County Seat: Pecos * County Population: 11,842
The Reeves County Courthouse was built in 1938 and offers a mix of Classical Revival and Mediterranean elements.
Organized in 1884, the county honors Confederate colonel and Texas speaker George R. Reeves. Pecos was named the county capital when Reeves County was separated from Pecos County in 1883.
The county seat sits on the Pecos River on the high prairie at the northern border of the Chihuahuan Desert. Pecos is located approximately 208 miles east of El Paso and 392 miles west of Fort Worth on I-20, about 168 miles north of Big Bend National Park, and 85 miles south of Carlsbad Caverns.
Development of the area began with the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century and continued on through Indian migration, cavalry exploration, pioneer westward movement, and the era of cattle trails.
In 1881, the future of Pecos was secured with the arrival of the Texas and Pacific Railroad, which helped develop the city as a commercial and agricultural center on the Fort Worth to El Paso route. Ranching was soon complemented by a significant farming interest, thanks to the advent of modern irrigation methods.
Today, Pecos is known as The Home of the World’s First Rodeo. The history of the State Sport is chronicled in The West of the Pecos Museum, complete with three full floors with more than 50 rooms of exhibits. The museum’s Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame includes information about Texas’ most prominent rodeo participants.
Along with Pecos, the county is home to Lindsay, Orla, Saragosa, Toyah, Toyahvale and Balmorhea.
The renowned Balmorhea State Park sits on some 46 acres in the foothills of the Davis Mountains southwest of Balmorhea. The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. San Solomon Springs feeds the park’s main attraction, a 77,053-square-foot artesian spring pool. The pool is 25 feet deep and boasts a constant temperature of 72 to 76 degrees. The clear waters offer a variety of aquatic life and attract not only swimmers but scuba divers, as well.
Area residents celebrate several special occasions including Rodeo Week, June Fest, Golden Girl of the West Pageant, Night in Old Pecos, and an 1800s Parade at Pecos in June; a Fourth of July Parade, Old Fiddlers Contest, and West of the Pecos Rodeo at Pecos in July; a Frijole Cook-off at Balmorhea and Cantaloupe Festival in August; and the Fall Fair Festival at Pecos in October.
Finally, the county was the filming location for the 1985 movie (Texas Almanac 2006-2007)