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Reeves County TX
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"Home of the World's First Rodeo."

Reeves County Seat, West Texas

31 24' 56" N, 103 30' 0" W (31.415556, -103.5)

I-20 and Hwys 17 & 285
20 miles S of Mentone
7 miles W of Barstow
40 miles W of Monahans
76 miles W of Odessa
15 miles E of Toyah
39 miles NE of Balmorhea
54 miles NW of Ft. Stockton
Population: 10,461 Est. (2019)
8,780 (2010) 9,501 (2000) 12,069 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Pecos Hotels

Pecos, Texas downtown
Downtown Pecos
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, August 2008

Pecos, Texas Topics:

History in a Pecan Shell
Pecos Cantaloupes
Pecos Landmarks & Attractions › photo gallery
Pecos Chronicles
Reeves County Courthouse next page
The West of the Pecos Museum next page
Reeves County Towns & Ghost Towns next page

Book Hotel Here › Pecos Hotels
Pecos, Texas railroad crossing at dawn
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

History in a Pecan Shell

As hard as it is to believe - the town of Pecos was once East of the Pecos River. The popular slogan "West of the Pecos" wouldn't work very well if the town of Pecos was east of the river.

A Mr. George Knight who owned the land gave a small portion for a depot and a little more for good measure to the Texas and Pacific Railroad who laid tracks in 1881.

The evolution of the name was Pecos Station, then Pecos City and finally the simple utilitarian Pecos. After going through so many changes, they weren't about to change it when their portion of Pecos County became Reeves County in 1883.

They got a post office in 1884 and a bad reputation for violence shortly thereafter. We'd like to point out that the reputation had nothing to do with postal employees.

The name Pecos even evolved into a verb like "Shanghai". To "Pecos" a man was to ambush him, steal his horse and money and roll his body off a riverbank (which didn't have to actually be the Pecos River to qualify). Even though things have quieted down today, having Clay Allison's grave in back of the Orient Hotel (itself riddled with bullet holes) testifies to the town's legendary wild-west past.

During WWII Pecos Army Air Field was opened and the population of the town reached 6,500. The city nearly doubled its population in the 50s from 8,000 to 14,000.

Pecos Cantaloupes

Today samples of Pecos cantaloupes are provided to summer visitors of the museum. The fame of the melons was spread because they were served in the dining cars all along the railroad's east-west route.

Cantaloupes, Pride of Pecos Texas
TE photo
The fame of Pecos cantaloupe is said to have spread from railroad dining cars that were supplied at the town of Pecos and served allong the line.

Historical Marker
Cedar of 1st Streets, Pecos, West of Pecos Museum:

The Pecos Cantaloupe

Nationally famed melon, originated in this city. Residents from 1880s grew melons in gardens, noting sun and soil imparted a distinctive flavor. Madison L. Todd (March 22, 1875-Sept. 10, 1967) and wife Julia (Jan. 30, 1880-Feb. 5, 1969) came here from east Texas and New Mexico. In 1917 Todd and partner, D. T. McKee, grew eight acres of melons, selling part of crop to dining cars of Texas & Pacific Railway, where Pecos cantaloupes first became popular and in wide demand. McKee soon quit business, but Todd remained a leader for 41 years. Famed lecturer Helen Keller, Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson and many other distinguished persons have ordered and appreciated Pecos cantaloupes. Exclusive clubs in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and other cities are regular clients of Pecos growers. Genuine Pecos cantaloupes begin ripening in July and continue on the market until late October. The varieties are the same as those grown in other areas. Climate, soil and special cultivation methods account for the distinctiveness of Pecos melons. 2,000 acres are now planted annually. M. L. Todd was known in his later years as father of the industry. He and his wife and family were leaders in civic and religious enterprises.
( 1970).

Pecos Chronicles

  • The First Rodeo by Clay Coppedge

  • Luke Brown Seedless Watermelons and Grocery Store Personalities by Brewster Hudspeth

  • Pecos, Texas Landmarks
    Photo Gallery
    The entire downtown section of Pecos (Pay Cuss) is intact, with only one building gone due to a fire. At the north end of the main street is the railroad station. It's easy to spot - just look for the Union Pacific caboose in the middle of the street.

    Pecos is one of the towns that must be included on your West Texas itinerary.

    Reeves County courthouse, Pecos Texas
    Photo courtey Terry Jeanson, December, 2005
    Reeves County Courthouse

     Pecos, Texas - Texas & Pacific Depot
    Texas & Pacific Railroad Depot in Pecos, Texas.
    Postcard from the early 1900's, courtesy Mark Armstrong

    Texas & Pacific Station detail
    The Old Texas & Pacific Station today
    TE Photo, 2000

    Gunfighter Robert Allison tombstone
    Next to the caboose is the headstone for Clay Allison, a notorious gunfighter who may have "died with his boots on" but actually his head was crushed by his own wagon.

    You aren't a true West Texas town
    without a gunfighter's tombstone downtown.

    TE photo, August 2000

    Pecos, Texas cowboy mural
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas greetings mural
    Pecos Murals
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Texas Murals

    Pecos, Texas windmill
    Old windmill
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Windmills

    Pecos, Texas thermometer
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas building
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas State Theatre
    State Theatre
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Texas Theatres

    Pecos, Texas Shoes old neon
    Pecos Old Neon - Shoes
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Old Neon

    Pecos, Texas eagle
    Eagle in Pecos
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Texas Eagles

    Pecos, Texas church
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas church
    Churches in Pecos
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Texas Churches

    Pecos, Texas window
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas bilding
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas old gas station
    Old Gas Station
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Texas Gas Stations

    Pecos, Texas upholstery
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas machine shop
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas silo
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels
    More Texas Silos

    Pecos, Texas silo
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels

    Pecos, Texas water tower
    Pecos water tower.
    Photo courtesy James Feagin, 2002
    More Texas Water Towers

    Pecos TX - Home of the First Rodeo sign
    "Home of the World's First Rodeo"
    Photo courtesy James Feagin, February 23, 2002

    Pecos TX welcome sign
    Entering Pecos via Barstow
    Photo courtesy James Feagin, September 2004

    Pecos TX - Pecos Drug Co 1908
    Pecos Drug Co.'s Store, ca 1908
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

    Pecos TX - Hotel Brandon 1930s Postcard
    Hotel Brandon 1930s Postcard
    Courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

    Pecos TX - Boulder Courts
    Boulder Courts
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    More Rooms with a Past

    Pecos Chronicles
  • The First Rodeo by Clay Coppedge

  • Luke Brown Seedless Watermelons and Grocery Store Personalities by Brewster Hudspeth

    Cartoons by Roger T. Moore

  • "Wrong" side of the street
    In Pecos it was once a crime to walk or sit on the "wrong" side of the street.

  • Pecos Hotels › Book Hotel Here

    Pecos Tourist Information The Chamber of Commerce:
    111 S. Cedar St. 915-445-2406
    Website: www.pecostx.com
    cantaloupe truck in Pecos Texas
    Pecos cantaloupes are so famous, they'll loan money on them.
    TE Photo, 2000
    The effect of fire hydrants on West of the Pecos marigolds
    TE Photo, 2000

    Reeves County TX 1940s Map
    Reeves County 1940s map showing Pecos & Pecos River
    From Texas state map #4335
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Reeves County Town List
  • Angeles ghost town
  • Arno ghost town
  • Balmorhea
  • Brogado
  • Dixieland ghost town
  • Orla ghost town
  • Pecos County Seat
  • Saragosa ghost town
  • Toyah ghost town
  • Toyahvale
  • Verhalen ghost town
  • Contiguous Counties:
    Eddy County, New Mexico (N) Loving County (NE) Ward County (E) Pecos County (SE) Jeff Davis County (SW) Culberson County (W)

    Take a road trip

    Pecos, Texas Nearby Destinations:
    Mentone | Barstow | Monahans | Odessa | Ft. Stockton

    Toyah | Balmorhea

    See Reeves County | West Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    Pecos Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories and recent or vintage/historic photos, please contact us.





































































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