Knowles

Benjamin Lewis “Ben” Knowles came to the area about 1903 or 1904 from Mills County, Texas and claimed land. In and around it grew up a settlement that is believed to be the second oldest (after Monument) in the area that later became Lea County in 1917. Knowles was in his late 60s when he came to New Mexico and his wife Mary Hulda was a few years younger. Mrs. Knowles died in 1907 and Mrs. Knowles survived her until 1925 when he died on a trip to visit relatives in central Texas. The town was not more than about five miles west of the Texas border. According to “Place Names of New Mexico” it went by the name Oasis, at least for a while. At its peak is believed to have had as many as 500 residents. It had at one time several stores, a bank, hotel, newspaper office, wagon yard and other businesses.

Knowles had its own post office from 1903 to 1944. Once oil was discovered in Hobbs in the late 1920s the residents began to drift away in favor of Hobbs and New Hobbs to the south and Lovington to the north. There was some mention of a fire in the town at some point. Whatever the reasons, none of the original buildings are thought to still survive.

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