Deming was incorporated in 1902 but had been founded in 1881 at the site of the "Silver Spike:" the meeting point of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad with the Southern Pacific Railroad, completing the second transcontinental railroad in America. One of the principals in the venture was Charles Crocker, and Deming was named in honor of his wife, Mary Ann Deming Crocker.

Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, this area had been home to members of the Native American Mimbres and Casas Grandes cultures for thousands of years. The countryside used to be littered with native pottery artifacts, beads, stone carvings and implements, etc., but a hundred years of European presence has seen most of that antique material removed into private collections, in spite of federal and state laws against the practice.

Deming is in a location in the northern Chihuahuan Desert halfway between Lordsburg and Las Cruces. Because of that location, in the Deming industrial park the US Border Patrol has built a new agent training center as part of a 10-acre forward operating base named Border Wolf, an integral part of the Department of Homeland Security operations along the Mexican border (which is 25 miles to the south).