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city, Lea county, southeastern New Mexico, U.S., near the Texas state line. Founded by farmer James Isaac Hobbs in 1907, it became a boomtown after the discovery of oil and natural gas in 1927. It expanded from a settlement of 598 (1930 census) to become the state's petroleum centre with a population (by 1960) exceeding 25,000. Hobbs serves as a supply, shipping, and trading point for the oil-drilling industry and for the surrounding cattle ranches and artesian-irrigated farmlands. Potash deposits (40 miles [65 km] west-southwest) also contribute to the economy. Hobbs is the seat of the College of the Southwest (1956) and the New Mexico Junior College (1965). The Confederate Air Force Flying Museum is 3 miles (5 km) west. Inc. 1929. Pop. (1990) 29,995; (2000) 28,657.