Lea County Postal Histories information used with permission from James W. White
|Swamp||May 1, 1894-Jul 11, 1895|
|Monument||Dec 19, 1900|
|Knowles||April 26, 1904-Jan 15, 1944|
|Plainview||June 7, 1907- Dec 31, 1929|
|Nadine||Feb 18, 1908-Jul 15, 1934|
|Ranger Lake||Jul 32, 1908-Feb 28, 1920|
|Lovington||Sep 12, 1908|
|Pearl||Sep 19, 1908-Aug 31, 1929|
|Scott||Feb 11, 1909-Jan 31, 1921|
|Eunice||Jun 9, 1909|
|Midway||Jun 23, 1909-Nov 30, 1917|
|King||Jul 10, 1909-Jun 29, 1918|
|Henry||Jul 16, 1909-Oct 31, 1912|
|Tatum||Dec 9, 1909|
|Hobbs||Jan 26, 1910|
|Pioneer||Feb 8, 1910-Jun 5, 1911|
|Jenkins||Jun 21, 1910-Jan 31, 1926|
|Jal||July 6, 1910|
|McDonald||May 9, 1912|
|Warren||May 9, 1912-Jul 31. 1923|
|Cooper||Jul 9, 1914-Jul 15, 1938|
|Stanbro||Jul 9, 1914-Jun 30, 1917|
|Caprock||Jan 21, 1916-Jan 20, 1994|
|Beauty||Aug 10, 1916-Nov 15, 1918|
|Ochoa||Apr 13, 1917-Apr 30, 1940|
|Micho||Sep 15, 1920-Aug 31, 1921|
|Crossroads||Jan 28, 1925-Apr 29, 1995|
|Gladiola||Jan 17, 1929-Oct 19, 1956|
|Lea||Sep27, 1929-Apr 22, 1931|
|Humble City||Oct 13, 1930Jan 16, 1976|
|Oil Center||Feb 23, 1937-Dec 31, 1994|
|Buckeye||Apr 29, 1939-Apr 28, 1972|
|Bennett||Apr 19, 1940-Mar 8, 1957|
|Maljamar||Feb 26, 1943|
Mail Transportation in Lea County
The first mail route was established, in what is now Lea County, with the opening of the Swamp Post office in 1894. The route was probably a two or three day a week special supply route out of the Carlsbad Post Office. This route was abolished when the post office closed in 1897. The same road was likely used when a three day a week route was established to provide mail to the newly opened Monument Post Office in 1900.
Monument became the hub for mail delivery in the area. When the Knowles Post Office was established in 1904, a route from Monument provided the mail. This route continued on to Plainview when that office opened in 1907. There were four post offices established in the area in 1908. To provide mail to Lovington, the route from Carlsbad was extended through Knowles. A new route from Bronco, Texas, carried the mail twice a week to Ranger Lake. The Nadine Post Office received mail from Monument three, days a week and Pearl was added to the route between Carlsbad and Monument.
Six more post offices were established in Lea County in 1909. All of these new offices received their mail twice a week. The Tatum, Scott and King Post Offices were added- to the route out of Lovington. A new route from Plainview provided the mail to Midway and a new route from Monument delivered the mail to Eunice and Henry.
In 1909, the roads had been improved enough to allow the first automobile to be used between Carlsbad and Lovington. The service did not immediately improve since the frequency of the route remained three days a week. Lovington became the transfer point for mail going to the post offices in the northern part of the county. The route provided service to these offices twice a week. Two special supply routes were established out of Texas in 1910 to provide mail to newly opened post offices. One, out of Bronco, delivered mail to the Pioneer Post Office and the other, out of Kermit, provided service to Jal. A special supply route was established out of the Nadine Post Office to go to Hobbs.
The establishment of the Caprock Post Of f ice in 1916 created a need for another mail route. Since this settlement was. located in what would be the northwestern corner of the county, a temporary Special Supply Route was created out of the Roswell Post Office. This route was later changed to a permanent route.
The route from Brownsville Texas, through Bronco, was changed with the closing of the Warren Post Office in 1923 to terminate at the Tatum Post Office. The route continued to provide mail to the Gladiola office that had been added to the route in 1919. Except for adjustments for newly established or discontinued offices, the routes remained the same until the completion of the Texas-New Mexico Railroad in 1930. Although this new railroad did not provide Railway Post Office (RPO) service, it did deliver mail in closed pouches to Jal, Eunice, Hobbs and Lovington.
Major changes were made to the Star Routes serving the county.
A route was established between Clovis and Hobbs to provide mail exchanges with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and the Texas-New Mexico Railroads. This route carried mail to Crossroads, Tatum, McDonald, Lovington and Hobbs. The route from Roswell was extended to Hobbs and carried mail to the offices between Roswell and Hobbs. The route from Carlsbad became a direct to Hobbs. Hobbs had now become the hub for mail transportation in the southeastern corner of the state. A Star Route from Artesia to Loco Hills was extended to Lovington in 1939 to provide mail to the Buckeye Post Office. The Maljamar Post Office was added to this route when it opened in 1943. In the 1950's, the Post Office Department extended this route into Hobbs and eliminated the short route between Lovington and Hobbs.
The importance of Hobbs as the hub for the transportation became greater around 1940 when it was included as a stop for Air Mail Route 29. This air route served the larger cities between El Paso, Texas and Denver, Colorado. This did not change the Star Routes that were already in place. The Texas-New Mexico Railroad mail service was discontinued in the late 1940s. The Post Office Department extended the Carlsbad to Hobbs Star Route into Texas to replace the rail service.
ZIP Codes were created in 1963 and a nationwide campaign began to have the public include the code in their addresses. Roswell became the Sectional Center Facility (SCF) responsible for the processing and delivery of mail within the 882 ZIP Code area. This included all of the offices in Lea County except Crossroads. Due to the great distances of these offices from Roswell, the existing routes from Carlsbad, Artesia, Clovis and Roswell remained in place. Additional routes were added from Roswell to Lovington and Hobbs. The routes from Texas to Hobbs, Lovington and Tatum remained with the exception of the route from Pecos to Hobbs. The mail provided by this route was then routed through Midland.
These routes provided mail service to all of the offices in Lea County except those south of Hobbs. A Highway Contract Route (a new name for the Star Routes) was established from Hobbs to Jal and delivered the mail to the offices in between. The Buckeye Post Office was dropped from the Artesia route and a short HCR was established out of Lovington to provide mail service. This transportation has remained in place with the exception of small changes due to the discontinuance of offices. The arrival times and frequencies have varied some due to service needs.
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