Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

Back to Treasures Index

picksamandhenrySam and Henry Pick

Honored April, 2015

Sam and Henry Pick


For the first time Living Treasures is honoring two brothers together, both native Santa Feans, both generous and significant contributors to our community. They have been business partners, and as two term mayor, Sam has been the well known charasmatic face of Santa Fe, and Henry an icon of public service in the community.

Sam is a born leader. He was president of Temple Beth Shalom, the Santa Fe Rotary Club, as well as District Governor, Chairman of the NM Democratic Party. From City Councilman in 1970, he then served as mayor, from 1976 to 1978 and again from 1986 to 1994. He quickly gained a reputation for being an approachable and responsive leader and believed that his first responsibility was to keep city services operating efficiently. He built put Santa Fe in the national spotlight and built our local economy by promoting the city through national television appearances and by making sales calls to travel writers, and agents and business that could potentially relocate to Santa Fe. Sam knows no strangers. He appreciated and acknowledged the “ordinary” people. With a quick smile and contagious enthusiasm, and without hesitation, he introduced himself to visitors to tell them what a great place Santa Fe is to live and do business. He was eager to hear their opinion of our city.

Henry, Sam's older brother, has poured he boundless energy (he still plays tennis) into civic service. As a Rotary member he was recognized worldwide as a leader, he trained others to lead, and spoke nationally. Thirty two years ago Henry established a weeklong leadership camp for New Mexico and West Texas high school students, and since then up to 5,000 teens have attended. Henry embodies the motto of “Service Above Self” in everything he does. He was President of the Santa Fe Junior Chamber of Commerce and helped build the first Little League baseball field in Santa Fe. He was Cub Scout leader for 120 elementary school boys. Henry established the first tenants at the Valdes Industrial Park. He is in the hall of fame at his alma mater, the New Mexico Military Institute. And first on his list of major accomplishments is a great family.

For two decades Sam and Henry owned the family White Swan & Dry Cleaning business (which became a commercial linen and uniform rental company) that employed 50-90 people. The company sponsored Little League and other organizations that needed help. The brothers were leaders in developing programs for the disabled and assisting welfare recipients. Determined to give second chances to prisoners on work release, they helped to establish programs at the Penitentiary of New Mexico. In the summer Henry often hired students to work in the laundry. One day a young man asked him, “Henry, why do you call these educational jobs?” His reply, “because they make you realize the importance of getting a good education so you won't be doing this for the rest of your life.” When the company was sold in 1988, the brothers made certain that all employees had other jobs

.Sam and Henry each has a manner that endears you to them immediately. “Fun to be around, sincerely interested in helping others and in learning something good about everyone...they are friendly, humorous, caring and extremely bright. They are giving with a full heart and generous spirit. Our city would not be the same without the exceptional contributions of these two loyal and gifted native sons.





Story by Nancy Dahl

Photo © 2015 by Genevieve Russell