Caprock

The community of Caprock is located just inside the northwestern border of the county. It takes its name for the geological formation that is found in southeastern New Mexico where to the east, the surface is flat while to the west it drops off rapidly. West of Caprock, the surface descends to the Pecos river. Caprock is located just under 25 miles northwest of Tatum and 47 miles roughly due east of Roswell on Highway 380.

Charles E. “Ed” Crossland is credited for having founded the settlement in 1913 and serving as its first postmaster. (1) The 1920 census showed Crossland, his wife Lillian and son Ed, Jr. living there and his profession was listed as farmer. In 1930 Crossland and his family still resided there and his profession was listed as being a teamster for the state highway department while Ed. Jr. listed his as being a wheat farmer. Charles passed away in 1948 in Roswell at the age of 67 and is buried at South Park Cemetery. His wife Lillian survived him over thirty years, remarried and died in California. Ed Crossland Jr. remained in the Roswell area where he lived with his family.


“The cap, or hard layer, underlying the Llano Estacado is a major geological feature known as the Caprock. It is not a rock layer in the usual sense of the term but is more technically a “hard-pan” layer that developed a few feet below the ground as highly mineral subsoil particles cemented themselves together to form a rock-like layer that resists erosion. Although the name Caprock technically applies only to the formation itself, the expression is often loosely used to mean the whole Llano Estacado. The Caprock escarpment was formed by erosion about one million to two million years ago.” (Excerpt from https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/caprock)


(1) Julyan, Robert, “The Place Names of New Mexico,” University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

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