HISTORY OF HOBBS NEW
by Ralph Tasker's World History class of 1954-55
TABLE Of CONTENTS
MR. RALPH TASKER
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,
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*.
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:
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.
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
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 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Grandma Hobbs, wife of James Isaac Hobbs, who
homesteaded here earlier and for whom the city was
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
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.
Hobbs has gone ahead in sports. The Hobbs teams have
won the following trophies:
County Consolation Basketball
County Runner Up Basketball
County Winner Consolation
County Basketball Tournament - 2nd
County Basketball Tournament - 2nd
Cavern City Relays - 1st place
District 5 Track Meet - 3rd place
Mexico State Football Champs
District 5 Track Meet - 2nd place
District Track Meet - 2nd place
White Sands Relays - Runner up
State Champs in Football
District 10 Relays - 1st place
State Champ in 440 Relay
White Sands Relays - Champ in 880 relay
Cavern City Track Meet - 2nd
District Track Meet - 2nd place
County Basketball Tournament - 1st
State Relay Champs
County Basketball Tournament - 3rd
District 10 Basketball Tournament - 3rd
Invitational (basketball) - 1st
Football Region 5 - 3rd place
District 5 Basketball - Runner up
District 10 Track Meet - 1st
Roswell Invitational - 1st place
Roswell Invitational - Consolation
District 10 Basketball - 2nd
District Golf Tournament - 1st
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.
schools owned l6-1/4 acres of land, well situated as
to building location in four tracts. Principal
buildings comprised the following:
|Junior High School
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
The Hobbs school system has won wide recognition and
progressively plans to keep in step with every
advancement in educational facilities.
Baptist Church was the first organized church in
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
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
When Ebenezer Baptist Church was first organized
there were only 13 members, but today there are
approximately 147 members.
1939 there were 12 churches; in 1950 there were 21; in
1955 there are 46.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Present managers of Hobbs Griffith theaters --- the
firm is now called Theater Enterprises, Incorporated
---- is R. W. (Sippi) Ferguson, who moved to Hobbs in
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.
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,
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
|Total Oil Wells
|Total Oil Production
||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
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.
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.