Series of Emails from John Davis in reference to family history in Boyero CO
Subject: Your Boyero page
I saw your site recently, and I thought I would add a little information for you. The store is actually the H.F. Davis General Mercantile building. I know this because my great grandfather and great grandmother built that and several other buildings in Boyero. Their land and buildings went up for auction in 1968, and I recently traveled to see how they have fared in this harsh environment. I don’t know if you saw it or not, but our homestead was the two-storey house across the railroad tracks.
Anyhow, just thought I would share.
John Davis Senior Editor Academic and Research Communications
Office of the Vice President for Research - Texas Tech University (806) 834-1183
Hi Mike, thank you for writing me back.
Absolutely you are welcome to post my comments if you wish. Just know that what I know is coming from a written description of my family’s history and my grandfather’s memories (and my own) all of which are subject to historical inaccuracies.
Well, you know….if this John you speak of has ties to Boyero, I just might. Seems to me I remember my granddad saying his older brother John had a son out in California somewhere. I think he said his name was John too, but I’ve never met him. My great uncle and his wife lived in Arizona, and I remember seeing them twice or three times. But I don’t remember his son, unless he came to the family reunion in Arriba back in the early ‘80s. I was about five or six and the youngest one there, so it was a blur of grownups who all looked and sounded the same and all seemed to know who I was though I didn’t know them.
The Tim Davis I saw who posted on your page I am not familiar with or related to, so far as I know. As I said, 1968 was the year they divested the ranch and properties, and that was the last of us in town so far as I know. Tim Davis wrote he was born there in ’68, and that’s not ringing any bells with me. I read an account of the auction by my aunt, and it sounded pretty depressing. It had to be done, but seemed a lot like vultures picking at a still-living carcass. I do know that two of the papers…Ft. Collins and um…maybe Hugo…did stories on the auction and people came from as far as Arkansas to attend. I found the clippings and photos down in my granddad’s basement. So if you’re in the mood to research a little, I can give you the date of the auction. The house, store, barn, lumber yard and a couple other buildings were bought from us by Bobby Vick in ’68. We had to ask his permission to enter the property in the ‘80s for the reunion.
I am unfamiliar also with Lois Dahlstrom. However, I can attest that that two-storey house is indeed the old Davis homestead – or the last one anyway. Somewhere out on Section 35, they had a wood shack and a buffalo-chip dugout, then a small house. The big house on the train tracks was the final residence. Miss. Dahlstrom may indeed own the properties now, and if that’s the case, I’d be interested in talking to her. There was a chimney in the center that was pretty unstable back in the ‘80s, and I see that’s gone now. I wonder if it fell in or was removed. The roofline used to have a lightning rod with a cobalt blue insulator that served as kind of a beacon. That’s gone now, too. Probably went on ebay or maybe just fell down too. But that barn roof and the oval-shaped cutout in the window by the entry is a dead giveaway. It’s actually two Sears and Roebuck homes put together and came by train – or one did at least. The other was moved onto the lot after it was purchased from a former resident looking to vacate and return back up north. It never had running water because the well underneath was brackish. I think you had to be the other side of the creek to get the fresh water, but this lot was given to them to get them off the plains and into town. I think they depended on the railroad’s cistern for water and collected whatever ran off the roof. Damn little, anyway you cut that idea.
It is also possible that Lois Dahlstrom was related to the family that lived next door, and perhaps she is confusing the two. I never saw their house, and what’s next door now looks fairly modern in comparison – like 20s-30s era. Maybe there was a home that came before it? I never knew the neighbor’s names, but I do remember my granddad saying that he remembered his mother speaking in German across the fence to the neighbor lady while doing laundry. Perhaps it was actually Swedish they were speaking. Or maybe it was German. He used to crawl under their mulberry bushes and eat the white ones underneath. A brave act, considering the area’s population of rattlesnakes.
got some more information for you that I thought you might find interesting.
On our store, there are two buildings merged into one. On the left side by that ’60 Chevy was the lumber yard. It’s the small side. The larger right side was the general store. Down below it is an earthen basement where my granddad used to hide out as a kid. He’d take a grape cola and sneak down there in the cool on a hot day. Across the street (now long gone) was my Uncle Fan’s garage, where he built race cars out of the scrapped cars he found around the prairie. The family also sold cars there, but the brand of cars they sold (Saxons, maybe) had axles that broke on the rough prairie terrain. Turned out to be modern Edsels for this area. Fan had a plane, too. They wheeled it out onto the prairie the first night he owned it in preparation for his practice flight. In the darkness, it got stripped of its control panel and wheels, and the wind tossed it onto its back. He wanted to be a barnstormer, but my great-grandma didn’t want that at all. Guess she got her wish. But these stories are indicative of the regular hard luck my folks and others experienced regularly.
I don’t know whose ’60 Chevy that is, but I wouldn’t mind that for myself.
I don’t think it’s there anymore, but it could have been hiding in the weeds.
That white house next to the barn is what my dad called the “Doctor’s House.” That’s just what it was called. I can’t be for sure what is meant by this, but here are my best guesses. Most likely, this house, since it has some kind of fancy facing on it, belonged to the doctor who speculated on the land out here first in the 1900s. He sold my family and many others the land out here and built a place for himself and his family. He tried to do the same thing down in Mexico, but had to paint his face and arms brown, don a sombrero and other peasant wear and walk back to the United States after he realized “gringos” weren’t welcome down south during the revolution. Anyhow, there was some back-and-forth with his family wanting to live here. While our two-storey home was being built across the tracks, the doctor (I can find his name, too) allowed our family to live in it. Our house was completed just in time for the doctor’s son and family to come back and move in.
There is a story of my great-grandparents building a home to attract a doctor to live in Boyero. There were several, and none stayed for very long. They did entice a female doctor to come and stay by building a house for her. She stayed for several years, but then went to…Colorado Springs or Denver, I’ll have to re-read that part…to start a practice there. It turns out, she didn’t have a license to be a doctor and wasn’t even a nurse. However, no one really cared because she had saved lives out there many times and patched a lot of people back up. Maybe she came from a medicinal family with all kinds of knowledge about herbalism and whatnot and had some kind of farm knowledge of the human body. Or maybe her dad was a doctor and she helped him out in his surgery, so had firsthand knowledge. A curious story for sure. I guess beggars can’t be choosers in so many ways out in areas like this.
As far as I know, the residence next door to our house across the tracks is where Bobby Vick’s people eventually lived. Back in the ‘80s, we had to ask his permission to go into the house. I don’t know if he’s still alive, or if his children now own it. But someone still lives there, clearly. This was the property where I told you about my grandma talking in German across the fence to the neighbor lady. I didn’t get a good look at what it looks like, but it seemed a bit more modern that our house and the others around it. But I could be wrong, as the trees obscured it fairly well.
I don’t know the story of the yellow stucco house with the barn and the green tin roofs. Was that “collector’s shoppe” still open when you went? I also don’t know yet the stories of the red barn with the corral, the small building/shed to the right of that structure, or the house is that’s all collapsed down on itself.
Hope this is helpful and interesting.
Rocky Says – Absolutely and A BIG THANKS