The editor of this paper passed on an e-mail from Mykell Jackman Brewer of Fairfax, Va.
She wrote to tell me two things: First, as far back as anyone today can remember, Jackman’s was in business at 310 and then 312 Main and it was her grandfather, William Thurman Jackson who started Jackman’s Mercantile store in Clovis in 1907 as the first “department” store in Clovis.
It became Jackman’s Ladies Wear in 1916.
W. T. Jackman owned Jackman’s stores in Amarillo, Lubbock, Oklahoma and Clovis. When the stock market crashed in 1929, his Lubbock banker — a man whose last name was Kuykendahl — closed the bank with no warning and many people, including Jackman’s stores, lost all their holdings.
“What was really stunning to my grandfather,” said Brewer, “was Kuykendahl’s daughter worked for Jackman’s and she knew what was to happen but gave no indication. … My grandfather sold off all the stores except the one in Clovis and moved his family to Clovis. He died in 1960, and then my father, Louis T. Jackman, who had been working for his father, took over Jackman’s.
“My father always said he would sell the store when he was certain I would not be tempted to follow in his footsteps as a ‘rag merchant.’ Nearly all the family worked there over the years, my grandmother Minnibel, my mother Virginia, and us kids.”
Louis T. Jackman ran Jackman’s for 18 years and retired and died in 1982. The store continued to do business until 1990, when it was owned by Janelle Brooks. So Jackman’s was in business in Clovis for 83 years.
“The second thing I need to tell you was how I came to know about your column,” Mykell said.
“You know Goldie Colvin there in Clovis. Goldie worked for us at Jackman’s too! She graduated (Clovis High School) class of 1937, and her daughter Sherry took dancing lesson from your grand-mother-in-law, Mrs. Katherine Whiteman.
“Well, Goldie sends me all your columns and other items she thinks I will enjoy reading. I delight in getting her letters as I spend time chuckling and enjoying what you write. When I finish your columns I send them to my sister, Jonna, in Arizona. She then shares them with one of our friends “Vertie” who played with the professional Clovis Pioneers baseball team.
“I also share your columns with Bobbie Bolton Burnett in Show Low, Ariz. Bobbie’s dad was the Rev. Clovis Bolton, minister of the First Christian Church in Clovis for many years. Bobbie then sends them on to Phyllis Stagner Morris, of Grants … whose dad built some of the tract housing in Clovis following (World War II).
“You do get around and bring a minute of humor to those recipients.”
Brewer said she and her husband Charlie teach in the public schools in Fairfax, Va. “I specialize in K-8 students, especially the ones with special needs,” she said.
Don McAlavy is a history buff who lives in Clovis.