Hiram M. Dow at 79-years old from the William A. Keleher Collection at Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections
Hiram M. Dow at 79 years old from the William A. Keleher Collection at the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections


A glimpse into Southeastern New Mexico's oil and gas industry during the first part of the 20th century is now available at the Center for Southwest Research. The Hiram Dow Papers have been inventoried at the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections at UNM Libraries and are available in the Rocky Mountain Online Archive.

The collection contains material related to his work as New Mexico's representative on the Interstate Oil Compact Commission and is also related to his involvement with Humble Oil and Refining Company legal cases and the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission; Interstate Oil Compact Commission Publications; Humble Oil and Refining Company Legal Case Files: and the Oil Industry.

Hiram Millet Dow was born in Cotulla, Texas on April 21, 1885. When he was six weeks old his family moved to Seven Rivers (near Artesia), in southeastern New Mexico. He graduated from New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell, New Mexico's first graduating class in 1905. He received a law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1908 and then returned to New Mexico to practice law.

He was President of the New Mexico Bar Association and of the New Mexico Board of Bar Commissioners and was a member of the State Board of Bar Examiners. He was also Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico from 1937-1939.

from the Hiram M. Dow Collection at the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections
From the Hiram M. Dow Collection at the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections


Dow married Ella Lea, daughter of Joseph C. Lea who was an early resident of Roswell and founder of the New Mexico Military Institute. Lea County was named after Joseph C. Lea. Dow was a resident of Roswell, New Mexico where he died in March 1969.

Dow's association with the oil industry began as an attorney examining titles. He later acquired three widely separated 2,560 acre tracts of oil producing property. Dow served as the state's first representative to the Interstate Oil Compact Commission, reporting to the Oil Conservation Commission of the State of New Mexico. New Mexico was the first state to enact a complete oil conservation law largely through Dow's pioneering work with the Compact Commission.

Dow also was instrumental in drafting legislation that permitted the Commissioner of Public Lands to approve prorationing and well spacing agreements, approved by the New Mexico Legislature in 1929 and 1930. He was a partner in the Dow, Hervey and Hinkle law firm in Roswell, New Mexico and died in March 1969.

Anyone with questions about the collection can contact Samuel Sisneros, archivist assistant at the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections at (505) 277-0487 or ssisne01@unm.edu.

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; email: kwent2@unm.edu