Lea County Facts
Fair & Rodeo
Vol Fire Dept
Addressing & Mapping
Lea County, New Mexico
We are very happy to have this opportunity to furnish information
on Lea County. Lea County's main businesses are established in
the oil and gas industry and in agriculture. Professional services
are also primary in the development and stability of the County.
Lea County provides the conditions needed for businesses to prosper.
We have easy access within the County provided by four-lane highways.
Traveling to and from work can be achieved in a drive of only
a few minutes. The cost of living here is 10% below the national
Water and natural gas are abundant and economical in Lea County.
Our electrical provider, Southwestern Public Service - New Centuries
Energies Company, offers industry rates that are the 5th lowest
in the United States with a high reliability rating.
Local governments are anxious to make the move of any new business
as effortless as possible. We will try to help your business take
advantage of every tax break and incentive available. Included
in Lea County's bountiful assets is a highly motivated labor force.
The outlook of your company's future will be glowing from this
area of plentiful sunshine.
One of the important aspects of the quality of life in Lea County
is education. Kindergarten through Masters level education is
available which makes for a promising work force. Our elementary
and secondary schools are fully accredited and we have a junior
college and a four-year college.
History of Lea County
Lea County, New Mexico was created on March 17, 1917, five years after New Mexico was admitted to the
Union as a State. At
that time, the region had essentially nothing to offer except
the vision of a handful of hardy settlers. The only thing connecting
the sparse settlements were wagon roads and cattle trails. There
were none of the communication conveniences of telegraph or daily
newspaper and the mail was carried via horses. There was no railroad,
no running streams or rivers, and no major city. Politicians in
Santa Fe considered the area to be an immense, semi-arid pastureland
on the southwestern corner of the state. Therefore, they found
it hard to justify the creation of a county from such an arid,
windswept place. The only natural resources for taxes that were
know of were grass and water. However, a great wealth in gas,
oil and potash was later discovered.
Change and growth has been part of Lea County's history. It's
first settlers would find it difficult to believe that the County
is now so populated and vital to the sources of energy for the
Lea County now flourishes in oil and gas, agriculture, and the
City of Eunice
The City of Eunice was founded in 1909 with
the opening of a U.S. Post Office. The city's name was chosen
from a list prepared by the post office's operator, John Ceasar,
and one of his daughter's names was Eunice.
Homesteaders brought about the early growth to the area and many
cattle ranches were settled. A well known cattle ranch, the "84
Ranch," was established in 1885.
Oil and gas was discovered in 1929 and provided the resources
need for the community. This resulted in its incorporation in
City of Hobbs
The founding of Hobbs occurred in early 1907
by a chance meeting between two covered wagons on a trail across
the Llano Estacado plain. James Isaac Hobbs and his family were
headed for Texas when they met an eastbound wagon of pioneers
returning from Texas because they had been unable to make a living
there. Mr. Hobbs then decided to head north and settled in the
southeastern corner of New Mexico in March of 1907, which is now
the location of the City of Hobbs. Other settlers were drawn to
the area by the promise of free land. Land claims register that
by 1911 Hobbs had approximately 25 landowners.
In June, 1928, the discovery of oil created a rush of growth.
This resulted in the community's incorporation in 1929. Quickly
Hobbs turned into a tent city of 5,000 settlers. At present, it
is the economic and residential growth center for the southeastern
New Mexico Permian Basin.
City of Jal
The City of Jal's name was taken from the JAL
Ranch, which was established in 1886 and was comprised of 192,000
acres in Lea County. Jal was founded with the establishment of
a Post Office and was officially incorporated in 1928 shortly
following the discovery of oil and gas in the area.
With the establishment of Texas Company (later called Texaco),
El Paso Natural Gas Company and The Continental Oil Company, Jal
began to grow and develop. Because of that growth, Jal proclaimed
itself the "Gas Capital" of the nation.
Jal continues to prosper today from the natural resources and
economic prosperity of the region.
City of Lovington
When the Love brothers moved to southeastern
New Mexico in 1900, they founded the City of Lovington. Lovington
is located on the land that Robert F. Love homesteaded in 1903.
The first business in Lovington was the Jim B. Love Grocery Store,
built by Robert's brother in 1908, and the post office was set
up in the store.
In 1910, a successful attempt to draw new settlers was made by
offering free lots to families with children. Lovington was appointed
as the county seat in 1917, which assured the community's future
prosperity. The city was incorporated in 1918.
It was the initiative of leaders of the community that brought
rail service to the area. Initially, their efforts did not entice
the railroads; but the discovery of oil and gas did. The impact
of the oil industry was most prevalent during the 1940's and 1950's
with a 12,000 foot deep oil production well, the "Sawyer
Before the discovery of oil and gas, the community was primarily
involved in ranching and farming. Lovington's lifestyles and labor
force were shaped by the new industry. The oil and gas industry
eventually declined, leaving a lasting impression. However, many
businesses survived and others provided gradual but steady growth.
Today, Lovington's self reliance is evident by its commitment
to public affairs and its dedication to the future.
City of Tatum
The City of Tatum was long considered as an
ancient crossroad, initially by the Indians and later as the Great
Four Lakes Ranch of 1.5 million acres. James B. Tatum homesteaded
the area and opened a general store in 1909. That store was granted
operation as a U.S. Post Office the same year.
The City of Tatum was known as a rich agricultural area with abundant
water and good land. Incorporation came about in 1948.
Phone: (575) 396-8521
FAX: (575) 396-5684
Mail: Lea County
100 North Main
Lovington, NM 88260-4030