In April of 1947, Mission, Texas native, Charles L. Melden began a small engineering and surveying company. Ten years later, a civil engineer from Mississippi named Raymond C. Hunt would join Melden as a partner in the firm. These two talented engineers came together with a shared vision to form what is today one of the most well-known engineering firms in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. It was through hard work and a strong commitment to excellence that their firm, now known as Melden & Hunt, Inc., would go on to become one of the longstanding and widely respected engineering, surveying and consulting firms in the Rio Grande Valley.
In 1971, a talented engineer named Larry L. Smith joined the partnership of Melden & Hunt, Inc. During his 37 years at the firm, Smith served in many capacities including Project Manager, Principal Engineer, Secretary of the Board and eventually became President in 1985. His tremendous expertise and dedication to each project’s success served as an example to those who would follow. Deeply respected by all, Smith was also admired by his employees for the kind way he selflessly mentored many within the firm. He was committed to not only the firm’s growth but the growth of those around him.
The hallmark achievement for Mr. Melden and Mr. Hunt during their era was the design and construction of the Master Drainage Ditch for Hidalgo and Willacy Counties. The project began in 1981 and was completed during Mr. Smith’s tenure as president of Melden and Hunt, Inc. The Drainage Ditch is an eighty-five mile channel that collects rainwater from northwest of Mission easterly through the Panchito structure east of Edinburg and on to the Laguna Madre. Today, because of Melden and Hunt’s hard work and expertise, the drainage system remains “the backbone” of all drainage systems currently operating in those counties and continues to be improved upon so that it remains strong for generations to come.
In July of 1996, Melden and Hunt, Inc. moved into the historic Golden Jersey Creamery Building, one of the oldest commercial ventures in Edinburg. The building was completed in 1910 by John Closner, a founder of the townsite. Its first tenant was the Rev. W. O. Miller who operated a hardware and machinery store. During World War I, it was used as a Red Cross workshop. In 1920 the property was acquired by E. M. Everitt who used the building primarily as a grocery store. Among the buildings numerous other tenants were the Masonic Lodge and the Golden Jersey Creamery.
As one of the premier engineering firms, Melden & Hunt, Inc. has been entrusted with the engineering for what will be their largest project to date – tres Lagos. Melden and Hunt first began working with developer Mike Rhodes in 1999 in preparation for Tres Lagos, which is now becoming a reality. Tres Lagos is a master-planned 2500 acre land development located at the southwest corner of Ware Road and Monte Cristo in North McAllen. It will be McAllen’s first sustainable master-planned community and will include single-fmily homes, multi-family homes, commercial and retail space, churches, health care facilities, a top-rated IDEA school and Texas A&M University.
Today, Melden & Hunt, Inc. is a leader in Engineering, Surveying and Consulting Services for the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. The depth of expertise, range of professional talent and exceptional service is unmatched in the industry. And after 70 years, our leadership team remains committed to preserving the tradition of excellence that the firm was founded upon. As we at Melden & Hunt, Inc. move forward into our 70th year of serving the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, we pause to honor the past with its rich history of quality engineering, we focus our attention on today’s priorities and we look forward to the many projects ahead that will leave us even better than we were before.