James Horton had received 620 acres of land as payment for his services to the Republic of Texas. As his descendants like to tell it, the new country was short on money, but long on land, so that's how James Horton was paid.
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.