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Reeves County TX
Reeves County

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PECOS, TEXAS

"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: 9,666 Est. (2016)
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, 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

  • 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

    Take a road trip

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

    Toyah | Balmorhea

    See Reeves County | West Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    Pecos Hotels | More Hotels
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