Texas Midwest 2022 Visitors Guide

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Community History Snapshots ABILENE

Population 125,355 - (page 14) Abilene owes its genesis to the Texas and Pacific and a group of ranchers and land speculators. Before the coming of the railroad, the Abilene area had been sporadically inhabited by nomadic Indians and U.S. military personnel and later by buffalo hunters and ranchers. By the 1870s the Indians had been driven out and cattlemen began to graze herds in the area. After the Texas and Pacific arrived in January 1881, the railroad promoted Abilene as the “Future Great City of West Texas.” Several hundred people arrived in Abilene and began to establish businesses and a church. Lots were auctioned on March 15, 1881; in two days buyers purchased more than 300 lots; Abilene was officially established. On January 2, 1883, residents voted to incorporate and in an election on October 23, 1883 Abilene became the county seat. Today Abilene is the center of a trade area encompassing 22 counties, home to ten institutions of higher learning, Dyess Air Force Base and over 120,000 people. Abilene CVB, 1101 North 1st, 325-676-2556, 800-727-7704 info@abilenevisitors.com, abilenevisitors.com


Population 2,021 - (page 21) Home of the Hereford, a “Film Friendly Community”, “Preserve America Community”, and a TOP TEN True West Town by True West Magazine, Albany has a rich history of art, oil, ranching, community/military leaders, and hunting. As home of the Fort Griffin Fandangle, the oldest outdoor historical musical in Texas since 1938, several thousand visitors a year come to enjoy this historical production. The Texas Central Railway Co. passed through Albany carrying cattle, buffalo bones and passengers to various destinations. Tons of limestone were shipped to Houston from Albany to pave their streets in 1882. Visitors to the 1883 Shackelford County courthouse enjoy the Historic District, listed in the National Register. Weddings can be scheduled in the Gazebo on the 1883 courthouse lawn. The Old Jail Art Center contains Asian, pre-Columbian, contemporary, historical, world class exhibitions. The restored Aztec Theater is a perfect venue for plays performed periodically by the Albany Mainstreet Playhouse. Albany Chamber of Commerce, 325-762-2525, chamber@albanytexas.com


Population 2,356 - (page 22) County seat of Jones County and founded in 1881, Anson was named for Dr. Anson Jones, architect of Texas statehood and last president of the Republic of Texas. Nearby are ruins of Fort Phantom Hill, a military post established in 1851 and later used as Station 54 for Southerland Overland Mail on the old Butterfield Trail. A most notable celebrity who is native to Anson is Jeanie C. Riley, first female vocalist to hit number 1 on both the rock and country charts at the same time with the same song “Harper Valley P.T.A.” Three Hollywood movies were filmed in or near Anson (Independence Day, Stars Fell on Henrietta and Abilene). Ghost hunters frequent Anson in search of the “Lights of Anson”, a phenomenon that appears at the Mt. Hope Cemetery and is featured in the book Ghosts in the Graveyard by Olyve Hallmark Abbot and in Texas Monthly. With the close proximity to Abilene, Anson offers small town living with big town amenities right next door. Chamber of Commerce, 325-823-3259, ansoncofc@att.net.


Texas Midwest Community Network