History of Hobbs as Compiled by
Ralph Tasker's 1954-1955
Hobbs High School World History Class


HISTORY OF HOBBS NEW MEXICO
by Ralph Tasker's World History class of 1954-55


TABLE Of CONTENTS

Dedication

Introduction

First Oil Well

Boom

New Mexico Electric Company

Southwestern Telephone Company

Hobbs Gas Company

Harden Hotel

Apex of Boom

Disappearance of People After the Boom

First Paving

First County School Superintendent

Old School Landmark

Grandma Hobbs

School in 1930

School Trophies

Evaluation of School Property in 1939

First Church in Hobbs

Number of Churches Through the Years

Hospitals

Clubs

KWEW

KHOB

First Motion Picture House

Other Movie Houses Through the Years

Government of Hobbs

Farming

The Oil Industry

The Re-Birth of Hobbs 

Bibliography


TO

MR. RALPH TASKER

who

Conceived the idea of writing this booklet and to all those persons who gave us their time and patience so that it might he written,


INTRODUCTION

The information for this booklet was collected by Mr. Ralph Tasker's first hour World History Class of 1954-1955, as a class project. Some information was obtained from newspaper clippings, most of which ware borrowed from Mr. Raymond P. Waters at the Hobbs Daily News Sun. Other information was compiled through the use of the recorder. Interviewing someone, the person's voice was recorded and the information was captured ready for someone in class to take notes on. Some of the collected information was compiled into this booklet. We hope you will enjoy reading it and perhaps learn something about Hobbs.

Edited by John Davidson and Pat Young


THE HISTORY OF HOBBS

The first settlement in this area was Monument, now a small community about fifteen miles southwest of Hobbs., It was a site of a water hole, in fact the only water hole in this area*.

Oil was first discovered, back in 1928. Hobbs, consisted of one windmill, two trees and a ranch house, that was all except for the naked flat sweep of the land,

The Midwest Oil Company cam to this area in 1927, not particularly for the sole purpose of drilling a well. They had a lease in this part of the country and since the lease was about to expire, the company decided to go ahead and drill with half hopes of striking oil,

They came in from Tucumcari on September 22, 1927. The crew consisted of four men, namely: George Perkins, Tom Sartin, Bill Gilderson and J, P, Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan is retired now and Iives at the, Harden Hotel. Bert Graham was the company foreman and he visited the rig once in a while.

When they arrived, they began to rig up the old Number I well on the northeast corner of the northeast quarter of Section 9-19-38, just a mile from the town site of Hobbs. The crew roomed and boarded with a family by the name of Dunham, who have a nice ranch south of Hobbs and nine miles east of the old Number 1 wall. They stayed with-the Dunhams about two weeks while they were building a few camp homes, digging a water well, building a water tank, and digging a cellar and a large pit called the sump hole.

After the crew finished that job, the company sent a rig building crew from Casper, Wyoming, in to build the wooden derrick, The drilling crew built casing racks and set a little Ford pumping unit over the water well, After the rig builders moved out, the crew started to rig up, The men hired a cook and built a room for her to live in. They sent a truck to Carlsbad for a load of groceries which consisted of mostly ham, bacon and potatoes. After rigging up, they strung a three inch Martin rope drilling line and spudded 300 feet of a 26 inch hole, and set 20 inch pipe for surface pipe., We 'strung up a 718 steel line and started to run two twelve-hour towers,

From October 22 to November 15, they had set the 12-1/2 casing at 1580 feet. Just as they were changing the casing at 12:00 noon on November 15, the rig caught fire and burned to the ground. They shutdown after cleaning up where the rig was and most of the crew left for home. Mr. Sullivan stayed at the camp until December 15, and then he left a watchman there until he returned from the Christmas holidays.

The company then decided to build a steel rig and finish the Well. They got started back. into the hole sometime in January, 1928. They drilled the hole to 4,212 feet, however, they hit the first oil at 4,150 feet on June 13, and from then on they just kept hitting more. They finally built a 50,000 barrel tank and made a thirty day test. The well tested 850 barrels of 38 gravity in 24 hours.

The word went out: "BOOM AT HOBBS!"

Overnight the town sprung up. The people came in Model T's and other automobiles. They came in airplanes and trucks and buses. Some even came on foot. With the legitimate workers, came the usual backwash of camp followers. (The promise of easy money beckoned men - murderers, thieves, and a host of other persons of easy morals.)

Where six months before only prairie had met the eye, a noisy raggle-taggle town of raw lumber store buildings, shacks, and tents shot up,

The main street was called Carlsbad because it was the road to that city. Lot prices on this street soared, consequently, the land which formed the frontage often was rented rather than purchased outright. The renter constructed his own business building out of materials that were handy, at the moment. In spite of this, many businesses were built. Some of the present day businesses were built at that time as follows:

The New Mexico Electric Service Corporation was constructed by Plains Electric Company, forerunner of the present firm in 1929. It produced.40 kilowatts and served 29 customers. Today, the company produces 7,500 kilowatts and serves 6,086 units.

Lea County's, telephone system started its growth in 1929, when the State Telephone Company, forerunner of Southwestern Associated Telephone Company, constructed a line from Lovington to Jal.

Hobbs was connected to the the as an afterthought, telephone officials recall. A toll station was eventually placed in the post office building near Main and Broadway. As the town continued to grow, more facilities became necessary and a magneto switchboard was installed. In 1932, the company had about 240 telephones, all serving business firms. In February, 1951, the company had 3,889 telephones in service.

The Hobbs Gas Company started operation here in June, 1930. At this time the firm provided both water and gas. Later, the city purchased the water system. from the firm and has operated it since.

Construction of the Harden Hotel began June 5, 1930. It was built by John J. Harden of Oklahoma City, present owner of the property,

Throughout the rest of 1920 and 1929 the sound of hammering and sawing, the rumble of trucks and the quick chuffing of steam engines used on the drilling rigs of that day were heard here. Eunice, Jal, and Monument came into being as oil centers.

Early in January, 1930, Humble Oil and Refining Company completed its Bowers Number 1-A in the Hobbs field and tests indicated a whopping potential of 9,720 barrels per day. The well, situated about three miles south of the Hobbs pool discovery well, was the first large producer in Lea County.

The Oklahoma City boom which had its beginning in 1928 was simmering down. Many from that area were looking for an excuse to head for greener pastures. The news of Humble's big producer here brought them, to Hobbs in swarms.

The last half of 1929 and the first few months of 1930 saw the boom approaching its heights here.

The main drag was lined on both sides by jerry-built structures. Many had the high false fronts typifying boomtown construction in the southwest, The street was graced by a lone brick building ----Grady Thompson's hardware store, standing in its same location of today.

Long lines of automobiles stood down the center of the street. The narrow sidewalks, some of them of board construction, were packed with humanity. Drillers, roughnecks, roustabouts, pumpers, switchers, gaugers, gamblers, dancehall girls, prostitutes, lease speculators, carpenters, store clerks, housewives, and representatives of a hundred other trades and vocations rubbed shoulders in passing.

The apex of the boom was reached on April 19, 1930, when the first train on the newly laid tracks of the Texas-New Mexico Railway clanked into Hobbs.

Now Mexico's Governor Richard Dillon was at the throttle. The train, made up of passenger and baggage cars, carried a load of mail and state officials as guests of the railroad's executives who came up for the events.

The town coasted ahead a little after the arrival of the railroads and a few months later it boasted of 34 drug stores and 19 pool halls. However, the depression which had struck elsewhere over the country a little earlier that year, began to be felt here. Many started to grow a little panicky. When the east Texas boom exploded, the exodus began. The last two months of 1930 saw many of the citizens of Hobbs pack up bag and baggage and leave.

Those who stayed and are still here today recall that Saturday night was the usual time for the disappearing act because many left owing rent and other debts and the Sunday holiday gave them an opportunity to be a long way from here before it was discovered they were gone .

Also, the depression caused houses to be moved. Moving companies would move houses to Carlsbad, often two at a time. The houses were stolen or moved just to get rid of them.

The houses they moved were wooden and quite different from those first cardboard houses of the early boom. Inside the cardboard houses there was only room for two to sleep. They would spread their cover on the ground and then, in the morning they would fold up their cover and set up their stove to get breakfast.

The main street of Hobbs was deep with sand and rocks. This seemed to add to the streets a third dimension ---- depth, thus the streets were three-d ---- length, width, and depth. The sidewalks were made of boards with cracks in them big enough to step in.

The first paving was Grimes Street, which was paved so it could follow the railroad into Lovington. Other early paving projects were done by the Townsite Company. In 1931, three blocks were paved on West Taylor at the cost of $4,000. The paving soon blew away and was not noticeable.

The period of local school history began with the organization of the Lea County Board of Education on August 13, 1917. This followed the creation of Lea County in July of 1917.

At the time of organization, the Lea County educational system consisted of 3 schools.

The first county superintendent was Mrs. Sarah K. Ellis. She recalls the times when she had to clear the roads of dirt and brush in order to got from one school to another.

One of the old landmarks of Hobbs was an old schoolhouse and church combined. It stood at 201 South Second and was owned by Mr. B. B. Scott. It was destroyed partly by fire on April 30, 1951.

This building was the center of social events for the old timers. It was a church, school house, and the center of all social activities. Many persons received their first formal education in this old building.

The portion of the building that burned was built about 1915 on the site of an earlier school construction of 1908, It was designed by Ernest Byers of Lovington.

East of the school house across Dal Paso, stood the only store in Hobbs, operated by Mason White, A short distance southwest to the school stood the post office which was operated by Mrs. James Isaac Hobbs, better known as Grandma Hobbs, wife of James Isaac Hobbs, who homesteaded here earlier and for whom the city was named.

In 1930, when school opened there were few of the students then enrolled who had never before seen their classmates and most of the acquaintance's then existing were barely more than new. Except for a few teachers, who had been a part of the town's small school system before its sudden growth, they too were strangers to each other, as well as to their students. It was almost as though each individual connected with the schools had moved into a new one. There was no "new kid" ---- for they were all "new kids". Hobbs High entered into the rank of state schools on that basis.

Hurried preparations had been made to handle this new deluge of students through the construction of a series of barrack type wooden buildings. They were more or less identical except for the main building, which housed the commercial and home economics departments and served as a combined study hall and auditorium. This building also contained the main office, and some classrooms and the dressing rooms.

H. L. Groner was the first superintendent of schools and W. D. Stafford, the principal. Mrs. Christine Carter Love, music head, is the only member of that original high school faculty who is still an incumbent though there were others who stayed on for many years,

With the actual opening of school, the faculty and students alike were confronted with the problem of complete organization. A football schedule had been arranged, but the team had no colors or emblem. A meeting of the student body was quickly called and the business of making these choices placed first on the agenda. There was little or no opposition to the adoption of black and gold for colors nor to the acceptance of the Eagle as the school emblem. Other organizational work moved along with Alton Gotcher being selected as senior class president; Gordon Sams and M. H. (Dusty) Smith were elected heads of the junior and sophomore classes, respectively. Class sponsors were also selected and a pep squad, quickly organized, was headed by senior Anna May Tyra.

Attention was focused immediately on football. Herbert E. West, who had starred at an end position with McMurry College Indians in Abilene, Texas, took on his first coaching assignment and in so doing, faced the task of fighting through a tough schedule with a group that had no hold over letterman but only a squad who were strangers to him and to each other. There was less than a week to formulate a team and prepare it for the LaMesa Tornadoes, then champions of their Texas region and particularly powerful in 1930. Few coaches would care to be placed in such a position and as expected, Lamesa proved too well organized and romped away with a 56-0 win over Hobbs.

Since then, Hobbs has gone ahead in sports. The Hobbs teams have won the following trophies:

YEAR

TROPHY

1943
Lea County Consolation Basketball
1943
Lea County Runner Up Basketball
1943
Lea County Winner Consolation
1945
County Basketball Tournament - 2nd place
1946
Lea County Basketball Tournament - 2nd place
1947
Cavern City Relays - 1st place
1947
District 5 Track Meet - 3rd place
1948
New Mexico State Football Champs
1948
District 5 Track Meet - 2nd place
1949
District Track Meet - 2nd place
1949
White Sands Relays - Runner up
1949
State Champs in Football
1949
District 10 Relays - 1st place
1949
State Champ in 440 Relay
1949
White Sands Relays - Champ in 880 relay
1949
Cavern City Track Meet - 2nd place
1949
District Track Meet - 2nd place
1949
Lea County Basketball Tournament - 1st place
1949
State Relay Champs
1950
Lea County Basketball Tournament - 3rd place
1950
District 10 Basketball Tournament - 3rd place
1951
N.M.M.I. Invitational (basketball) - 1st place
1951
N.M.H.S.A.A. Football Region 5 - 3rd place
1952
District 5 Basketball - Runner up
1953
District 10 Track Meet - 1st place
1954
Roswell Invitational - 1st place
1955
Roswell Invitational - Consolation
1955
District 10 Basketball - 2nd place
1955
District Golf Tournament - 1st place
1955
State Golf Tournament - 3rd place

In 1939 there were 2,500 students with 61 members in the faculty. There were over $400,000 in buildings, with $175,00O.in maintenance.

The schools owned l6-1/4 acres of land, well situated as to building location in four tracts. Principal buildings comprised the following:

High School $87,000
Junior High School  93,000
Grade Schools 140,000
New Gymnasium 30,000
Gym-auditorium 26,000
Frame Buildings 25,000
TOTAL $401,000

Hobbs schools are outstanding because their very recent development of buildings and facilities has allowed them to incorporate the newest advantages of modern educational ideas, from beginning through high school. It was very few years ago that only frame buildings housed the entire school system, and no building is old enough to meet most modern requirements.

The Hobbs school system has won wide recognition and progressively plans to keep in step with every advancement in educational facilities.

The Ebenezer Baptist Church was the first organized church in Hobbs.

This organization took place on June 2, 1930, in a tent with a wooden bottom. The place was borrowed from '"sinner man" as he was called. Mr. D. E. Matthews was the head of the organization and later became the minister.

The church was built at 1306 East Skelly Street. This building also had a tent top with a wooden bottom. They used wooden boxes for chairs. The first Sunday they were in the church, the text of the sermon was "Despise not the day of small things."

In the latter part of 1930, the church was moved to 1222 East Midwest Street. The church stands there today. The building was then closed in all around and furnished with benches. This was done with the help of the School Board, because the church was used as a schoolbuilding too. The church was enlarged to 12' by 18' at that time. Every minister that came to Ebenezer slowly added a little to the church. In 1948 the church had been enlarged to 30' by 70'.

On January 18, 1948, the church caught on fire and burned to the ground. This didn't stop the church, because their meetings were held in the Masonic Hall. On February 1, 1949, they raised enough money to purchase another building. This building still stands today.

When Ebenezer Baptist Church was first organized there were only 13 members, but today there are approximately 147 members.

In 1939 there were 12 churches; in 1950 there were 21; in 1955 there are 46.

The first hospital was the Roosevelt Apartments. It was constructed in 1930. Doctors Conner and McClean operated it. Other physicians associated with it were Dr. C. F. Miller and Dr. William Thaxton. The hospital superintendent was Miss Verlie Brooks.

The hospital was then moved to Dr. C. S. Stone's present building on Cain Street. The building was erected at the height of the boom by Dr. George L. Langworthy. In 1931 he left for east Texas and sold the building to Dr. Stone.

In April of 1950, the Lea General Hospital was completed and put into operation. The architecture is of ultra-modern design. Equipment and facilities are the most modern known to medical science. Medical men from widely scattered areas have visited Hobbs to inspect this edifice of healing.

The people of Hobbs are great lovers of good times. They attend all kinds of sports: football, basketball, baseball, track, golf, and rodeos. They have a great number of clubs, of which Women's Civic Club, the Elks, Kiwanas, Lions, Shriners, V. F. W., and the Oddfellows are only a few of the more prominent clubs. There are skating rinks, parks, and swimming pools for the enjoyment of all Hobbsans.

Hobbs has two radio stations and plans for another one. KWEW began broadcasting from Hobbs early in the morning of August 8, 1938. The station was licensed to the late W. E. Whitmore of Roswell, the founder, who remained sole owner until his death in 1950.

The station was put on the air by Whitmore, his manager; Ben Parker, Floyd Emanual, engineer; and, two other employees, Grady Napier and Raymond F. Waters.

For several years, KWEW was without the benefit of a news service or network programs because these facilities were unavailable in this area at.the time. In those days the news was received in Morris International code by the transmitter operator, transcribed, then taken to the studios in the Harden Hotel and broadcasted. The studios remained in the Hardan Hotel until after World War II.

After surviving a few lean years and the unprofitable war years, station KWEW was able to make a new start in 1946 when new studios were built at 116 East Dunham. The station also bacame affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Two complete music libraries consisting of more than 10,000 selections enable the station to present a wide variety of music over the air.

In 1950, the studio facilities of KWEW were extended to Lovington and a portion of the broadcasts originated in the county seat.

Radio Station KHOB started broadcasting on August 6, 1954. They came from Tucumcari and put in a station on the Seminole by-pass across the road from the Shell Oil Camp. The owner is the Lea County Broadcasting Company. When the station started broadcasting, it had a six member staff headed by Mr. Lloyd Hawkins.

The first motion picture house opened some time before the latter part of 1929. It was called the Ritz, and it was built on the site of the Roosevelt which was destroyed by fire several years ago. Manager of the independently operated Ritz was Goorge S. Gafford. The theater showed silent pictures. The second theater opening in Hobbs was the Derrick. It was built by Mrs. G. T. Scales of Lubbock and an early advertisement located. it as "adjoining the federal postoffice building on East Carlsbad."

The Derrick, which was called a $45,00O Theater", opened for business on the night Of July 18, 1930. A silent picture, Sir Rider Haggard's "Sha", was the screen attraction. A stage show, Jazz Jubilee Frolic was also offered, as.an added attraction. Admission prices were 40˘ and 15˘.

Meanwhile, Fred Morley, Midland manager of the consolidated Theater Company, Incorporated, a subsidiary of Griffin Amusement Company, was sent to Hobbs to build a theater for his firm.

While he was sparring for a location in Old Hobbs, L. C. Griffith made a deal to finance a theater building in that part of the booming city. The building was erected by Gates Corgan in the 300 block of East Main. It was constructed of brick and tile and oldtimers here recall that it was considered one of the swankiest buildings in greater Hobbs.

Before the theater in New Hobbs was completed, however, another motion picture house opened on the south side of the street in the 100 block on West Broadway. The first announcement said it would be called the "Strand". A second announcement a few days later saw the name changed to the "Fawn". It opened in a sheet-iron building leased from John Scharbauer on September 6, 1930.

Sound equipment was installed in the Fawn on September 19. Sometime later, probably in 1931, the theater's name was changed again to the "Strand".

The theater in New Hobbs offered a $10 prize for the best name, The money went to an unnamed person who suggested the "Rig" as a name, and the theater opened its doors on September 19, 1930, as a "modern all-talking playhouse", by showing "Manslaughter" with Claudette Colbert and Frederick March.

The depression struck Hobbs late in 1931 and this combined with the movement of many from here to the east Texas boom at Kilgore and Longview, caused the city to dwindle away. All theaters here closed, Morley recalled.

In 1932, Griffith leased the Fawn theater which had been closed for about a year. "When we opened it up for business," Morley said, "It had those old hard-bottom seats and very poor sound equipment." Griffith renamed it the Rex and it remained Hobbs' only theater until the Rig opened late in 1935.

The Rex Theater was destroyed in an early morning blaze on May 6, 1936. The fire, described by newspapers as a $50,000 loss", also destroyed three other buildings and damaged several others, including the postoffice, in the same block.

While the present Rig Theater was under construction, Judge T. A. Whilan of Lovington bought the old Ritz Theater. He changed its name to the Roosevelt and opened up for business.

Construction on the Scout was started in 1939, and the theater was opened in 1940. Soon after the opening, Griffith purchased the Roosevelt from Judge Whilan.

Present managers of Hobbs Griffith theaters --- the firm is now called Theater Enterprises, Incorporated ---- is R. W. (Sippi) Ferguson, who moved to Hobbs in January, 1946.

The Frontier was put in in 1952 and the Reel was opened in 1937. The opening movie was "May Time* starring Nelson Eddy and Janette McDonald.

In 1948, the Sky-Vu Drive-In Theater was opened by Theater Enterprises, Incorporated. The second Drive-In to open was the Eagle, which opened in 1950. It was put in by John Aldridge. The third Drive-In, the Trade-Wind, was put in in 1954 by Mr. 0. 0. Dnotts from Eunice. He owned the Star Drive-In of Eunice at the time of the opening of the Tradewind in Hobbs.

The city received its town charter in I929. There were three parts to Hobbs: Oil Hobbs, New Hobbs, and Hobbs. In 1937, Oil Hobbs and Hobbs joined with New Hobbs and. became a city. They received the city charter the same year.

Hobbs first used the Mayor-Council plan of city government. It used this until 1950, when it changed to the Commission plan. Ross Walker was the first mayor on the Mayor-Council plan. Mr. Ned, Butler was the first mayor on the Commission plan. The city manager was John Bender. The Commission form to the simplest and the best form of city government.

The city manager is Neal Harr his function is to hire the personnel and to take care of city affairs.

The city clerk and treasurer is Welch Morgan; his function is to keep all-records for the city; he is responsible for money spent by the city; he is secretary at the meetings of the Commissioners.

The street superintendent is Amos Chastain. His work is to care for all the streets.

The head of the sewer department is Charles Gregory. He keeps up the maintenance of sewer lines and takes care of the sewage disposal plant.

The head of tho sanitation department was Dr. K. L. Toeplitz up until the time of his death, a few months ago. At this time, there is no one in that position. This commission looks after sanitary functions.

The park superintendent is Mr. Siler. He keeps up the maintenance of the parks.

Mr. R. C. Hamlin is head of the traffic of safety department. The water superintendent is M. H. Alexander, A. L. Conner is head of the fire department, Earl D. Westfall is Chief of Police and the police judge is Bob Bensing.

There are four boards under the City Commissioners, they are:

l. Water Board

2. Park Board

3. Library Board

4. Cemetery Board

The members of these boards are selected by the City Commissioners. Although oil is our main source of income, farming is beginning to hold its own with it. It has greatly increased since the discovery of oil.

In the early 1900's, alfalfa, cotton, and vegetables were grown. Today, cotton, vegetables, grain, alfalfa, peanuts and small miscellaneous groups are grown. To show this increase, there was an approximate gross income of $14 million in 1952. In 1940, irrigation numbered 22; in 1946, there were 113 wells. In 1948, 2,500 acres were being farmed in the county under irrigation; in 1948, 80,000 acres were being farmed.

An actual example of this increase is the Harada Farms which is a part of the Jcp farm near Lovington. The Harada Farms in 1949 produced 2,100,000 pounds of cantaloupes which were shipped to all parts of the country. That was an average of 200 seventy-pound crates per acre. Another crop that was raised on the Harada Farms was onions - this averaged 300 to 500 fifty-pound sacks per acre.

The Harada Farms were opened in 1948. They experimented with cantaloupes and found that excellent conditions for growing this vegetable were on this farm. The Haradas raised many other vegetables on their farm. They have 200 people in their employ.

In the early 190O's, plowing, cultivating, disking, and irrigation were the known methods of farming. Cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs were the livestock raised in the first part of this century. Today, the same livestock is raised with the addition of poultry. With the exception of poultry, the total approximate gross for livestock was $8,550,000 in 1952.

New Mexico ranks sixth in the nation in the oil producing business. Lea County produces 90% of the total value of the state. New Mexico's total valuation of oil and gas productions for the year, July 11, 1946 to June 30, 1947, was $58,789,272 according to the State Tax Commission and of this amount, $4,690,144 was paid in royalties, leaving $54,009,128 as total value less royalties. Lea County had $7,767,971.

In addition to its thousands of producing oil wells, there are 9 (8 in 1947) gasoline plants in Lea County. In 1953, they produced 4,110,609 (in 1947, 2,673,643) barrels of gasoline; 1,491,619 barrels of butane (1947, 844,823), 939,285 barrels of propane. The eight plants of 1947 had a daily capacity of 473,000,000 cubic foot of natural gas and in that year sold 52 billion cubic feet for commercial use. Billions of cubic fact of natural gas is piped from Lea County to west coast industrial areas. Four carbon black plants, constructed in Lea County during the war, last year utilized 198,012,320 cubic feet of natural gas to produce 120,260,649 pounds of carbon black.

The petroleum industry drilled an estimated 6,680 wildcat wells in 1949, the largest number in any year since the discovery of oil in 1858. "Wildcats" are exploratory wells drilled in unproved territory. Since only one in every five is a success, they involve great financial risks.

Modern wells average 3,500 foot in depth, but men sometimes drill down 12,000 or 15,000 feet in the search for oil. That is one of the many hazards of the oil industry, the risk and the gamble that must be taken every time a drill starts biting into the earth.

The nation's oil men have been drilling close to 40,000 wells a year for the past several years. Not all wells are producers, however. Four out of five in exploratory territory are dry holes. With persistence fired by competition, the night and day search goes on for more oil for the wings and wheels of America, and more oil reserves for the ultimate strength and security of the nation's

HOBBS FIELD
Total Oil Wells 252
Dry 7
Total Oil Production 85,563,485 barrels
Gas 179,685,318,500 cubic feet

In 1942, the government put in an airbase five miles from Hobbs on the Lovington Highway. At its capacity, the base had a force of around 5,000 men. The base was discontinued in 1946, leaving only the barracks.

The second rebirth began in 1934 after the depression which had caused the town to wither down to almost nothing in 1931. It is referred to as "Hobbs' second boom". It was not. Several factors were responsible for the more calm approach. Modern conservation practices prevented excessive drilling and production. The depression lowered wages even in the oil fields and stopped much of the desire to play on the part of those who ordinarily would have done so. New production techniques were developed that required college engineering knowledge for more and more jobs in the industry and those who filled these were not so inclined to carouse Than too, many oil companies began employing the more stable type worker for strictly economic reasons.

The few landmarks that remain from the days when Hobbs was known as "hell on wheels" are disappearing fast into the kim pages of history and a city with "an assured future" is coming into view.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The following persons were interviewed by some member of the first hour history class of 1954-1955. It is to those persons that we owe a very deep gratitude of thanks for helping us.

Mrs. W.C. Childers
Mr. W.S. Yoder
Mr. J. P. Sullivan
Mr. Charles Mills
Mr. Ralph Board
Mr. Lloyd Hawkins
Mr. Raymond F. Waters
Mr. Ralph Young
Mrs Kornegay, Sr.

 

 


 

 

 


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