Our Family History - Since 1888
E.E. & Elizabeth Risien - 1st Generation
Our great-great-grandfather, E.E. Risien, founded the West Texas Pecan Nursery at the junction of the San Saba and Colorado Rivers. Pictured here, E.E. and Elizabeth Risien, are seen walking around the grounds of their homestead in San Saba, Texas. They immigrated from England in the 1800s and made their home in San Saba where Mr. Risien spent much of his time with pollination experiments as well as grafting and budding pecans. They are standing in front of the barn where he conducted his many experiments. He received much recognition for his experiments that altered the course of the pecan industry and helped to establish San Saba as the "Pecan Capital of the World." From this location, they developed many great pecan varieties, as well as a prosperous orchard that serves our customers well, even to this day.
Robert & Norma Oliver - 2nd Generation
In 1909, their daughter, Norma Risien, married Robert Oliver and the two made their home just a short distance across the river from her parents. They helped continue the family business by harvesting pecans and farming the land passed down to them. They raised their children to cherish the rich tradition that her parents established. It was on this land that Norma's father, E.E. Risien, discovered the now-famous tree known as the "Mother Pecan Tree." Over the years this tree was used to produce many great pecan varieties. The San Saba Improved, Texas Prolific, Onliwon, Squirrel Delight, No. 60, and Western Schley are just a few of the varieties this tree has produced!
Winston & Elsie Millican - 3rd Generation
The family farm continued when our grandmother, Elsie Oliver, married Winston Millican in 1938. Their strong ties to the community was evident in many ways. Elsie even brought the orchard to people's doorsteps in the form of homemade pecan pies. She was well-known for cooking numerous pecan pies over the years and delivering them as welcome gifts to people who were new to the San Saba community. It was her way of introducing herself, extending a friendly hand and providing a piece of family history. She was, after all, an educator in the school district and she beamed with pride anytime she had the opportunity to share her family history.
Bob & Debbie Millican - 4th Generation
Bob Millican helped Elsie take over the farm in 1965 when his father, Winston, suddenly passed away. He was a sophomore in high school at the time and he and his brother, Mike, worked hard to ensure that the family farm was tended to. In 1971, Bob married Debbie and they worked side-by-side managing the orchards and harvesting the crop each year. After a break in new tree establishments for many years they started planting new pecan orchards on the family land again. They both continue to operate the farm today.
Winston & Kristen Millican - 5th Generation
Winston and Kristen started dating in high school and got married their senior year at Texas A&M University. It was at Texas A&M that they started dreaming of expanding the family business into the online world. That dream became a reality in 2002 when they launched the Millican Pecan website. They now have three daughters, who all enjoy helping with the pecan business. Anna enjoys driving the ranger around the orchards as we check on the trees, Abby loves helping package pecans in gift tins, and Allison loves sampling all the different products. Today, through combining the rich tradition our family established, and creative ingenuity, our company is breaking new ground and pursuing new markets. While our product lines are expanding, our vision for the future is rooted in our heritage from the past.
Much hard work goes into our trees to enable us to provide quality pecans from our orchards to your table. Back in the late 1800s when our great-great-grandparents were tending to the pecan trees, most of the work was done by hand. We are fortunate that we now have sophisticated machinery to help us improve our productivity. This results in the best in quality pecans, but it all starts here in our pecan orchards.
Anna and Abby Millican help their grandmother, Debbie Millican, place the protective tree sleeves around each newly planted pecan tree. This process is completed right after the planting crew finishes packing the soil around the base of the tree.