Reeves County, Texas

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Reeves County
Reeves County Courthouse in Pecos
Reeves County Courthouse in Pecos
Map of Texas highlighting Reeves County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 31°19′N 103°41′W / 31.32°N 103.68°W / 31.32; -103.68
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1884
Named forGeorge R. Reeves
SeatPecos
Largest cityPecos
Area
 • Total2,642 sq mi (6,840 km2)
 • Land2,635 sq mi (6,820 km2)
 • Water6.7 sq mi (17 km2)  0.3%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total14,748
 • Density5.2/sq mi (2.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district23rd
Websitewww.reevescounty.org

Reeves County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 14,748.[1] Its county seat and most populous city is Pecos.[2] The county was created in 1883 and organized the next year.[3] 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.

History[edit]

Native Americans[edit]

Prehistoric Clovis culture peoples[4] 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.[5] Jumano Indians led the Antonio de Espejo[6] 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.[7] The Mescalero Apache[8][9] frequented San Solomon Springs to irrigate their crops. In 1849, John Salmon "RIP" Ford[10] 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 growth[edit]

The state legislature formed Reeves from Pecos County in 1883, and named it after Texas legislator and soldier George Robertson Reeves.[11][12] The county was organized in 1884. The town of Pecos[13] 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.[14] 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[15] and Toyah.[16] By 1890, the Pecos River Railway[17] had built from Pecos to New Mexico. Toyahvale,[18] which means "flowing water", became the western terminus of the railroad.

Balmorhea State Park was built at Toyahvale by the Civilian Conservation Corps.[19] The park was deeded to the State of Texas in 1934 and opened to the public in 1968.

Pecos Army Air Field was one of the 120 airbases that trained the pioneer Women Airforce Service Pilots[20] 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.[21] 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.

Pecos is the site of the largest private prison in the world, the Reeves County Detention Complex, operated by the GEO Group.[22]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,642 square miles (6,840 km2), of which 2,635 sq mi (6,820 km2) are land and 6.7 sq mi (17 km2) (0.3%) are covered by water.[23]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18901,247
19001,84748.1%
19104,392137.8%
19204,4571.5%
19306,40743.8%
19408,00625.0%
195011,74546.7%
196017,64450.2%
197016,526−6.3%
198015,801−4.4%
199015,8520.3%
200013,137−17.1%
201013,7834.9%
202014,7487.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[24]
1850–2010[25] 2010–2020[26] 2020[1]

2020 census[edit]

Reeves County racial composition[27][28]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 2,690 1,697 19.52% 11.51%
Black or African American (NH) 672 224 4.88% 1.52%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 21 27 0.15% 0.18%
Asian (NH) 118 165 0.86% 1.12%
Pacific Islander (NH) 2 3 0.01% 0.02%
Some Other Race (NH) 20 39 0.15% 0.26%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 27 83 0.2% 0.56%
Hispanic or Latino 10,233 12,510 74.24% 84.83%
Total 13,783 14,748

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 14,748 people, 3,772 households, and 2,388 families residing in the county.

2010 census[edit]

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).

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[31] 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.

Ranching[edit]

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.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

Politics[edit]

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%.

United States presidential election results for Reeves County, Texas[32]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,254 61.10% 1,395 37.82% 40 1.08%
2016 1,417 44.50% 1,659 52.10% 108 3.39%
2012 1,188 41.29% 1,655 57.53% 34 1.18%
2008 1,445 46.96% 1,606 52.19% 26 0.84%
2004 1,777 52.34% 1,600 47.13% 18 0.53%
2000 1,273 40.08% 1,872 58.94% 31 0.98%
1996 1,007 28.40% 2,279 64.27% 260 7.33%
1992 1,244 27.30% 2,569 56.37% 744 16.33%
1988 1,724 37.86% 2,812 61.75% 18 0.40%
1984 2,461 50.51% 2,396 49.18% 15 0.31%
1980 2,315 50.95% 2,138 47.05% 91 2.00%
1976 1,711 39.41% 2,613 60.18% 18 0.41%
1972 2,427 61.57% 1,510 38.31% 5 0.13%
1968 1,310 37.33% 1,456 41.49% 743 21.17%
1964 1,251 34.80% 2,340 65.09% 4 0.11%
1960 1,549 40.53% 2,235 58.48% 38 0.99%
1956 1,492 52.24% 1,356 47.48% 8 0.28%
1952 1,727 55.39% 1,385 44.42% 6 0.19%
1948 309 17.27% 1,383 77.31% 97 5.42%
1944 201 13.31% 1,157 76.62% 152 10.07%
1940 247 15.89% 1,305 83.98% 2 0.13%
1936 100 8.13% 1,127 91.63% 3 0.24%
1932 122 10.07% 1,085 89.60% 4 0.33%
1928 344 46.61% 394 53.39% 0 0.00%
1924 96 18.75% 387 75.59% 29 5.66%
1920 91 16.55% 457 83.09% 2 0.36%
1916 43 10.89% 346 87.59% 6 1.52%
1912 8 2.37% 278 82.49% 51 15.13%


Education[edit]

Two school districts serve sections of the county:[33]

All of the county is in the service area of Odessa College.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2020 Census Data". data.census.gov.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  4. ^ Mallouf, Robert J. "Exploring the Past in Trans-Pecos Texas". Sul Ross University. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas Beyond History
  5. ^ "Artistic Expression". Texas Beyond History. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas Beyond History
  6. ^ Blake, Robert Bruce: Antonio de Espejo from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  7. ^ "Who Were The Jumano?". Texas Beyond History. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas Beyond History
  8. ^ "Texas Indians Map". R E. Moore and Texarch Associates. Retrieved April 29, 2010. R E. Moore and Texarch Associates
  9. ^ "Mescalero Spring". Texas Historical Marker. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  10. ^ Connor, Seymour V.: John Salmon Ford from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  11. ^ Britton, Morris L.: George Robertson Reeves from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  12. ^ Britton, Morris L. "George R. Reeves, Speaker of the House". Texas Politics, UT Austin. Retrieved April 29, 2010. The Texas State Historical Association
  13. ^ Troesser, John. "Pecos, Texas". Texas Escapes. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  14. ^ Smith, Julia Cauble: Reeves from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  15. ^ "Texas and Pacific Railway Stations". Texas and Pacific Railway. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  16. ^ "Texas and Pacific Railway Stations". Texas and Pacific Railway. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
  17. ^ Cravens, Cris: Pecos River Railway from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  18. ^ Smith, Julia Cauble: Toyahvale from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  19. ^ "Balmorhea State Park". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Retrieved April 29, 2010.Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  20. ^ "Women Airforce Service Pilots". Wings Across America. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Wings Across America
  21. ^ Colwell, James L.: Pecos Army Airfield from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 29, 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  22. ^ Weekly, Fort Worth (March 10, 2010). "Private Prisons, Public Pain". Fort Worth Weekly. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  23. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  24. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  25. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  26. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  27. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  28. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  29. ^ https://www.census.gov/[not specific enough to verify]
  30. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  31. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  32. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  33. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Reeves County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2022. - Text list
  34. ^ Texas Education Code, Section 130.193, "Odessa College District Service Area".
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[29][30]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°19′N 103°41′W / 31.32°N 103.68°W / 31.32; -103.68