Preston Smith, a Democrat, served as governor from 1969-1973. He grew up in Lamesa and graduated from Lamesa High School in 1928. He was born in Williamson County and launched his successful business and political career from Lubbock.
Though he is usually associated with Lubbock, where he graduated from Monterey High School, the actor Barry Corbin was born in Lamesa in 1940. He co-starred in the NBC series Boone in the 1983-1984 season and thereafter on CBS's Northern Exposure, which ran from 1990-1995. In 2001, he had a role in Tom Selleck's Turner Network Television film, Crossfire Trail based on a Louis L'Amour novel. Corbin's father, Kilmer Blaine Corbin (1919-1993) was a judge and a Democratic member of the Texas State Senate from 1949-1957.
J.E. Airhart, a former 30-year member of the Dawson County Commissioners Court, died in 2007 at the age of ninety-one. Airhart, a farmer and rancher who served as a county commissioner from 1955-1985, worked to obtain the county livestock and fair barn, the Dawson County general aviation airport, and numerous highway improvements. He was instrumental in the successful negotiation of rights-of-way for U.S. Highway 87 north to O'Donnell and south to Ackerly.
Larry D. Johnson (1959-2008) was until the time of his death the Lubbock County Precinct 2 constable. He was a Lamesa native and a 1977 graduate of Lamesa High School. He was also a reserve officer for the Slaton Police Department.
John W. "Johnny" Palmore, III (June 21, 1909—August 11, 2008), was a prominent businessman and civic leader in Lamesa. Born in Ravenna to John Palmore, II, and the former Merle Moffitt, he graduated from Ravenna High School in 1926, Sherman High School in 1927, and Texas Tech University in 1931, where he procured a bachelor of science degree in agriculture. He taught and coached in Windom in Fannin County. Palmore was a county agent for Van Zandt (1936-1938), Lubbock (1938-1939), and Swisher (1939-1944) counties. He worked in his in-law's business, Eiland Lumber Company, in Lamesa from 1944 until his retirement at the age of eighty-seven in 1996. He was also an automobile and truck dealer. He served as member and president of the Lamesa School Board. He was a Lamesa City Council member from 1968-1977. Active in the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary International, Palmore was a former president of Lamesa Girl Scouts. A Presbyterian elder, he is interred in Lamesa Memorial Park. He was predeceased by his wife, the former Mary Helen Eiland, and survived by two daughters, Pam Koehler and husband Jimmie of Lamesa, and Sunny Parish and husband Mel of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and six grandchildren.
Dal Paseo Museum, a collection of local artifacts housed in an impressive former hotel, is located in downtown Lamesa. The name is derived from the fact that Lamesa is located halfway between Dallas and El Paso. On display are home furnishings, pioneer tools, and ranch and farm equipment. There are also exhibits by local artists. The museum, at 306 South First Street, has limited afternoon hours to the public.
There were 3,696 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,362, and the median income for a family was $31,556. Males had a median income of $26,393 versus $16,826 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,211. About 18.1% of families and 21.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.4% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.