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Yuma (1885, 4,132 feet) developed from a railroad camp near the grave of an Indian teamster named Yuma, who died while working on the original roadbed in the early 1880s. Yuma's grave was rediscovered in 1920, when a new roadbed was built, and now has a historical marker. The railroad proved to be a lifeline in many ways. Sometimes it provided the only source of drinking water and of fuel (in the form of coal or railroad ties). The railroad also paid farmers for train-killed animals, which they could then butcher and eat, a hard-times expedient for more than one farmer. Although it lost the designation of county seat to Wray in 1903, Yuma is now a prosperous, tidy town with large cattle and hog feedlots and packing plants.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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