Byers and Hobbs Families

Minnie Hobbs Byers was the daughter of James Isaac Hobbs (1852-1923) and Frances Perlee Mooring Hobbs (1857-1942). She was a twin with her sister Winnie Hobbs Dalmont and both were born March 6, 1896 when the Hobbs family was still living in Texas.

Their parents were James Isaac Hobbs (1852-1923) and Frances Paralee Mooring Hobbs (1857-1942). Their oldest sister, Ada was about seventeen when they were born and got married later that year. There were two slightly younger siblings between Ada and the twins: Berry and Ella. The family story is that they headed west from central Texas in 1907. An uncle named Lewis D. Cain had come to New Mexico after 1900 following the death of his wife, Nancy “Nannie” Mooring Cain, sister of Mrs. James I. Hobbs, back in Texas.

In an interview, Minnie says that their original goal had been to reach central New Mexico but they decided to stop soon after they crossed the border into the territory. Their brother Berry had made an application for a post office with the name “Taft” but it came back and was approved with the name Hobbs.

The family of her future husband Ernest Herman Byers had come to the area by way of Houston County, Texas, though Ernest had been born in Kansas in 1882. His father Joseph Byers had passed in 1903 in Grapeland. Ernest and his sister and mother Sarah had come to New Mexico with other relatives. Minnie recounted that Ernest and his family came as far as Midland by rail and then by wagons the rest of the way. Ernest was older than Minnie, but their attraction took hold and they were married in the summer of 1912.

Minnie’s account of their June, 1912 marriage was related in a Lovington Daily Leader interview on May 13, 1973. Minnie said that there was no minister in the immediate area, so she and Ernest rode in a buggy to Nadine where the nearest minister was located. She did not recall the name of the officiant, but remembered that the floors had just been scrubbed and were still wet when they married. The couple went on to have six children. They moved to Lovington in 1930 and their home was a landmark on 16th street.

Minnie was active her entire life and enjoyed telling stories about the early days in Lea County. She was an artist, loved playing the violin and speaking. Ernest passed away in 1966 and Minnie survived him until her death in 1981. Both are buried in Prairie Haven Cemetery in Hobbs, New Mexico.

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