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|
|o Total||2,642 sq mi (6,840 km2)|
|o Land||2,635 sq mi (6,820 km2)|
|o Water||6.7 sq mi (17 km2) 0.3%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||5.2/sq mi (2.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
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 populated 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, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area.
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.
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 segued 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 1990 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 in engineering test, administrative, 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.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 13,783 people living in the county. 77.2% were White, 5.0% Black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 14.9% of some other race and 1.5% of two or more races. 74.2% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,137 people, 4,091 households, and 3,129 families living in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 5,043 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.33% White, 2.10% Black or African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 15.03% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. 73.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,091 households out of which 38.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.60% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.50% were non-families. 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 population was spread out with 29.90% under the age of 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 years of age 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 the median income 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 is located 20 miles south of Fort Stockton, Texas and 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 & Cattle Company, the 100-year-old ranch was acquired by building contractor Gerald Lyda of San Antonio, Texas and renamed La Escalera Ranch (Spanish for "The Ladder"). It is known for its reputation Black Angus cattle and its 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.