Deming, New Mexico

Deming, New Mexico
The City of Deming
—  City  —
Sunset at the Sonic Drive-In, Deming

Location of Deming in New Mexico
Coordinates: 32°15′40″N 107°45′21″W / 32.26111°N 107.75583°W / 32.26111; -107.75583Coordinates: 32°15′40″N 107°45′21″W / 32.26111°N 107.75583°W / 32.26111; -107.75583
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Luna
Founded 1881
 – Mayor Andres Z. Silva
 – Total 9.3 sq mi (24.2 km2)
 – Land 9.3 sq mi (24.2 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 4,335 ft (1,321 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 14,116
 – Density 1,512.0/sq mi (583.5/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 – Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP codes 88030-88031
Area code(s) 575
FIPS code 35-20270
GNIS feature ID 0920584

Deming is a city in Luna County, New Mexico, United States, located 60 miles (97 km) west of Las Cruces. The population was 14,116 at the 2000 census. Deming is the county seat and principal town of Luna County.[1]



The city, founded in 1881 and incorporated in 1902, was an important port of entry on the US-Mexican border until the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. A nickname was given to the city at the time of its founding, "New Chicago". It was expected that with the surge of railroad usage, that the city would grow drastically and resemble Chicago, Illinois.

Deming is named after Mary Ann Deming Crocker, wife of Charles Crocker, one of The Big Four of the railroad industry. The Silver Spike was driven here in 1881 to commemorate the meeting of the Southern Pacific with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroads. This was the second transcontinental railroad to be completed in the United States.

There are numerous ancient Native American sites around Deming. The Mimbres and Casas Grandes cultures made pottery of remarkable quality, and the Deming area is (or was) rich in native pottery well as beads, stone implements, stone carvings, graves, etc.


Deming is centered at 32°15′40″N 107°45′21″W / 32.26111°N 107.75583°W / 32.26111; -107.75583 (32.261137, −107.755857),[2] in the Basin and Range Province.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.3 square miles (24.2 km²). The city is surrounded by land that appears flat, with wide rubble aprons around the nearby mountains and imperceptible grades in various directions.

The Mimbres River floods the Deming area once a decade or so, in periods of unusually heavy rainfall in the Cooke's Range and Black Range to the north.

Deming and its surrounding area is underlain by an aquifer of good-quality water. The aquifer is slowly recharged primarily by water from the mountains to the north. The water usually has a high sulfur content.

In the late 1960s, Select Western Lands Inc. ran full-page ads for land in Deming in The Saturday Evening Post. The ads proclaimed "Your Own Ranchette Only $299, Only $5 a Month", for a half-acre. Up to 2 acres (0.81 ha) were offered, those for "$1196. Only $15 a month."


Deming is located within the Upper Chihuahuan Desert climate zone. The climate is dry, hot, and breezy. Winters are mild, with occasional snow that usually melts within a day or two. Summer temperatures often exceed 100 °F (37.8 °C), but the altitude (4000 ft / 1219 m) and dry air make summer days more comfortable than one would expect given the high temperature.[3]

Most precipitation occurs as thunderstorms and showers during the July–September monsoon period. Minor flooding sometimes occurs over large areas of flat ground. There are periods lasting from 5 to 20 years of relatively wet or dry years. Springtime is often windy, and during dry years dust storms can be severe—sometimes lasting for days. Snow is likely to fall in winter, but usually melts in a day or two. Temperatures in winter are sometimes below freezing at night, but winter days are generally mild and sunny.

Flora and fauna

The Chihuahuan Desert is very diverse in both plants and animals.[4] There are numerous species of wildflowers that grow naturally depending on rainfall, but the natural landscape is dominated by creosote bush, honey mesquite, and soaptree yucca. Numerous species of cactus are common on and around the many small mountain ranges nearby.

Jack rabbits and cottontail rabbits are common, as are kangaroo rats and other small rodents. With such abundant, easy-to-spot small animal prey, hawks and buzzards are often flying overhead. Coyotes can often be heard at night. Porcupines and skunks are common. Songbirds, sparrows, jays, crows, and roadrunners are abundant. Rattlesnakes, bullsnakes, and several other snake species are to be found. Deer, bear, sheep, and even parrots[5] can be found in some of the nearby mountains.


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 14,116 people, 5,267 households, and 3,628 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,512.0 people per square mile (583.5/km²). There were 6,192 housing units at an average density of 663.2 per square mile (256.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.66% White, 1.37% Native American, 1.23% African American, 0.48% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 24.19% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. 64.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 5,267 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the city the population was: 30.9% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,081, and the median income for a family was $23,030. Males had a median income of $25,379 versus $16,462 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,943. About 28.5% of families and 32.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47.4% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.


Deming's economy is based on transportation, real estate, agriculture, energy, retirement, tourism, and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Deming is the only major stop on Interstate 10 between Lordsburg, 60 miles (97 km) west, and Las Cruces, 60 miles (97 km) east. Deming is also the closest major town to Silver City, 50 miles (80 km) north, and it provides access to Chihuahua, Mexico, via the village of Columbus, New Mexico, 25 miles (40 km) to the south. Deming also sits astride one of the major railroad lines linking the East Coast with the West Coast. (via the Southern Route)

In 2006, this city's role in the American homeland security expanded. Deming's industrial park became the home of a Border Patrol training center, a 10-acre (4.0 ha) forward operating base named Border Wolf that supports Operation Jump Start.[7]

Movies and television

Since 1953, several motion pictures have been filmed in Deming, most notable being one of the Indiana Jones Movies, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull",[8] and "Gas Food Lodging".

Deming's Railroad Depot was featured in The History Channel's series, "Mega Movers",[9] where the historical site was lifted from its previous location on the railroad and moved.



Major highways

  • I-10
  • I-10 Bus.



The Deming Luna Mimbres museum, housed in the historic Deming Armory (1916) and Customs House , features a world class collection of Mimbres Indian painted pottery, historic period-furnished rooms in the Seaman Fields House, an antique auto collection, a restored Harvey House restaurant, a doll collection, as well as a geological section and many more displays.[10][11]

Nearby are City of Rocks State Park, with interesting volcanic rock formations,[12] and Rockhound State Park, offering mineral & rock collecting opportunities.[13]

The Great American Duck Race is held every year on the 3rd weekend of August. It features wet and dry duck race tracks, hot air balloon show, a Tournament of Ducks Parade, with a carnival and a variety of vendors setting up their wares in the Courthouse Square and surrounding property.[14][15]


Residents attend schools in the Deming Public Schools.

Notable residents

  • Deming is the birthplace of the songwriter Nacio Herb Brown, the musician/author/photographer/designer Craig Anthony Perkins, and the actor/musician Robert Vega.[16]
  • Among Deming's current residents is the musician and songwriter Max Crook, who co-wrote Del Shannon's hit song "Runaway".
  • Hillary Floren, Miss New Mexico 1992 and anchor of KVIA's "Good Morning El Paso" on abc called Deming home from 1980 to 1992. She still frequents Deming, visiting friends and family.



  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ Deming, New Mexico
  4. ^ World Wildlife Fund: Chihuahuan desert (NA1303).
  5. ^ Mesilla Valley Audubon Society: Roadrunner Ramblings. Reintroduction of endangered species: the case of the thick-billed parrot. Sept–Oct 2007.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Concept Perfected in Iraq, Afghanistan Used Along U.S. Border, an American Forces Press Service press release
  8. ^, IMDB Movies filmed that reference Deming
  9. ^ Locomotives On the Move. (2010). The History Channel website. Retrieved 11:14, May 4, 2010, from
  10. ^ Deming, New Mexico
  11. ^ Welcome to Old West County: Deming Customs House
  12. ^ City Of Rocks State Park
  13. ^ Rock Hound State Park
  14. ^ "Waddling warriors: Deming's annual ducks races get under way this weekend". Las Cruces Sun-News. 2008-08-17. 
  15. ^ "The Great American Duck Race". Great American Duck Race of Deming, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  16. ^ Internet Movie Data Base: Robert Vega.

External links

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