Tatum — on the way to . . .

Tatum’s "First Street". Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks When a town is small with no visible attractions on the main highway, reasons to cause people to stop for a while, it becomes a place on the way to . . . . Tatum is 21 miles to Lovington to the south on New Mexico Road 206 or 73 miles west to Roswell or 15 miles east to Texas on U. S. Highway 380. Tatum, population 768, elevation 3,986, was founded […] Read more »

Lovington — named for love

Lovington’s Chaparral Park. Photo by Charles Kelley Lovington became the county seat of Lea County when it was created from the eastern portions of Eddy and Chaves Counties in 1917. A man named Robert Florence Love, known by his middle name, was determined to establish a town where his homestead was located, the site of present-day Lovington. He filed for a post office permit under the name of Loving. However, it was denied as there was a settlement south of […] Read more »

Eunice — where oil flows, a city grows

Pumpjacks are everywhere throughout Eunice. Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks As often happened when areas were settled, the date of founding is the same date a post office was established. Eunice is a case in point. J. N. Carson from Shafter Lake, Texas circulated a petition in 1908 seeking a post office for the present-day location of Eunice. He had claimed 320 acres for homesteading by plowing a furrow around the boundaries. He then applied for a post office. Conditions […] Read more »

Buckeye, Prairieview, McDonald, Gladiola — mere dots on the map

Cattle and plowed fields indicate hardworking people live on these southeastern New Mexico plains. Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks Buckeye is located on NM Highway 238 seventeen miles southwest of Lovington. The settlement is named for the Buckeye Sheep Ranch nearby, and does not have a post office. Traveling this part of eastern New Mexico reinforces your awareness of the size of the state, fifth largest. There are so many miles of nothing but miles and miles. After you pass […] Read more »

Hobbs — the black gold rush city

Hobbs City Hall Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks Hobbs came into existence on January 28, 1910, with the opening of a post office named for the pioneering Hobbs family. For nearly two decades, the town remained isolated and inconvenient, a difficult place for settlers to wrest a living from the land. All that changed, however, when the Midwest Refining Company (now Amoco) began drilling for oil near Hobbs on October 12, 1927. Soon the plains area was the stage for […] Read more »