Taiban, New Mexico

Taiban is a ranching community on US 60, 84 and the AT & SF RR. Named for Taiban Creek which was named by Indians. The townsite was laid out in 1906 by Judge McGill, a Mr. Lindsey, and J. B. Sledge. It has had a post office since 1906.

Vane Outias relates the following story: "There we were. Piling down off the steps of the jerk-water train at Taiban, New Mexico; Pa, Ma, and the kids. After counting the suitcases, the packages, and the bundles, Ma called the roll. All were present. The bunch of us with Ma herding started for the hotel. We had come out here to file on some land: make a living farming; and when we had proved-up, sell out and go back east (rich).

On the way to the hotel I made observations for my own particular benefit, namely, there were two places in town which would have thrown Carrie Nation into a frenzy if she had been one of our party, Watch me hurry, as I had come from a dry state. Just as soon as I could find an excuse I was admitted to the bar of the first emporium. I meant to say; when I found an excuse that the Missus would accept.

My excuse came in the form of Mack Wilson and Ed Gardner. They had watched our parade from the depot. Mack introduced himself as the deputy sheriff. His brother-in-law was a doctor and run the drug store and that they all owned the townsite. Ed said he was a locater and town constable. The Missus didn't suspect a thing and I barely got back in time for supper.

Mack and Ed introduced me to everybody, and the world grew brighter. I met Ben Eveman in the Exchange Bar and Tow Beall in the Depot Bar. Sometime during the day I ran into Zade Woods, Wayne Willis, John Ystes, Charlie Jackson, and a fellow they called Cactus Farmer.

The next morning I fell in with Justin Dumas and met a few others which included, "Dad" East, Painter Jim, Sylvester Sellers, Dutch Muller, Frank Roberts, the Yelvertson boys, Frank Montgomery, and some others.

Somebody took me up to the Taiban Valley News office and introduced me to the editor, Jessie King. The next issue of the paper told of our arrival and the neighborhood we had located in.

Bill Wade was running a general merchandise store in the rock building and that remindes me of the other stores in town. Forrest Miller had his furniture and undertaking store, Morris ran a grocery store, J. C. Leavelle was cashier at the Savings Bank of Taiban. Gardner ran the Red Front dry goods store. Wilson Brothers & Company had a frame building facing west and Doc Brown and C. P. Stone had a drug store.

G. H. Atkerson ran a hotel. That reminds me, somebody said that George Atkerson walked into town barefooted, and told everybody he met, that when his coat was buttoned up his trunk was locked. The first time I saw him he was runner for the Taiban Hotel, working for his board. Now just look at him!

Warwick Nuzum had a blacksmith shop, Wylie Bates a meat market, Homer Jones was the tonsorial artist, Bill Vaughter was the "Barbourous Barber from Butcher Town", and C. Irving Speight was manager of the Lone Star Lumber Company.

There was one fly in the ointment. We failed to make Taiban a county seat although Bill Wade took two candy buckets full of eggs with him to Santa Fe, NM one year and another year he lost his overcoat, which Katie had given him for Christmas. John Cheshire also spent some money fighting Fort Sumner on the county proposition.

I haven't mentioned Mr. Will. Every morning you can see him shoulder his trusty rifle and meander forth. When he returns several rabbits have had a scare. We called trips such as this as, "going to the meat market".

We didn't have a rifle. All we took was a twisting rod and thereby hangs a tale of the left-handed boy getting all the rabbits. All the old-timers were right handed and the rabbits learned their twist!"

HIGH PLAINS HISTORY, of East Central New Mexico, Co-Editors: Don McAlavy and Harold Kilmer, 1980.

NEW MEXICO PLACE NAMES, edited by T. M. Pearce, 1965.