Pecos, Texas

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Pecos, Texas
Storefronts in downtown Pecos
Storefronts in downtown Pecos
Nickname(s): 
Tarilas
Location of Pecos, Texas
Location of Pecos, Texas
Reeves County Pecos.svg
Coordinates: 31°24′56″N 103°30′0″W / 31.41556°N 103.50000°W / 31.41556; -103.50000Coordinates: 31°24′56″N 103°30′0″W / 31.41556°N 103.50000°W / 31.41556; -103.50000
CountryUnited States
StateTexas
CountyReeves
Government
 • MayorDavid Flores
Area
 • Total22.22 sq mi (57.56 km2)
 • Land22.22 sq mi (57.56 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
2,601 ft (793 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total8,780
 • Estimate 
(2019)[2]
10,461
 • Density470.73/sq mi (181.75/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
79772
Area code(s)432
FIPS code48-56516[3]
GNIS feature ID1364996[4]
Websitehttp://www.pecostx.gov/

Pecos (/ˈpkəs/ PAY-kəs[5]) is the largest city in and the county seat of Reeves County, Texas, United States.[6] It is in the valley on the west bank of the Pecos River at the eastern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas and just south of New Mexico's border. Its population was 8,780 at the 2010 census. On January 24, 2012, Pecos City appeared on the Forbes 400 as the second-fastest growing small town in the United States.[7] 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 cantaloupes.[8][9] Pecos claims to be the site of the world's first rodeo on July 4, 1883.[10]

History[edit]

Signpost in Pecos
Water tower and the Santa Rosa church in Pecos, Texas

Pecos is one of the numerous towns in West Texas organized around a train depot during the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railway. 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. With the introduction of irrigation from underground aquifers, the city became a center of commerce for extensive local agricultural production of cotton, onions, and cantaloupes. The introduction of large-scale sulfur mining in adjacent Culberson County during the 1960s led to significant economic and population growth.[11] The growth was reversed after mining operations ceased in the 1990s.

In 1962, Pecos resident and tycoon Billie Sol Estes was indicted for fraud by a federal grand jury. Estes' extensive machinations caused a national-level scandal, resulting in a shakeup at the Department of Agriculture. Oscar Griffin, Jr., of the Pecos Independent and Enterprise newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story.[12]

Pecos is the site of the largest private prison in the world, the Reeves County Detention Complex, operated by the GEO Group.[13]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (19 km2), all of it land.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890393
190063962.6%
19101,856190.5%
19201,445−22.1%
19303,304128.7%
19404,85546.9%
19508,05465.9%
196012,72858.0%
197012,682−0.4%
198012,8551.4%
199012,069−6.1%
20009,501−21.3%
20108,780−7.6%
2019 (est.)10,461[2]19.1%
1890-2000,[14] 2010[15]

As of the census[3] of 2000, 9,501 people, 3,168 households, and 2,455 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,300.1 people per square mile (501.8/km2). The 3,681 housing units averaged 503.7 per mi2 (194.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.322% White, 2.45% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 18.07% from other races]], and 22% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 79.57% of the population.

Of the 3,168 households, 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were not families. About 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 age distribution was 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 for a family was $26,376. Males had a median income of $25,867 versus $13,874 for females. The per capita income 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.

Education[edit]

The City of Pecos is served by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District, which currently has five schools: Pecos Kindergarten, Austin Elementary (grades 1-3), Bessie Haynes Elementary (grades 4-5), Crockett Middle School, (grades 6-8), and Pecos High School (grades 9-12).

Climate[edit]

Pecos experiences a semiarid to desert climate with hot summers and mild winters. The city's aridity results in a substantial diurnal temperature variation, resulting in cool nights even after hot summer days.

Climate data for Pecos, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
(32)
94
(34)
103
(39)
106
(41)
112
(44)
118
(48)
116
(47)
113
(45)
110
(43)
106
(41)
94
(34)
89
(32)
118
(48)
Average high °F (°C) 61
(16)
66
(19)
74
(23)
84
(29)
91
(33)
99
(37)
99
(37)
98
(37)
92
(33)
82
(28)
69
(21)
63
(17)
82
(28)
Average low °F (°C) 28
(−2)
31
(−1)
38
(3)
48
(9)
57
(14)
67
(19)
69
(21)
68
(20)
61
(16)
50
(10)
35
(2)
29
(−2)
48
(9)
Record low °F (°C) −9
(−23)
−8
(−22)
12
(−11)
24
(−4)
30
(−1)
48
(9)
55
(13)
45
(7)
37
(3)
25
(−4)
8
(−13)
1
(−17)
−9
(−23)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.42
(11)
0.38
(9.7)
0.33
(8.4)
0.57
(14)
1.14
(29)
1.11
(28)
1.33
(34)
1.24
(31)
1.85
(47)
1.16
(29)
0.47
(12)
0.49
(12)
10.48
(266)
Source: Weatherbase [16]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "How to Pronounce: P Cities". texastripper.com. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ "Pecos, Texas (TX 79772) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders". city-data.com. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  8. ^ View Atlas Data
  9. ^ "Pecos Cantaloupe Industry". Archived from the original on 2010-05-11. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  10. ^ "View Atlas Data". Archived from the original on 2015-09-04. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  11. ^ SULFUR INDUSTRY from the Handbook of Texas Online
  12. ^ a b McFadden, Robert D. (May 14, 2013). "Billie Sol Estes, Texas Con Man Whose Fall Shook Up Washington, Dies at 88". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Private Prisons, Public Pain". fwweekly.com. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  14. ^ Texasalmanac (PDF-Datei; 1,13 MB)
  15. ^ "Population estimates, July 1, 2015, (V2015)". census.gov. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Weatherbase: Weather for Pecos, Texas". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved on November 22, 2011.
  17. ^ "Pulitzer Prize Awardees - The University of Texas at Austin". utexas.edu. Retrieved 15 September 2016.

External links[edit]