Nationally famed melon, originated in this city. Residents from 1880s grew melons in gardens, noting sun and soil imparted a distinctive flavor. Madison L. Todd (March 22, 1875-Sept. 10, 1967) and wife Julia (Jan. 30, 1880-Feb. 5, 1969) came here from east Texas and New Mexico. In 1917 Todd and partner, D.T. McKee, grew eight acres of melons, selling part of crop to dining cars of Texas & Pacific Railway, where Pecos cantaloupes first became popular and in wide demand. McKee soon quit business, but Todd remained a leader for 41 years.
Famed lecturer Helen Keller, Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson and many other distinguished persons have ordered and appreciated Pecos cantaloupes. Exclusive clubs in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and other cities are regular clients of Pecos growers.
Genuine Pecos cantaloupes begin ripening in July and continue on the market until late October. The varieties are the same as those grown in other areas. Climate, soil and special cultivation methods account for the distinctiveness of Pecos melons. 2,000 acres are now planted annually.
M.L. Todd was known in his later years as father of the industry. He and his wife and family were leaders in civic and religious enterprises.