Books about Hobbs and Lea County

There have been a number of excellent books published
about Lea County and the cities and towns that lie within
its borders.  Many of these are still in print while others
may require some searching to find copies.

  • Gil Hinshaw's book Lea, New Mexico's Last Frontier contains information about the origins and growth of Hobbs.
  • Lynn C. Mauldin's book Lea County New Mexico: A Pictorial History has photographs of early Hobbs, along with other communities in Lea County.  Lea County State Bank sponsored publication of the book and may continue to have copies available for purchase.
  • Then and Now: Lea Families and History Vols. I and II were published by the Lea County Genealogical Society, Inc. and contain the stories of Lea County families in their own words, including many photographs.
  • Riding For The Brand: 150 Years of Cowden Ranching by Michael Pettit tells the story of the Cowden ranching family, who established the JAL ranch, and their ranching operations in Texas and New Mexico.

Hobbs and Lea County
by Max A. Clampitt

A resident of Hobbs since 1937, author and Lea County historian Max A. Clampitt was employed by the Hobbs Post Office for 28 years and, in 1972, was elected to the Hobbs City Commission, serving for 20 years as a city commissioner and mayor. Currently he writes for the Hobbs News-Sun. In this book, Clampitt showcases nearly 200 photographs—some dating back as far as the 1890s—from his extensive personal collection, which documents the colorful history of Hobbs and of Lea County. 128 pages, published by Arcadia Publishing.

Copies may be obtained from:

Center for the Arts
122 West Broadway
Hobbs, NM 88240
(575) 397-2787
[email protected]

The Lea County Museum Press has published several books on the area and has them available at the Lea County Museum at 103 S. Love in Lovington, New Mexico.  You may also find copies available at the Center for the Arts at 122 West Broadway in Hobbs.

The Grandma Hobbs Affair
Remembering The Love Affair
Between a Little Old Lady and
Her City
by Joe Byers

I was born in Hobbs, New Mexico, when it consisted of only a school, a store and a few widely separated homesteads; so I have a child's recollection of the periods both before and after the discovery of oil.  This narrative is about my grandmother, Frances Mooring Hobbs, and it comes from personal memories and from stories related by my mother, Minnie Hobbs Byers, and by other relatives and friends, most now deceased.
-Joe Byers
Published 2007 - 65 pages, illustrated
Available from:
Lea County Museum
103 S. Love
Lovington, NM 88260
(575) 396-4805

Love, Death, and the Plains
Historical Narratives of Lea County
Edited by Peter Mladinic and Joe Byers

This publication of the Lea County Museum Press contains stories and remembrances about Lea County from Eve Ball, Hazel Berry, Bob Beverly, Walter Beverly, Anemone Binkley, Uyless Black, Roy Butler, Minnie Hobbs Byers, Max Clampitt, A.G. Garner, Jim Harris, Ella Belle Holeman, Mildred Jones, Mettie Jordan, Lucille "Lucy" Lister, Virginia Lea Scoggin McCaw, David L. Minton, Eugene H. Price, May Price Mosley, Wade Shipley, Fay McClure Steele, Charlie Trimble, Thelma A. Webber, V.H. Whitlock, WPA Writers and Bess Yearwood.

Published 2007 - 230 pages
Available from:
Lea County Museum
103 S. Love
Lovington, NM 88260
(575) 396-4805

Lost in Lea
Southeast New Mexico Poems
by Peter Mladinic

These poems of Peter Mladinic lay their fingers on the pulse of Lea County, past and present.  Whether he is pondering the gravestones of past inhabitants, or wondering about present friends and neighbors, Mladinic is in tune with and an integral part of the history that surrounds him.  As a poet who recognizes himself a vital part of where he is, his poems "light a match in the dark/ and spot on the map of grief the spot/ where two rivers converge."
-Glen Sorestad

Published 2008 - 61 pages
Available from:

Lea County Museum
103 S. Love
Lovington, NM 88260
(575) 396-4805

Survivor on the High Plains
by Gil Hinshaw

Here is a book for anyone interested in taking the pulse of small-town America.  In Lovington: Survivor on the High Plains, a reader can hear the heartbeat of the country in the story of this small prairie community in southeastern New Mexico.  The sections on the area's world champion cowboys are worth the price of the book.
-Max Evans
(Author of The Rounders, The High Lo Country and Madame Millie)

Published 2007 - 175 pages, illustrated
Available from:
Lea County Museum
103 S. Love
Lovington, NM 88260
(575) 396-4805

Eagles Once Soared
by Larry W. White, DDS, MSD

Longtime Hobbsan Dr. Larry White authors a short memoir of a high school football program’s growth and maturation under the leadership of an extraordinary coach in Hobbs, New Mexico. White shares the philosophies and strategies that brought football to life in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Eagles Once Soared tells the story of how young men not only learned football fundamentals that earned them success on the gridiron, but also captured some ideas and life  principles that would sustain and nourish their lives long after they hung up their cleats. A book for all who strive to live
life to the fullest potential, Dr. White eloquently conveys the story of character building, motivation and perseverance.

Published 2008
Available from:
Larry White, DDS, MSD
8018 Glen Albens Circle
Dallas, TX  75225
(214) 363-5447

(Click to visit website and purchase)

For more books and other items available from the
Lea County Museum, CLICK HERE.

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