Los Ybanez, TX

By: Yolanda G. Romero

Type: General Entry

Published: March 1, 1995

Updated: December 20, 2021

Los Ybanez, located approximately a mile off U. S. Highway 87 and southeast of Lamesa in central Dawson County, was the site of the Lamesa Farm Workers Community, a camp project constructed with federal funds by the Farm Security Administration in 1942. The camp was built to provide living facilities for Mexican migrant farm laborers and their families and to protect them from exploitation and discrimination. The camp, located on fifty acres, opened on August 17, 1942, and included residential buildings, a community center, medical clinic, and manager’s residence, as well as amenities such as indoor plumbing, a nursery, religious services, and recreational activities. During World War II the camp also temporarily housed soldiers during military training exercises.

The Lamesa Farm Workers Community ceased operations in 1980. That year Israel Ybanez purchased the camp for approximately $82,000 and renamed it Los Ybanez in honor of his family who aided in the purchase. Ybanez and his wife Mary planned to provide low income housing for impoverished families. Before establishing Los Ybanez, Israel was a labor contractor and Mary cleaned houses for families in Lamesa. The town incorporated in 1983 and had 300 official residents. Israel served as the mayor of the city while his wife was the city manager. Los Ybanez consisted of a community center, a manager’s house, twenty-five labor homes, twenty-five quadruplex shelters, twenty-five labor home barns, and fire, water, gas, and electrical systems. There was much controversy between the towns of Lamesa and Los Ybanez when Israel and Mary decided to have an election to allow for the sale of alcohol. At the time, residents of Lamesa and in the surrounding area had to drive to the strip outside of Lubbock or go to bootleggers to buy beer. Subsequently, the Ybanez family opened a package beer store—the only business in Los Ybanez. The population was eighty-three in 1990, but that figure continued to drop to thirty-two in 2000 and just nineteen in 2010. That year, a Texas Historical Marker honoring the Lamesa Farm Workers Community was erected in Los Ybanez.

Big Spring Herald, May 6, 1983. Historical Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin (Lamesa Farm Workers Community). Catarina Garcia Ovalle. Interview by Yolanda Romero, July 28, 1988, Los Ybanez, Texas; Martin Ovalle, Interview by Yolanda Romero, July 28, 1988, Los Ybanez, Texas;  Israel Ybanez, Interview by Yolanda Romero, July 28, 1988, Los Ybanez, Texas; Mary Ybanez, Interview by Yolanda Romero, July 28, 1988, Los Ybanez, Texas; available in Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. United States Department of Agriculture, Specification FSAG-633 (Amarillo, Texas: Farm Security Administration, 1941).

  • Agriculture
  • Labor
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
Time Periods:
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Texas in the 21st Century
  • Communities
  • West Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Yolanda G. Romero, “Los Ybanez, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/los-ybanez-tx.

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March 1, 1995
December 20, 2021

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

Los Ybanez
Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: No
  • Is Incorporated: Yes
Belongs to
  • Dawson County
  • Latitude: 32.71881590°
  • Longitude: -101.91739000°
Population Counts
People Year
83 1990
32 2000
19 2010
17 2019