Joe Cooper Recalls Early Days In Jal

Memories of the days when he first came to Lea County were revived by The Jal Flare‘s special edition in Joe Cooper, who lives ten miles north of Jal.

He came here in ’10 from Pyote, Texas with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James M. Cooper, and has lived in this area for the last twenty-eight years.

When they first arrived, they had to haul water six or seven miles, Mr. Cooper recalled, from what is known as the west wells (now Jal). But the four boys and the father soon had a house built and a well drilled.

“Those were rough days,” Mr. Cooper said, “but still they were the sweetest of my childhood. I couldn’t see it then, but now I can realize it.”

When the time came to drive the look back through the years and and stock to water, it fell to Joe’s lot to climb aboard the burrow and round them up. It usually took him all day, since the horses were wild.

Sickness of two of his brothers also threw a hardship on Joe during those early days, as there was a great deal of work to be done.

[Jal Flare, Jal, NM. 30 Mar 1939.]