Texas Highways, Volume 51 Number 10, October 2004 Page: 53
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dollhouse. Well, who could blame him?
Puddin Hill--which offers just about
every sweet except pudding-takes its
name from a mid-19th-Century incident.
As the story goes, Mary Horton-who cre-
ated the store's famous pecan fruitcake re-
cipe-arrived with her husband, James,
at their new, 620-acre blackland-soil
farm on a rainy day in 1840. Walking
through the dark, oozy mud, she re-
marked, was like walking through pud-
ding. "Welcome to Puddin Hill!" James
replied with a laugh. Now, a century-
and-a-half later, Puddin Hill Store em-
October 2004 TEXAS HIGHWAYS 53
ployees greet visitors with the same phrase.
Mary Lauderdale, and her husband, Sam
Lauderdale, opened Mary of Puddin Hill
in 1949; later, the couple's daughter and
son-in-law, Pud and Mike Kearns, helped
oversee things for some 20 years. The
family sold the business in 1999, and
new owners Ken Bain and David Jackson
maintain the store's well-loved traditions,
including the original fruitcake recipe.
If walking around the store has made
you hungry enough to bite into dollhous-
es, wander to the back of Puddin Hill,
where a deli and dining area offer fine
options for lunch. The deli serves sand-
wiches (among others, Reubens, po'
boys, and a longtime favorite, a rollup
called a Tortilla Maria) and a large array
of-what else?-desserts. The praline
pecan pie makes a "killer" finish to a
tasty meal, says Ken Bain.
lunch (or lunch and dessert, if
0 KAY. NOW you've had dessert and
you're the cautious type), and you
want to walk off the calories. It's
easy, because Greenville's chamber of
commerce offers two helpful brochures
for exploring town. For starters-and to
get a handle on two more of the town's
claims to fame-a quick jaunt from
Puddin Hill to the other side of I-30
lands you at the town's Audie Murphy/
American Cotton Museum.
Those two names for one museum
might seem odd. But cotton once was
king in Hunt County, and favorite son
Audie Murphy rules here, too. The Hunt
County native, the most decorated
American combat soldier of World War
II, later became a movie star. A 10-foot
bronze statue of him as a 21-year-old sol-
dier that towers over Interstate 30 lets
you know you've found the museum.
Inside, cotton-industry artifacts, such as
farming tools, processing machines, and
gigantic bales, trace the history of the local
industry. Looking at samples of raw cot-
ton, unrefined and still shot through with
soil, you can almost feel your shirt become
itchy. A bowl full of prickly cotton buds
and seeds sits on a table, so visitors can
feel the rough crop for themselves.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas. Department of Transportation. Texas Highways, Volume 51 Number 10, October 2004, periodical, Date Unknown; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth839147/m1/57/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.