The city of Abilene can be found in not one but two Texas counties. This is because it sits in the northeastern part of Taylor County but extends northwards into Jones County. Regardless, Abilene is the center of its own metropolitan area, though even so, it is estimated to be no more than the 27th most populous city in the state as of 2019.
What Are Some Interesting Things about Abilene?
Here are some fun facts about the city.
Named for Abilene, KS
Abilene, TX was named for Abilene, KS. This is because the latter was once the endpoint for the Chisholm Trail that was used to move cattle from Texas ranches to Kansas railheads. However, the endpoint shifted to other cities as the railroads extended further and further south.
There Was Once Concern that It Would Become a Ghost Town
At one point in time, there was concern that Abilene would become a ghost town. For those who are curious, this happened because the city succeeded at attracting a U.S. Army training installation called Camp Barkeley in 1940, which was so big that it was twice the size of the city.
When it shut down after the end of World War II, there were fears that it would crash Abilene’s economy. This fear turned out to be pessimistic because a lot of veterans returned to start their own businesses.
Managed to Snag a U.S. Air Force Base
Amusingly, Abilene went on to snag a U.S. Air Force base in the mid-1950s, which couldn’t have happened without a fair amount of fundraising on the part of the locals.
As a result, Dyess Air Force Base has been a major employer in the region ever since.
Lived there in the 70’s. Was dry then. No bars. Just private clubs.