Lea County Background
Lea County was created in 1917 from Chaves and Eddy Counties, New Mexico. The county seat is Lovington, New Mexico.
"Lea County was created from Eddy and Chaves counties in 1917 and named for Captain Joseph Calloway Lea, just five years after New Mexico was admitted to the Union as a State. Captain Lea was the first Mayor of Roswell and the father of the New Mexico Military Institute. Lea County had virtually nothing to offer except the vision of a handful of hardy settlers. Wagon roads and cattle trails were the only roads connecting the sparse settlements; there were no railroad, telegraph, daily newspaper, running stream, river, nor any major center of population that could properly be called a city. The mail was a horse-conveyed means of communication requiring days to be picked up and delivered."