This year, we are celebrating Richardson & Richardson with a special four-part series, looking back over the past seven decades. We hope you enjoy these memories from our time as a company.
Two Thousand Twenty marks the 70th anniversary of our company’s founding. My Dad, Allan K. Richardson, built his first house in late 1949. After completion, he decided to add homebuilding to his real estate and insurance business. Throughout the 1950s, he built many homes in Carlsbad for the growing population, including the one I grew up in on Lakeside Drive. Potash, a soil nutrient mineral, had been discovered in the area in the late 1930s, and the mines were expanding and hiring.
As a small boy, I remember hanging out at open houses with my Dad and Bill Bynum, one of his realtors. I even earned a $50 “commission” for showing a 3-bedroom home (for the second time) to a couple while Bill was at lunch. That was the start of my boyhood savings account.
In 1959, Dad partnered with Jim D. Courson to form Richardson & Courson, Inc. for the purpose of doing commercial projects, schools, etc. in the Southeast New Mexico area. For larger projects, they joined with Tom W Heflin of Artesia, NM. Mr. Heflin was one of the “original” building contractors in the state, starting in the early 19-teens.
This arrangement built many projects in the early 1960s, including Park Junior High in Artesia (the world’s largest underground school – it was the Cold War era), numerous Safeway stores, and a dormitory for the NM School for the Visually Handicapped in Alamogordo.
R&C completed a project adding onto the Carlsbad Library, a project designed by local architect Arthur Gorrell. During demolition and foundation work, the job was stalled when they uncovered what was thought to be a child’s skeleton! After much research and forensic investigation, it was determined to be somebody’s monkey that had been buried in the lawn of the library.
My first “job” was helping on the “Quickie” convenience store in Carlsbad. I was paid the princely sum of 12 ½ cents an hour ($1.00 per day), a job that every kid in the neighborhood wanted! In 1965, Dad bought out Mr. Courson and the company became Richardson & Richardson as we know it today.
Next time, I’ll take us into the late sixties and the seventies.