Seligman County?

There has long been a rivalry between Hobbs and Lovington, and in 1931 there was a move to subdivide Lea county into two counties, one retaining the name Lea and another called Seligman. The Albuquerque Journal issue of February 27, 1931 carried an article with these headings “Would Divide County To Honor Arthur – Hobbs and New Hobbs Have Plan for ‘Seligman County,’ Using Court House In Common.”

The Associated Press article went on to say that the people of Hobbs wanted to preserve the “posterity” of Governor Arthur Seligman by splitting Lea County in half and creating one named for the Governor. A proposal to approve this change was introduced to the New Mexico senate by Senator Taylor Julien. New Hobbs still existed at that time but the older town of Hobbs would serve as the county seat.

Two weeks later, the Roswell Daily Record issue of March 11, 1931 carried these sarcastic comments: “Seligman county has been killed. There never was any excuse for creation of two counties in Lea county. In fact, there is hardly any excuse for one county. But creating a new county would have meant additional offices and that seems to have been the only excuse for it.”

Arthur Seligman was governor of New Mexico from 1931 until his death in 1933. He was preceded by Richard C. Dillon and succeeded by Andrew Hockenhull.

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