The Puddin Hill Texas fruitcake tradition began in 1839 in the heart of the Blackland Prairie region of East Texas. The newly formed Republic of Texas was short on money, but long on land. A young serviceman by the name of James Horton received 620 acres of land as payment for his services to the state.
It had rained the day the Horton’s arrived at their new home. Rainwater makes any patch of Texas blackland soil a soggy, gummy mess and, despite the conditions, James insisted that he and his family look around the site. He led them to the crest of a small hill, while Mary struggled through the thick, black mud. "This is like walking through pudding," she said. It was inspiration enough. Horton spread his arms wide and proudly shouted, "Well then, welcome to Puddin Hill!"
That Mary Horton was the first "Mary" on Puddin Hill, and it was her recipe for pecan fruit cake that has been passed on from generation to generation as a holiday tradition. The family continues to make this recipe as well as Texas Snowballs, Thingamajigs, and Little Puds, and other Puddin Hill signatures and Texas staples.
The original retail store and candy kitchen closed its doors in 2014, but after purchase by Eilenberger's of Palestine, and a recent re-opening of a Greenville location, you can once again buy treats made with the original Mary of Puddin Hill recipe at both locations.