Wilma Luna Powell



We established our operation in 1935 when we leased several sections and in 1950, bought the south half of 606 and ran about 125 head of cattle with feedlot where we fed old cows before selling them. We farmed cotton and maize on section 606 after 1955 when we plowed it up. My mother, Lillian Luna hated for grassland to be plowed up since prairie grass was up to her boots when she rode horses in Yoakum County in the early 1900’s. In 1960, we purchased a ranch 30 miles north of Ft. Sumner, NM and Vicente Loya kept the farm going. We drove back and forth on 25 cent and up to $1.00 gas for years until 1985 when Bill died of Leukemia. By then, Ty Earl, our second son, and Linda had moved back and kept things going at Plains. I kept the New Mexico Ranch until 1988 when I sold the 20 sections and moved back to Plains.

Wieney Island (hill in Stanford Park)

We used to hunt Easter Eggs on Wieney Island in the 1920’s when I was a little girl. I once found the big golden egg, which was a goose egg filled with candy I remember. Then, when I was in High School, John Claude Criswell, driving his Mom’s new Ford car with windows and full of us kids, would leave the south side of the draw and run up Wieney Island. When we got to the top, we would roll back down. No seat belts of course! If our parents had known this, they would have taken the car away from us. We also used to roast wieners on Wieney Island and that’s where it got its name I guess. Weiney Island is in the middle of Stanford Park that was donated by P.G. Stanford, a former county attorney. I don’t think it is quite as tall as it used to be, but then, neither am I!

Bill and I had about 50 head of cattle when we married in 1934. It was the Great Depression and the government was buying cattle for $3.00 per calf, $8.00 for a yearling, and $12.00 for a cow. They came out and shot them in your corral. They weren’t supposed to let you eat them, but we would can dozens of jars of meat. I had a Presto Canner that would hold 6 to 8 quarts.

The Extension Ladies made mattresses for our own use if we would get the material to make them. We used Ducking and Cotton. I plucked geese down for pillows. Too, we always had a fish fry at Arthur Davis’s place. (Sandra Ellison, Sheila Stephens, and Lanny Smith are grandkids) We caught the fish from their large tank and all the neighbors would come and we had a good time visiting.

I was always called “Bill” until I married Bill Harris Powell, and Bill marrying Bill was confusing! As the middle daughter of Lillian and Murphy Luna, I was a tomboy from the beginning. I helped my Dad, Murphey Luna, feed cattle, shock bundles (put them together in teepee style so they wouldn’t rot laying on the ground), brand, and gather cattle. Often times, since I was tall, wiry, and had a short haircut for my red hair, strangers working cattle mistook me for a boy. They used language unsuitable for women and I thought it as funny. Now, I can turn on the TV and hear the same bad words!

This page was last updated on 05/27/2016