yeso, new mexico

Yeso was established in 1906 with the building of the AT & SF Railroad. Twenty Two miles west of Fort Sumner, NM on Highway 60, it was named for Yeso creek. Yeso Creek flows east into the Pecos River 20 miles south of Ft. Sumner. The water is unpalatable, although stock will drink it. The mineral, yeso, is sickening to the taste and discourages all growth in the soil. Yeso is the Spanish word for gypsum. Settlers came by the thousands. When it was discovered that the land was suitable only for grazing and sheep herding, many settlers who had filed on claims moved on to greener pastures.

The population was over 350 in 1940. With the top soil only about one inch thick and the gypsum water the people just left to find work elsewhere. Now it has been reduced to about a dozen people. A post office was established in 1909. Yeso is now a "ranching community".