City of Lovington
History of Lovington Area
Lovington was established at the end of a century. The first store was built in 1908 and was named "Jim B. Love Grocery Store." The first post office was also housed in the store, and Jim Love was appointed postmaster. In 1917 Lea County was formed from parts of Chaves and Eddy County, and Lovington was designated as the county seat.
From the time of its establishment, Lovington was primarily a ranching and farming center. Oil was discovered in 1928 but did not have a significant impact on the economy until 1950 when the Denton pool, located nine miles northeast of Lovington, was discovered. In a short time the Denton pool had 92 flowing wells and, along with subsequent oil development, shaped the economy, labor force, and life style of present day Lovington.
Population changes in Lovington during the first half of the century reflected the steady growth in farming and ranching, while changes since 1950 have been related to the oil and gas industry. Only recently has the dairy industry begun to take part in our growth. The Census Bureau counted 411 people in the city in 1920. By 1940, the number had grown to 1,916 and between 1940 and 1960 Lovington experienced a 500 percent increase in population. Since that time the climb has leveled to the current population of 9,600. Lovington’s climate, like much of eastern New Mexico and western Texas, is characterized by warm summer days, cool nights and mild sunny winters. The summer months have average maximum temperatures in the 90s cooling down to the 60s at night while the daytime maximums in the winter range from the 50s to 60s.
Community spirit appears to have prevailed from the very first in the new town of Lovington as it still does today.