El Yeso Ranch A Working Cattle & Guest Ranch
Elbert Overton was 26 years old when he traveled from Tennessee to Abernathy, Texas to visit friends and relatives. Once there, he fell in love with the wide-open spaces that grew "Texas gold" or wheat, and decided that he would sell the farm in Tennessee that his grandfather had given him and move to Texas. He married and had two sons. After the tragic death of his young wife, Elbert moved to Clovis, New Mexico and started a successful construction business in Portales, along with his brother-in-law. A short time later, a friend told Elbert about a ranch near Yeso, N.M. which was in bankruptcy. Elbert took time to travel to the ranch, then the "Rafter H" ranch. When he topped the hill overlooking the valley, Elbert fell in love with the country, and it has been home to the Overton family ever since.

It was in 1926, with two very young sons to raise and knowing that ranching would be a challenge, Elbert Overton bought the "El Yeso Ranch." The original map for this ranch called for 45,000 acres of land, but since there were no fences on the western side of the ranch, a rancher could range his sheep, cattle and horses all the way to the Capitan Mountains. With the advice of a friend and even though he knew nothing about the sheep industry, Elbert stocked the ranch with sheep and cattle. Over the next three decades, he purchased several other ranches, running approximately 13,000 head of sheep and 1,500 head of cows.

Elbert learned very quickly that ranching in New Mexico would be a struggle, but very rewarding. He would tell his grandchildren "This land promises you less, but gives you more than any other place he had known." As grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Elbert Overton, we have learned to love this land as much as our grandfather. We would love to share our heritage with those of you who would like to learn about ranch life. We still brand and work cattle the old fashioned way, ride fences, fix water gaps, hunt wildlife and move cattle horseback. The western part of the ranch is great for scenic rides, hiking, wildlife viewing or enjoying the New Mexico landscape. The star gazing, sunrises and sunsets are unsurpassed. Come join the Overton's for a Working Ranch experience.