G. Reeder. Dunn went to work with Reeder in 1917 and bough him out in 1920. In the years since, the funeral home has remained in the family. Elton's son, Cliff, was in charge of the funeral home from 19--- to ---. His wife, Helen, continues to remain active in the business as well as Charles, their son. The funeral home moved to its present location at 115 S. Third in 1920 that was the old opera house. A funeral chapel was added in 1947. The buildings were completed remolding in 1990.
From 1939 to the mid 1950's, Dunn's provided free ambulance service in Quay County.(from the Home Owned, Home Operated edition of the Quay County Sun, March 28, 1991)
Looking Back at 1910
When the Business Review was published in 1910, there were 68 businesses listed in Tucumcari.
Some Well Known Stores Of The Past
M.B. Goldenberg Co. The Goldenberg Co. was among the first business in Tucumcari and also served as the location for the first post office and hotel operating out of the Goldenberg home on Eighth Street. A new building was completed at the corner of Third and Main in 1904. One side of the store house a complete line of groceries and other featured everything from millinery to machinery. ---- More information on paper see Museum
Elk Drug Store
The first Elk Drug opened in 1905 by a man named Shelton at the location where Zia New Mexico Bank is today. It was purchased the following year by Mr. and Mrs. Jim Conwell. The first prescription was filled by the Conwell's was on Jan 1. 1906. A beauty shop was added in 1922.
In 1922 , a young man by name of Herman Moncus first started work att Elk Drug behind the soda fountain for the store's owners. He worked his way up