Once located about 15 miles north of Lovington in the northern part of Lea County, this settlement grew up about 1907 as settlers began to move west into the territory. It was once called Rat, for Rat Mill, after what is described as a watering place, perhaps the location of a windmill. Rat Mill itself is believed to have been named after the RAT brand of early settler Bud Ratliff. It had a post office from about 1907 to 1929, a newspaper and several free standing buildings but was later abandoned in favor of other communities. The name Plainview is believed to be descriptive and based on the flat geography of the area.(1)

At this time, not much is known about Bud Ratliff or which other families he might have been connected to, if any. The name could possibly relate to Harvey Stewart “Bud” Ratliff (1857-1943), a long time rancher in Ector County, Texas, but from at least about 1910 on, this Bud Ratliff is associated with a ranch near Odessa, Texas.

(1) Julyan, Robert, “The Place Names of New Mexico,” University of New Mexico Press, 1998.