Reeves County, Texas
Reeves County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 13,783. Its county seat and most populous city is Pecos. The county was created in 1883 and organized the next year. It is named for George R. Reeves, a Texas state legislator and colonel in the Confederate Army. It is one of the nine counties that comprise the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. Reeves County comprises the Pecos micropolitan statistical area.
Reeves County Courthouse in Pecos
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||George R. Reeves|
|• Total||2,642 sq mi (6,840 km2)|
|• Land||2,635 sq mi (6,820 km2)|
|• Water||6.7 sq mi (17 km2) 0.3%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5.2/sq mi (2.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Prehistoric Clovis culture peoples in Reeves County lived in the rock shelters and caves nestled near water supplies. These people left behind artifacts and pictographs as evidence of their presence. Jumano Indians led the Antonio de Espejo 1582–1583 expedition near Toyah Lake on a better route to the farming and trade area of La Junta de los Ríos. Espejo's diary places the Jumano along the Pecos River and its tributaries. The Mescalero Apache frequented San Solomon Springs to irrigate their crops. In 1849, John Salmon "RIP" Ford explored the area between San Antonio and El Paso, noting in his mapped report the productive land upon which the Mescalero Indians farmed.
County established and growthEdit
The state legislature formed Reeves from Pecos County in 1883, and named it after Texas legislator and soldier George Robertson Reeves. The county was organized in 1884. The town of Pecos was named as county seat.
Toyah Valley farmers George B. and Robert E. Lyle were the first Anglo settlers 1871. White settlers started arriving in the area four years later, lured by open-range ranching. For the remainder of the century, the county economy was dependent upon farming and ranching as it moved into the manufacturing and oil industries of the 20th century.
The Texas and Pacific Railway built through Reeves County in 1881, with stations at Pecos and Toyah. By 1890, the Pecos River Railway had built from Pecos to the New Mexico. Toyahvale, which means "flowing water", became the western terminus of the railroad.
Pecos Army Air Field was one of the 120 airbases that trained the pioneer Women Airforce Service Pilots to fly military aircraft. At the Pecos installation, WASP flew AT-6, UC-78, and AT-17 aircraft in engineering tests, administrative duties, and transporting freight. The base was activated in 1942 as a World War II pilot school. The base was deactivated in 1945. At its peak, the base population of 4,034 rivaled the town of Pecos in size. Portions of the base were sold off over the years, with Pecos Municipal Airport retaining the remainder.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, 13,783 people were living in the county; 77.2% White, 5.0% African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 14.9% of some other race, and 1.5% of two or more races. About 74.2% were Hispanics or Latinos (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, 13,137 people, 4,091 households, and 3,129 families resided in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile (2/km2). The 5,043 housing units averaged 2 per square mi2 (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.33% White, 2.10% African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 15.04% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. Around 73.38% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 4,091 households, 38.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.60% were married couplesliving together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.50% were not families. About 21.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93, and the average family size was 3.45.
In the county, the age distribution was 29.90% under 18, 11.30% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, and 12.60% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 112.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $23,306, and for a family was $24,856. Males had a median income of $23,913 versus $13,248 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,811. About 25.40% of families and 28.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.20% of those under age 18 and 21.60% of those age 65 or over.
The sprawling 320,000 deeded-acre (1,400 km2) La Escalera Ranch headquarters are located 20 miles south of Fort Stockton, Texas, and the ranch is owned and operated by the Gerald Lyda family. The ranch extends over much of Pecos County and portions of Reeves County, Brewster County, Archer County, and Baylor County.
Originally owned by California-based Elsinore Land and Cattle Company, the 100-year-old ranch was acquired by building contractor Gerald Lyda of San Antonio, and renamed La Escalera Ranch (Spanish for "The Ladder"). It is known for its Black Angus cattle and abundant wildlife. Gerald Lyda died in 2005. Today, the ranch is owned and operated by Lyda's sons Gerald D. and Gene Lyda, as well as Lyda's daughter Jo Lyda Granberg.
Located near the entrance to the ranch is Sierra Madera crater. La Escalera Ranch has been ranked by Texas Monthly, Worth, and The Land Report magazines as one of the largest cattle ranches in Texas and in fact, all of the United States.
- Lindsay Division Colonia
- Pueblo Victoria
- Red Bluff
- Robinson Arms Landing
- Scroggins Draw
In 2020, Donald Trump not only flipped Reeves County, but won the greatest margin of victory for a Republican presidential candidate since President Nixon's 1972 re-election at 61.1%.
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- "Texas and Pacific Railway Stations". Texas and Pacific Railway. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
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- Reeves County from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Historic Reeves County materials, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
- La Escalera Ranch – Official Website
- Reeves County Sheriff's Office