Pecos, Texas
Pecos is the largest city in and the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Reeves County
Reeves County, Texas
Reeves County is a county located in the US state of Texas. It is one of the nine counties that comprise the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. In 2000, its population was 13,137. Its seat is Pecos. Reeves County is named for George R. Reeves, a Texas state legislator and colonel in the...

, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is situated in the river valley on the west bank of the Pecos River
Pecos River
The headwaters of the Pecos River are located north of Pecos, New Mexico, United States, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Mora County. The river flows for through the eastern portion of that state and neighboring Texas before it...

 at the eastern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert
Chihuahuan Desert
The Chihuahuan Desert is a desert, and an ecoregion designation, that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border in the central and northern portions of the Mexican Plateau, bordered on the west by the extensive Sierra Madre Occidental range, and overlaying northern portions of the east range, the Sierra...

 and the Trans-Pecos
The term Trans-Pecos, as originally defined in 1887 by the Texas geologist Robert T. Hill, refers to the portion of Texas that lies west of the Pecos River. The term is considered synonymous with "Far West Texas", a subdivision of West Texas...

 region of west Texas and near the southern border of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. The population was 9,501 at the 2000 census, but had dropped to 7,782 according to a July 2009 estimate. The city is a regional commercial center for ranching, oil and gas production and agriculture. The city is most recognized for its association with the local cultivation of cantaloupe
"Rockmelon" redirects here, for the band see Rockmelons. See also Cantaloupe .Cantaloupe refers to a variety of Cucumis melo, a species in the family Cucurbitaceae which includes nearly all melons and squashes. Cantaloupes range in size from...

s. Pecos claims to be the site of the world's first rodeo
Rodeo is a competitive sport which arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States,...

 on July 4, 1883.


Pecos is one of the numerous towns in West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

 organized around a train depot during the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railway
Texas and Pacific Railway
The Texas and Pacific Railway Company was created by federal charter in 1871 with the purpose of building a southern transcontinental railroad between Marshall, Texas, and San Diego, California....

. These towns were subsequently linked by the construction of U.S. Highway 80 and Interstate 20. Prior to the arrival of the railroad, a permanent camp existed nearby where cattle drives crossed the Pecos River
Pecos River
The headwaters of the Pecos River are located north of Pecos, New Mexico, United States, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Mora County. The river flows for through the eastern portion of that state and neighboring Texas before it...

. With the introduction of irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 from underground aquifers, the city became a center of commerce for extensive local agricultural production of cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, onions and cantaloupes. The introduction of large scale sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 mining in adjacent Culberson County
Culberson County, Texas
Culberson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. It is one of the nine counties that comprise the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. In 2000, its population was 2,975. Culberson was founded in 1911. It is named for David B. Culberson, a lawyer and Confederate soldier in the American...

 during the 1960s led to significant economic and population growth. The growth was reversed after mining operations ceased in the 1990s.


Pecos is located at 31°24′56"N 103°30′0"W (31.415417, -103.499955).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (18.9 km²), all of it land.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 9,501 people, 3,168 households, and 2,455 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,300.1 people per square mile (501.8/km²). There were 3,681 housing units at an average density of 503.7 per square mile (194.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.32% White, 2.45% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 18.06% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 79.57% of the population.

There were 3,168 households out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.47.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,943, and the median income for a family was $26,376. Males had a median income of $25,867 versus $13,874 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $11,857. About 23.4% of families and 27.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.0% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Pecos is served by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District is a public school district based in Pecos, Texas .In addition to Pecos, the district serves the town of Toyah in Reeves County and Barstow in western Ward County....

, which currently has five schools:
  • Pecos Kindergarten
  • Austin Elementary - 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade
  • Bessie Haynes Elementary - 4th and 5th grade
  • Crockett Middle School - 6th, 7th and 8th grade
  • Pecos High School - 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade


Notable natives and residents

In 1962 Pecos resident Billie Sol Estes
Billie Sol Estes
Billie Sol Estes is an American former financier best known for his association with U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Mr. Estes currently lives in Granbury, Texas.-Fraud charges:...

 was indicted for fraud by a federal grand jury
Grand jury
A grand jury is a type of jury that determines whether a criminal indictment will issue. Currently, only the United States retains grand juries, although some other common law jurisdictions formerly employed them, and most other jurisdictions employ some other type of preliminary hearing...

 in a business scandal that involved allegations against then United States Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...


Brothers Jeff and Dewayne (Jr) Bryant members of multi award winning Sony Columbia records recording country group Ricochet raised in Pecos Texas
1996 ACM (Academy of Country Music) "New Vocal Group" Radio & Records Group of the Year 1996, Billboard Magazine "Top New Country Artist" 1996,
Radio & Records " Most Valuable Performer " 1996, Country Weekly "Favorite New Group Golden Pick Award" 1996, Vocal group of th year finalist CMA (Country Music Association) 1997, Block Buster Entertainment "Favorite group or Duo" 1997. Top selling artist Fan Fair1996 & 1997. National Network Television appearances, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Prime Time Country, The Grand Old Opry, Crook & Chase, The CMA Awards, The CMA Awards

Abel Talamantez
Abel Talamantez
Abel Talamantez Mendoza , is a Mexican American singer. He is currently a singer for the band Cruz Martínez Y Los Super Reyes. He used to be in the bands Menudo, MDO, and A.B...

 of the Kumbia Kings
Kumbia Kings
Kumbia Kings was a Latin Grammy-winning Mexican cumbia group from Corpus Christi, Texas created by A.B. Quintanilla. Their music encompasses the styles of cumbia , hip hop and R&B. They produce songs in both Spanish and English. The band's producers from the beginning have been A.B. Quintanilla III...

 and Tejano
Tejano music
Tejano music or Tex-Mex music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Mexican-American populations of Central and Southern Texas...

 singer Esmi Talamantez
Esmi Talamantez
Esmeralda Talamantez Mendoza is a Tejano singer who had a string of musical hits during the mid to late 1990s with her band Viento Loco.-Biography:...

were born and raised in Pecos.


External links

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