Landmark of City Operated By One Family For Thirty-Eight Years
With the announcement this week that Mrs. J. K. Fullingim has leased the City Hotel to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Robertson, effective July 1, another tie binding present-day Crosbyton with its early day history has been severed. Mrs. Fillingim and her daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Denton, are moving into their new home on Ayershire avenue this week.
Operator of the hotel with her late husband, Mr. Jno. K. Fullingim, since 1912, and a resident of Crosby County since 1890, "Mamie" Fullingim has seen the full conversion of the great plains from a strickly cattle country to the greatest farming area in the nation.
"I've had a hard time, but I've had a good time," she said, as she recalled the early days of the hotel. "I've had to work hard, but I wouldn't have stricky had it any other way."
Mr. and Mrs. Fullingim bought the City Hotel from Mr. A. D. Myers in 1912. The hotel, first built at Old Emma a few years earlier, had been moved to Crosbyton in 1910, after an election had given the courthouse to this city since 1912, the Fullingims have been owners and operators, a period of 38 years.
Mrs. Fullingim, who came to the county in 1890, met and married Mr. Fullingim the following year. Mr. Fullingim, who was born in Red River county in East Texas, moved to West Texas when 16 years of age. He first worked for the Matador Ranch, later moved to Old Emma where he was Crosby county sheriff for eight years, ranched in the south part of the county for several years before moving his family to Crosbyton.
Both the City Hotel and its competitor, the Crosbyton Inn, did a thriving business in the early days, Mrs. Fullingim reports. Every train brought sightseers from the north and east to see the virgin country. In addition to their hotel, the Fullingims ran a taxi service, a surrey drawn by four spirited horses, which met the train each day, and deposited the prospectors at the hotel.
"We filled up our hotel first, then took the others to the Crosbyton Inn" Mrs. Fullingim said. "Sometimes we would have to make several trips to the station to get all the passengers."
As late as 1924, taxis from both the City Hotel and the new Smith House, built by Mr. and Mrs. J. Frank Smith in 1921, met the train daily. But the prospectors from the old sections of the country had begun to thin out by the start of World War I.
"We had lots of fun running the hotel then," said Mrs. Fullingim. "There were always parties and dances, when we would move all the tables out of the dining room. There weren't any fiddlers around so Irene (Mrs. Romie Coffey) played the piano for the dances.
"Nearly every family in Crosbyton ate dinner with us on Sunday. All the girls helped to serve, so there wasn't any help problem."
There are four girls in the family: Matt (Mrs. Guy Denton), Irene (Mrs. Coffey), and Dessie (Mrs. Walters), all of Crosbyton; and May (Mrs. H. L. Andrews) of Clovis, N. Mex. A son, Clarene, preceeded his father in death.
Appearance of the hotel has changed considerably since it was first moved to Crosbyton. A third story (just a dust catcher for many years) has been removed since the war. "We could use that additional room now," said Mrs. Fullingim. The building has recently been repainted and repapered.
Mr. Robertson, who will take over the hotel Friday, is well acquainted with the history and traditions of the old hostelry, however, as he is a Crosbyton pioneer in his own right, having spent most of his life in the county. He and Mrs. Robertson will carry on the tradition of western hospitality which has always marked the City Hotel.
The Crosbyton Review, Thursday, June 29, 1950