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The Lovington leader. : (Lovington, N.M.) 1910-1956
Place of publication:
Lovington, N.M.
Geographic coverage:
  • Lovington, Lea, New Mexico  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Blanche McCallister
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 48, no. 151 (Apr. 26, 1956).
  • Began in 1910.
Triweekly Apr. 2, 1954-<1956>
  • English
  • Lea County (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • Lovington (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • New Mexico--Lea County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01209454
  • New Mexico--Lovington.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221031
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 5 (Apr. 14, 1911).
sn 94005878
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The Lovington leader. April 7, 1911 , Image 1


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The Lovington Leader

In 1903, Robert Florence Love arrived in southeast New Mexico from Texas, and four years later he was joined by his brother, James B. Love. An active promoter, Robert Florence Love organized a town in 1908. U.S. Land Commissioner Wesley McAllister suggested naming it Love, for its founder, but Love felt "Loving" was more euphonious, and he submitted that name to the postal authorities. They, however, noted that a community named Loving already existed, so after some discussion McAllister and Love added "-ton" to Loving to create Lovington. James B. Love became the community's first postmaster.

The English-only Lovington Leader first appeared on March 17, 1910. Inez A. Harrington was publisher and editor of the Republican weekly, which for more than 40 years reported on local, territorial, state, national, and international news.  It was succeeded by the Lovington Daily Leader in 1956.

By the early 20th century, Republican journals outnumbered Democratic papers in New Mexico by 112 to 64.The conflict between Populists and Silverites had faded, and many former Republicans had returned to the party. Furthermore, Territorial Republicans controlled political spoils because of the national Republican administration. As a result, the Republican Party in New Mexico was able to reward Republican journalists with political appointments. (In April 1911, for example, Wesley McCallister, then editor of the Lovington Leader, was appointed an official in the United States Land Office.)In addition, newspapers benefited from territorial public printing contracts and a monopoly of homesteaders'legal notices. So profitable was the latter that even in heavily Democratic eastern New Mexico the number of Republican papers almost equaled Democratic papers.

Among the topics covered by the Lovington Leader in its early years was Tin Can Day. Initiated by the Commercial Club, Tin Can Day became an annual event during which every businessman was asked to clean up his property and the trash was hauled away by a wagon. The Leader noted that conditions in the nearby town of Alamogordo were more sanitary. The Leader also reported on the formal ceremony in January 1912 at which New Mexico territory became the 47th star of the red, white and blue. President Taft signed the proclamation of statehood, and Harvey Butler Ferguson and George Curry, two congressional delegates, witnessed the ceremony. Three days later, on January 15, 1912, William C. McDonald took the oath of office as the first governor of the state of New Mexico. The first Democrat in that position since 1897, McDonald promised economy and efficiency. His predecessor William T. Mills, the last territorial governor, gave a farewell speech.

On February 20, 1914, the Leader covered Governor McDonald's visit to Washington to request a drift fence and lease law which would require all New Mexico cattlemen to lease land and fence-in their livestock. TheLeader was concerned that McDonald's "bulldog tenacity" might reflect negatively on New Mexico Democrats and on McDonald's consideration for being elected as New Mexico's first U.S. Senator.

In other statewide news, the Lovington Leader reported in June 1917 on the formation of an association of educated Navajos from Crownpoint Agency organized for the advancement of Indians. Finally, with America's entry in the First World War, Secretary of State Antonio Lucero appealed to young men of Spanish ancestry to volunteer at once for service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.

Provided by: University of New Mexico