Lea County hosted many schools, townships, and camps that for one reason or another, never survived into the 21st century, many surviving only a year or two and then vanishing, leaving only their names and the fading memories that were made there.
Antelope, Antioch, Arkansas Junction, Bagley, Beauty, Bennett, Borger, Buckeye, Caprock, Causey, Cooper, Crawford, Culp, Crile, Crossroads, Dallas Stores, Eunice, Ford, Gladiola, Harmony, Henry, Hester, High Lonesone, High Top, Hillburn City, Humble City, Jenkins, Jones City, Kimbrough, King, Knowles, Kornegay, Lane Salt Lake, Lea, Leck, Little Baker, Lone Star, Longview, Lynch, Maljamar, Maypens, McDonald, McIntyre, Mexico City, Micho, Midway, Mitchell, Mims, Monument, Muleshoe, Murphy's Chapel, Nadine (Roberts), New Hobbs, Lea, Oasis, Ochoa, Oil Center, Pearl, Pick Handle Flat, Pitchfork, Plainview, Planet, Pleasant Valley, Prairieview, Punkin City, Querecho Plains, Ranch House, Ranger Lake, Rat, Record, Roberts (Nadine), Salem, San Simon, Scott, Shaw, Skeen, Slatton, Soldier Hill, Southview, Swamp, Teague, Thornhill, Warren, Welch, White and Williams.
Little is known about the dream town of Antelope, established by Charles Burks about 6 miles west of Crossroads. "Gil Hinshaw's" book; "Lea, New Mexico's Last Frontier", reports that Antelope had a church, dance hall, barber shop, real estate office, two or threes stores, and a one room school.
According to James W. White's book, "The History of Lea County Post Offices" there was never a post office and mail would have probably been delivered to Croosroads or a Rural route been established.
Antioch - Midway
Lying northwest of Lovington, the Midway/Antioch cemetery is all that remains of a community that burned in 1950. Established prior to 1910, the community had a store, post office and school.
The Cemetery is 3 mi west of the New Mexico and Texas State line about 16 mi. N.E. of the City of Lovington. From Hwy 380 turn South on Antioch road, go one mile and turn west on Fillingim Rd. You will see the old church ahead, go around to get to the cemetery in back. There is a Cemetery Marker Sign on the highway.
[Printed with permission of Gene K. Tarvin]
West from Hobbs, New Mexico and at the junction of US 62-180 and NM Highway 203, you will find Arkansas Junction. The Junction was probably established in the late 1940's or early 1950's as workers traveled from Lovington, to build the the Natural Gas processing plants that were being constructed by Northern Natural Gas, El Paso Natural Gas and Warren Petroleum. The local cafe, still draws a crowd during lunch, with "CALL-IN" orders and oilfield personnel looking for a rest and a good meal.
Like many of the early townships and dreams that developed on the Staked Plains, Bagley, established as a rural school around 1920, had a short life of 6 years before it was discontinued in 1926. Located about 10m miles southeast between Tatum and Caprock, Bagley was named for a local rancher.
Located about 20 miles northeast of Tatum, the town of Beauty survived only a few years. Started by Rufus Hall in 1915, Beauty had a post office that was granted in August 1916 with Anna Hall as Postmistress. The same year it is recorded that Beauty had a small school. Rufus built a small wooden building that became the Beauty school with daughter, Anna Hall as the Head Mistress. Anna instructed eight children from two families in the school.
A photo dated 1916 from Lynn C Mauldin's book "Lea, A pictorial History", list the following students: Horace Hall; Gertie Hall; Maggie Hamlin; Babe Hamlin; Louella Hall; Anna Hall (teacher); Lexie Hall; Allen Hall and Theodore Hall. The school lasted only a year and a shortly after that in November of 1918, the post office, now with Rufus Hall as postmaster, was discontinued.
Bennett, established during the oil boom of the 30's, as a company town, with the majority of inhabitants being employees of El Paso Natural Gas.
Bennett's post office opened in April of 1940 with Callie Marshall as postmaster. The post office was closed in March 1957 when the population dropped below 100 people, of those, the mail employer was still El Paso Natural Gas.
Residents of Bennett, employed by EPNG, were transferred around the Lea County area as the company brought online the EPNG plants that surrounded and supported Bennett and the larger town of Jal.
Apparently the Oil Boom and rapid growth of Hobbs spawned many investors and homesteaders into developing their own communities, as was the case with the township of Burger. Located about 1/2 mile west of Old Hobbs, the township was never developed.
Buckeye, located 25 miles west northwest of Hobbs, has little to show for its many years of existence. The Buckeye store still stands. The area was originally named for the Buckeye Sheep ranch owned by A.J. Crawford.
Nestled in a grove of Cottonwood trees, on the north western edge of Lea County, is Caprock roughly 27 miles northwest of Tatum. Founded by Ed Charles E. Crossland, who was granted a post office in 1913 with Ed Crossland as the first post master. The ranching town once contained a gas station, post office and cafe.
Caprock, New Mexico, 1958.
Courtesy of New Mexico State Uninversity Special Collections, Jack D. Rittenhouse Collection
Named for one of the first settlers and famed buffalo hunters, George Causey or one of his brothers. The area five miles south of Lovington would appear to have been their camp as they moved into the area that was to become Lea County.
There is no recorded application for post office status, Causey is thought to have existed about 12 years, from the mid-1870's when Causey and his crew moved into the area from Curry County, in search of Buffalo.
Cooper, located about 7 miles north west of Jal, and named for the Cooper Ranch. The community had a post office from 1915 until 1938.
Crawford - Culp
Located between Hobbs and Lovington is the community of Humble City, ½ west of Humble City will be the Culp-Crawford pasture. The Culps were living there in 1906 when their youngest daughter Vina died from poisoning. The area never developed and children would go to school in Longview until the Longview school was closed in 191
aka Crile - McIntyre
Driving from North to South on NM Hwy 8, a deserted gas station on the right and on the left an old grocery store and post office, both in sad repair, and scattered homes, are all that mark the location of Oil Center. Located between Monument and Eunice is Oil Center, first named McIntyre, and promoted by the the Singleton-Crile Township Company, in support of the booming oilfield activity. Established in 1930's the post office survived from 1937- Dec 1994, the township like many others in Southeast NM, were the result of the Oil and Gas companies that swarmed the area.
Official records lists a baby, Barbara Ann Dyson, as still born and buried at Oil Center on May 6th, 1938. Parents are listed as William M. & Winnie E. Dyson.
The Crossroads townsite was established by Mr. C.W. Kinsolving and partner, Jack Dean about 1946-1947 at about the time the oil boom hit the Crossroads area. Oil was discovered on the U.D. Sawyer ranch located seven or eight miles east of Crossroads.
Dallas, with the Dallas store and service station, was located about 15 miles north of Tatum
On June 9th, 1909, the US Postal Service picked the name "Eunice" from a list of names submitted for a post office on the homestead that John N Carson had established in 1908. Carson a mercantilist from the Shafter Lake, Texas just across the Texas boarder set up the homestead on what was part of the lands of the "84" ranch.
William E. Reeder and Emery H. Norton, opened a second store in Eunice in 1910, the store was later sold to John Carson in 1914. View Eunice Area Homesteaders 1909-1937
Eight miles East of Tatum and One mile west of old Warren, which had the original post office (1912-1919,) this pioneer community had a school, store and service station; 1929-1957; location of the Gladiola Oil pool and Warren Petroleum Company plant.
New settlement on state road 18, ten miles north of Lovington; 1970 survey showed a cotton gin, tavern, restaurant and one mobile home.
New oil community 9 miles nothwest of Hobbs; located on State Road 18 and Texas & New Mexico Railroad; had two teacher Humble City School, built after 1930 and later consolidated with Hobbs Schools; had several small schools; post office; named for Humble Oil Company; from 1930-1976.
Jenkins, located approximately 20 miles northwest of Tatum and 5 miles west of Crossroads, was established around 1910 and named after the Rev. William Jenkins, who homesteaded the area and applied for a post office, which was authorized and opened on June 21st, 1910, with the Reverend's son, as Postmaster. Jenkins had a store and small school that supported the ranching communities in the area. The post office was closed on January 21st, 1926.
The town of King was located one mile west of Prairieview and five miles north. It was founded in 1908 or 1909. As the town expanded, its businesses included a post office, a school house, a store, a blacksmith shop, and a newspaper. As can be seen, the citizens of King were quite ambitious. In addition to the businesses, King also had a graveyard.
At the time King was founded, the community was full of homesteaders, who were proving up on their claims. By 1916, most of these people had sold their claims and left the country. Those families which remained in the area sent their children to the Prairieview school. After 1916, the only part of the town was the cemetery. Some of the people around Prairieview continued to bury their dead there for some years to come.
Kornegay - A 1930's Stock pen and siding on Texas & New Mexico Railroaod; 7 miles south of Hobbs, named for the Kornegay Ranch.
Lane Salt Lake - Located 4 miles southeast of Nadine.
A discontinued oil settlement on state road 176 at a point about 26 miles southwest of Hobbs; once claimed several hundred residents as a results of oilfield activity, had a post office from 1929 until 1931; townsite of Skeen nearby was surveyed but never developed.
Longview - Located 3 miles southwest of Humble City.
Children from Humble City, Culp, Crawford attended the one room school their until the school was closed in 1918, when it was consolidated with the Hobbs School District.
Lynch - Once a community and oil pipeline station near Lea; named for an early ranch.
Located about 26 miles west of Lovington; a cafe, service station, various oilfield support businesses, Baptist church and post office. Maljamar post office founded in 1943, the name came from the combination of Malcolm, Janet and Margaret, the three children of the towns founder, William Mitchell. Maljamar was the site of the first oilwell in southwestern New Mexico, brought in by the Maljamar Oil & Gas Company with William Mitchell as the president, in 1926.
Maljamar Archeology Site: LCAS 1957-58, Sand dune archeology: "Pottery shards included Chupadero Black and White, Three Rivers Red Wash, and La Junta Focus (from near Presidio). The presence of a small amount of El Paso Polychrome and the absence of Lincoln Black and Red indicate the site was abandoned about 1300 A.D.” In 1957 and 1958 members of the Lea County Archeological Society carried on excavations northwest of Maljamar, New Mexico, west of the Mescalero Escarpment, on the western edge of the Llano Estacado.
Established in 1930, Maypens was a live stock holding and loading site along the Texas & New Mexico Railroad.
A pioneer farming and ranching community; located on State Highway 18, 13 miles north of Lovington; original settlement site was one mile east of present location; named for the state's first governor, William C. McDonald; town once had two weekly newspapers The McDonald Record published from August 10 to December 1912, and the Plains News, published 1913-1914; mercantile stores, cotton gin and school that closed in 1922.
New oil town promoted in 1928; located 15 miles southeast of Hobbs, near Marland and Gypsy oil company locations; townsite never materialized.
Micho: Discontinued settlement three miles southeast of Tatum; post office from 1921-1922
Discontinued pioneer settlement northeast of Lovington; in 1910 had a general store, post office; school was located midway on the New Mexico-Texas border until it burn around 1950.community in 1950's called Antioch for nearby church; location of the old Midway cemetery.
Mitchell: New settlement near Maljamar in 1931; Main street was to be called Wall Street; development failed.
Mims: 1914 - 1915
Mulshoe: Watering place and first site of Jal.
First called Roberts and established in 1906, then changed to Nadine in honor of the postmaster James Hughes youngest daughter, who was about 6 months old when her father accepted the postal position.
In 1976, in Gil Hinshaw's book, "Lea, New Mexico's Last Frontier", he writes that there was a service station, store and several dwellings. Since then, Nadine/Roberts, has changed very little. The service station store has long been closed.
New oil settlement one mile south of Hobbs; post office from 1930-1932; consolidated with Hobbs.
Pearl, was a perverbial "pain in the backside" for residents of what was to become Lea County, as Lea was sheep and cattle grazing land in the late 1890's and early 1900's.
Pearl is now referred to as Pearl Valley by local residents and is located west of Monument and was originally established as a farming community established by R.L. Smith, better known as Farmer, who established his farm around 1900 and the area is still being farmed with little evidence of its past history.
Pick Handle Flat: A level area near Eunice, named for the weapons used in fight between feuding homesteading groups.
Oil boom settlememnt promoted west of Monument in 1930; townsite official, Clyde Brook, reported sales of lots brisk and building being erected; township never developed. Named for pioneer rancher Henry Record.
Scott - A vanished pioneer settlement 6 miles southeast of Tatum, New Mexico; hosted stores, school and a post office from 1909-1920
Skeen - A nearby township to the Lea community, named Skeen, was surveyed but never developed.
Swamp and the Swamp Angel Ranch, established around 1890 when Thomas C. Estes moved into the area and laid out a town. Swamp named for either the marshy grass in the area that made the area look a swamp, or the mysterious mist that hovers above the area when weather conditions are just right, is located about 10 southwest of Lovington. Swamp was never surveyed.
The ranch house, store and several others buildings were completed to serve the needs of the ranch and in March of 1894, Estes, submitted an application for a local post office. The request was granted and the Swamp post office was established May 1st, 1894 with Thomas Estes as Postmaster.
After a little over a year on July 11th, 1895, Thomas resigned his position as postmaster and closed the post office. The low pay could not have paid his expenses and being away from the ranch during the hundred mile trip would have been a burden on the ranch. Lasting only a year, the Swamp Post Office was the first official post office in Lea County.
Estes sold the Swamp Angel ranch in 1897, probably to the expanding HAT ranch that covered an area from the Pecos River into Texas, stopping just short of Brownfield.
Teague, a new place name for stock pen and siding located on the Texas & New Mexico Railroad in 1930, located 11 miles north of Jal, New Mexico
An early pioneer store, school and post office (1912-1919) located 9 miles east of Tatum and 1 mile east of present day Gladiola, New Mexico.
Williams - 12 miles south of Caprock, New Mexico.
The History of Lea County Post Offices...James W. White
Lea County, A Pictorial History...Lynn C. Mauldin
Lea, New Mexico's Last Frontier...Gil Hinshaw
Lea County Genealogical Society
Compiled and Transcribed by Erny Long
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