Quay was named for Matthew S. Quay, United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1887 to 1904.
Quay was a leading proponent in Congress during New Mexico's fight for statehood.
Tucumcari, the county seat, is storied in songs.
Long ago Tucumcari was one of the leading cattle shipping points in the state. Conchas Lake to the north of Quay County makes it possible for large areas to be irrigated for farming.
Also, Ute Lake provides fishing and skiing for the sports enthusiasts.