Melden & Hunt, Inc.: 70 Years Later

Posted: Updated: Jan 04, 2018 03:00 PM

EDINBURG – It all started with a pen, paper and one goal. Long-time members of a Rio Grande Valley start-up said they’ve come a long way after being almost seven decades in business.

The company, Melden & Hunt: Civil Engineers, Consultants and Surveyors, was started in 1947 by Mission native Charles Melden and later joined by Raymond Hunt.

The group designed and built the master drainage ditch that goes from Hidalgo to Willacy counties after Hurricane Beulah in 1967.

 “Everybody realized that the county, Hidalgo County, needed an outfall. And so the Corp of Engineers was involved back in the beginning, as well as our firm and then another firm, Sigler, Wilson and Greenwood,” said Fred L. Kurth, president of Melden & Hunt.

It took almost 15 years for the ditch to be completed but it was a major achievement for the company.

Kurth said it helped trigger their reputation. The company now has more than 60 employees; some with four decades of service.

“It started with typewriters, and then through the years we upgraded to computers,” said Celestine Stewart, administrative assistant.

“Too many of the water and waste treatment plants, a lot of the colonia projects,” said Vice President of Melden & Hunt Allan F. Booe. “So yeah, Melden and Hunt have had a big impact in the Valley.”

“I started here in 1988 as an intern. I became partner about seven years ago. So, I’m the first female partner here,” Kelly Heller-Vela, a partner at the company, said.

“We go out and measure people’s property. Let them know where their boundaries are located,” said Robert Tamez, vice president of Melden & Hunt.

“They range from streets to parks, to utilities and water and sewer,” explained Mario Reyna, another employee.  

Tres Lagos, a planned community north of McAllen, is the project they’re working on.  

“This is Monte Cristo and this is Ware Road. It’s 2,700 acres,” said Kurth. “It really started almost five years ago, the planning. And last year, we built the first phases.”

History loves history. In 1996, Melden & Hunt moved into the historic Golden Jersey Creamery building in Edinburg.

And while the building has changed hands over the year, it hasn’t been so for Melden & Hunt.

“We’re in our third generation, and so we’ve made it through the transition and I’m really glad to be part of this organization. It’s a great company,” he said.

And it all started with pen and paper and one goal, by one man 70 years ago.