Jal - "We Call it Home"

early settlersDuring the early 1800’s, when water was plentiful and gamma grass was belly high to a horse, the Cowden boys of Midland, moved the entire John A. Lynch herd to the Monument draw, about 6 miles northeast of present day Jal. All the cattle were branded with the JAL brand from shoulder to hip. In the process of trying to rebrand the Cowdens found it too big a task, so they registered the brand under their name in Silver City, New Mexico Territory.

In 1910, Charles W. Justice built a store and post office near the JAL ranch headquarters. And a town was born. In 1916 Mr. Justice and the nesters were at odds, so Mr. Justice picked up his store, post office, and school and moved them to Muleshoe Draw which is about where the Dollar Store is located. This became the “City of Jal”

early homesteadOn November 1, 1927, Texas Co. brought in the first well, the Rhodes #1. Then on June 2, 1928, a second well, serving up more than 90 million cubic feet of gas a day, was brought in 6 miles west of Jal. Now we had a “boom town,” with all the prosperity and problems that go with it. Then in 1929 came the Great Depression. Low crude prices caused a sharp slump in drilling and people left in droves. Jal almost became a ghost town overnight.

In the summer of 1934, the Cooper #1 brought the “Big Boom” back to Jal. By now Jal had a passenger train and people came from every where. Housing was in short supply and ranchers opened their homes to “roughnecks.” New business sprang up everywhere and with the gas gathering system by El Paso Natural Gas, prosperity continued.

Jal has seen it’s share of “bust" times, but the folks in Jal are from sturdy stock and we persevere. We can be proud of our city government, our outstanding Chamber of Commerce, a great newspaper, and outstanding schools. No wonder we call Jal “HOME!”


As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 2,047 people, with 788 occupied houses.. The population density was 426.5 people per square mile (163.8/km²). There were 1009 housing units at an average density of 210.2 per square mile (80.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.81% White, 0.83% African American, 0.73% Native American, 11.82% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 48.12% of the population.

There were 788 households out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 19, 12.2% in their 20's, 10.1% in their 30's, 12.6% in their 40's, 13.2% in their 50's, and 22.4% who were 60 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,813, and the median income for a family was $51,538. Males had a median income of $46,250 versus $30,147 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,597. About 12.0% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.6% of those under age 18 and 18.5% of those age 65 or over.

2010 Census Data

Contact City of Jal

Jal City Hall & MVD
309 S. Main Street
P.O. Drawer 340
Jal, NM 88252
Phone: (575) 395-3340
Fax: (575) 395-2243
Staff Directory

Helpful Numbers

Police:                     ... 575-395-2501
Fire:                         ... 575-395-2221
City Hall:                 ... 575-395-3340
Municipal Court:   ... 575-395-3314
Magistrate Court: ... 575-395-2740