Lizzie Walters Boykin


Lizzie Walters was the firstborn child of James V. Walters and Frances Baca Walters. She was born on 22 November 1869 in Lincoln County, New Mexico. On 22 April, 1885, she married William Bell McDonald in Lincoln County, New Mexico. They had no children. Ten years later, in 1895, Lizzie married Sidney J. Boykin on 18 November in Dimmitt, Castro County, Texas. Within just a few days of Lizzie and Sid's marriage, William Bell McDonald, Lizzie's first husband, also remarried. I have not yet found any record of a divorce or annulment for Lizzie and William McDonald, though I'm sure it will turn up sometime.

As stated on my home page, I cannot vouch for the absolute accuracy of every piece of information on this page. If errors are noted, please contact me and I will make every effort to correct any inaccuracies.

The following information was taken from materials sent to me by Mary Burck Barrett. My thanks go to Mary for furnishing such wonderful information.

FROM "HOUSES IN TIME" BY LINDA G. HARRIS OF LAS CRUCES. PUBLISHED IN 1987

"Lizzie Walters was born on November 22, 1869, near the Ruidoso River nine miles south of Lincoln, New Mexico, the nearest settlement. Her father logged pines in the Capitan Mountains but later sold out to farm and raise livestock south of Lincoln. During her growing-up years, Lizzie viewed the Lincoln County War from the sidelines of her father's ranch. Once when she was visiting children at a neighboring ranch, she watched Billy the Kid, fresh from a jailbreak, file off his shackles and toss them into a stream. She lived at the family's ranch near Lincoln until 1895 when she married Sid Boykin, a rancher from Portales Springs.


Sid and Lizzie Boykin

Her husband had been in ranching since he was a fifteen-year-old cowboy in Texas. When he finally settled in New Mexico, he went into the cattle business for himself at Portales Springs. Later Boykin bought a ranch northwest of the site where the railroad town of Clovis would be established in 1906.

By 1913 Boykin had sold his ranch and taken up cattle trading and the banking business. That year he and Lizzie bought two large lots in Clovis and planned their house. The house was finished in 1915 and Sid and Lizzie settled down to life in town. Sid divided his time between banking and raising prized Herefords, while Lizzie devoted her time to church work. Sid died in 1933. Lizzie lived in the house nearly 20 years more until her death in 1952. They had no children.

Lizzie Boykin's new house on Sheldon Street (400 Sheldon Street, Clovis, New Mexico) suited her just fine. Roomy, but not fancy - a cross between a farm house and a ranch house. She was pleased, though, that every window had the diamond shape that was so popular with Queen Anne homes. For her husband's sake, she had made sure the house had ample porches. They were both used to fresh air and open spaces, so the porches were nearly a necessity. She was forty-six years old the year her house was built. She would live there the rest of her life.

Clovis is still a farm and ranch town, although Cannon Air Force Base is a welcome addition to its economy. The Boykin house has had a succession of owners since Lizzie's death. She probably would be happy to know that it's now home to an air force family. The family's curly haired little boy digs in Lizzie's old back yard, collecting rocks and twigs for safekeeping in a bottle."

FROM THE NEWSPAPER OBITUARY IN SEPTEMBER 1952:

"Mrs. Elizabeth Boykin, 82-year-old pioneer settler of Clovis, died in a local hospital Saturday afternoon where she had been taken Thursday night after suffering a mild stroke. Although she had been ill for some time, she appeared to be much improved Saturday morning. She was reading a letter from a friend, Miss Mary Frances Lamison of Gig Harbor, Wash., when death claimed her.

She was a native of New Mexico, having been born in Lincoln County. She was married to the late Sid J. Boykin in 1895 at Roswell and they made their home in Portales before moving on a ranch near Clovis in 1912. She sold the ranch after his death in 1933 but retained property holdings here, including the Southwestern Public Service company building.

Mrs. Boykin leaves a host of friends to mourn her passing. She was a member of the Keystone chapter of the Order of Eastern Star and was active in church work at the Central Church of Christ before suffering ill health. She had lived at her home at 400 Sheldon for the past 31 years.

Funeral services are being arranged for 2:30 o'clock Monday afternoon at the Central Church of Christ. Rev. Howard Rogers, former pastor of the church, but now of Dodge City, Kansas, will officiate. Steed Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

Survivors include four sisters, Mrs. Nancy E. Brown, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mrs. Metta Bailey, Kansas City, Mo.; Miss Lucy Walters, Glasgow, Mont.; and Miss Bess Walters, Los Angeles, Calif. Mrs. Brown and her daughter, Mrs. Bernice Daniels, both of Oklahoma City, and Mrs. Bailey were in Clovis at the time of Mrs. Boykin's death."

FROM "HIGH PLAINS HISTORY BOOK" (1980):

"Sid Boykin - Pioneer Cowboy of Eastern New Mexico and Lizzie Walters Boykin, his wife who knew Billy the Kid"

"Only a few old-timers can remember "Uncle Sid" Boykin and his wife Lizzie. They were of a breed that has died out, just like the old longhorn cattle that Sid Boykin trailed into New Mexico many years ago. It is only fitting that our early pioneers be remembered as we of another generation could profit well from their meaningful and rich lives.

Sid Boykin, a pioneer cattleman and banker of Curry County, first came to Eastern New Mexico when it was all open range. He lived to witness the coming of the railroad and the homesteader, and before he died in 1933, had become one of the area's most prominent cattle and business men.

Born in Erath County, Texas, on December 16, 1861, Sidney J. Boykin was the son of S.R. and Emily (Medford) Boykin. His father had served as captain in the Home Guard of Texas during the Civil War. Sid was one of seven children, having three brothers and three sisters. With a limited education in private schools Sid, at the age of 15, hired out to ride the range in the employ of others until he was 25 years of age. One outfit he worked for, and the one bringing him to New Mexico, was the George Taylor outfit of Sweetwater, Texas. Branded the Diamond A, this herd was moved to near Roswell on December 6, 1881.

He returned to Texas to work for Jim Newman and the Yellowhouse outfit. Sid came to the vicinity of Portales with the Jim Newman herd. It wasn't long until Sid went into the cattle business for himself near the site of the old Portales Springs.

On November 18, 1895, Sid was wedded in marriage to Elizabeth Walters. Called "Lizzie" by her friends, Mrs. Boykin was born near the banks of the Ruidoso River, nine miles from old Lincoln in the year 1869. Her father, who originally hailed from Kentucky, was among that brave caravan who followed the sunset trails into California in the gold rush of '49. He later returned to the pine covered slopes of the Capitan Mountains, settling on the Ruidoso. Lincoln was the nearest settlement and trading post. One of her earliest recollections was that of her father hauling logs with ox teams to a sawmill in the mountains. A little later he sold ten ox teams and moved down the river to a settlement called Glencoe where he engaged in farming. His crops were sold to ranchers who were coming west with their mule teams. They lived there from 1875 to 1877 when he moved to the lower Penasco, south of Lincoln where he continued to raise stock and grain.

Lizzie was only nine in 1878 when she first saw Billy the Kid. She stood close by while a cowhand of a neighboring ranch filed the handcuffs off the wrists of the Kid after he had escaped from the Lincoln County jail where he was being held under the sentence of death. After the cuffs were removed from the Kid's wrists, Mrs. Boykin says she and the other children on the ranch followed the Kid and his two companions, Frank Baker and Jesse Evans, to the little mountain stream nearby where Billy tossed the manacles into the water. Free of jail and now free of his handcuffs, the Kid and his companions rounded up fresh horses and departed for parts unknown. According to Lizzie:


Lizzie lived there at the family home until her marriage to Sid. She was at the time 26 years old. They lived six or seven years near Portales Springs, moving in 1902 to the Frio Draw northwest of present Clovis. There Sid continued ranching until 1913 when he sold his land and turned his attention to trading in cattle. That same year, Sid purchased a large interest in the old First National Bank of Clovis which was located at Grand and Main and later used as the Citizens Bank. He was made Vice President, a position he held until November 1, 1915, when he was made President. Selling out in 1918 Sid, along with Joe Wilkinson and others, a few years later founded the Farmers State Bank in Clovis. Sid was also the President of that institution. The bank didn't last, and Sid joined the Citizens Bank of Clovis in which he became a Vice President.

Sid Boykin was never far from his first love - cattle. He raised prized herefords on his ranch he acquired in the Running Water Draw near the Pleasant Hill community. George Trimble now owns the site of the old Boykin place.

Sid and Lizzie's Clovis home was at 400 Sheldon Street and they lived there until their deaths. Sid died on March 15, 1933, and his wife died on September 6, 1952. They had no children to carry on the Boykin name. When Mrs. Boykin died, she left the balance of her estate to the Christian Church in Clovis. If Sid left any written history, it hasn't been found, altho in 1927 he did correspond with J. Evetts Haley, the noted Texas historian while Haley was putting together the history of the famous XIT Ranch and a lot of the history of the Llano Estacado.

What would be interesting to find is the large photo collection Sid owned and that was displayed at Clovis' first Pioneers Day in 1935. This collection was said to have included many early day ranching scenes. Perhaps they have faded away - just as the memory of these two beloved people, are regretfully, fading away."

FROM A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE AFTER LIZZIE'S DEATH IN 1952

"BOYKIN PROPERTY LEFT TO CHURCH.... All of Mrs. Elizabeth Boykin's property was left to the building fund of the Central Church of Christ it was revealed when her will was read following funeral services Monday. Named as trustees of the will are D.M. Rodgers, Clovis, and Federal Judge Carl A. Hatch.

Mrs. Boykin, a pioneer resident of Clovis who died here Saturday afternoon, had been a member of the Central Church of Christ for many years. She asked that the church include in the new building a memorial window for her late husband Sid J. Boykin, and if possible, one for her.

Her property includes the Southwestern Public Service company building at Third and Main, the building housing Skinner's Shoe Shop, her home at 400 Sheldon and also a small home at 301 Ross. The home at 301 Ross is to be maintained for Mrs. Annie Thompson during her lifetime according to the wording of the will, after which it will divert to the church.

Plans have been underway for several months for the construction of a new Central Church of Christ building. Only around $35,000 had so far been raised. The new church is to be located on the north side of West Fourteenth at the intersection of Connelly Street. Evaluation of the property left by Mrs. Boykin, said Rodgers, will be made after a meeting has been held with the church board of trustees. They include J.A. Wilhite, R.A. Johnson and Peck Kennedy."

"A FOOTNOTE IN HISTORY" - Lizzie Boykin's will stirs a controversy. (from a newspaper article ?)

"When Mrs. Sid (Lizzie) Boykin died in 1954 she willed her estate to her church, the Central Church of Christ at 5th and Mitchell (420 Mitchell, Clovis, NM). The members were divided on how to use the money. Only $35,000 had been raised up to then to build a larger church. Some wanted it to go into stained glass windows as requested by Mrs. Boykin. Others had different ideas. It split the church, and two new churches were built from this one congregation: The Central Christian Church at 14th and Mitchell and the First Christian Church at 17th and Main (1700 North Main, Clovis, NM)."