Our story begins in 1963, when C.R. Crabtree purchased a homestead in Grayson County, which had a few pecan trees on the property. But really, it goes back as far as the 1930’s, when C.R. began grafting different types of pecan trees.
Cecil Crabtree, one of five boys, began helping his dad in the 1950’s. After purchasing their homestead in 1963, the Crabtree’s began to clear the land, when C.R. noticed a small tree that captured his attention.
Over the years, the Crabtree’s planted many different types of trees and began to harvest pecans from their up-and-coming orchard. When folks began sampling the different varieties of pecans, they continually agreed that those from the small, native tree were their favorite—the same tree that caught C.R.’s eye as he was clearing the land. In the decades that followed, this tree would prove its worth time and time again.
When Cecil graduated from college in 1968, grain sales had hit a rough patch, so C.R. advised his son to get into the pecan business. He told him that if he desired to make a living growing pecans, he would need to acquire more land. It was this future-focused wisdom that helped Cecil build his Grayson County farm and business into the legacy that it is today.
Cecil is grateful for the nut from the small, native tree, which has carried him throughout his career. That particular variety has only yielded two “zero” crops since 1980, which is unusually low in the pecan business.
C.R. Crabtree passed away in 1998, but his legacy lives on, in the orchards, in the Denison Pecan Shoppe, and in the hearts of Cecil, his wife, and their three daughters, who continue to operate the family business to this day.