The Yetman Station was established in 1837 by the Dights who followed Allan Cunningham's trail to the north.
The first hotel license was issued in 1866 at about same time as the first store was built. The first public school was established in 1867 and Yetman Post Office opened on 1 September 1867. In applying for a post office the applicants claimed that the population was then about 100 but this was considered a considerable exaggeration. The first police station was built in 1874.
The town has always been associated with beef cattle and horses, with the sheep, wool and timber industries developing only slightly later. The thick rabbit and prickly-pear-ridden scrub of the brigalow and belah country was reclaimed from expiring leases in the 1920s and the back-breaking work of rendering it fit for agriculture did not bear fruit until the 1950s when wheat-growing became and remains a highly successful enterprise. Some crops are also grown on the fecund black soils of the river flats.
Eventually flows into the Barwon River near Walgett.