Taylor County Extension Office

Taylor County Extension Office

 4-H Connect

Food Protection Management Brochure. Feb 2015

Big Country Master Gardeners

     2015 Master Gardener Application

Big Country Master Naturalist

Taylor County Courthouse

Taylor County Expo Center

Abilene Chamber of Commerce

 Comanches of the Penateka band led the advance into the region in the eighteenth century. In 1858 the Texas legislature established Taylor County, named for Alamo defenders Edward, James, and George Taylor, from lands formerly assigned to Bexar and Travis counties. Taylor County was attached to Travis and Bexar counties for judicial and administrative purposes until 1873, when these responsibilities were assigned to Eastland County. Partly due to the presence of Indians, the area remained largely unsettled. The Penatekas maintained their independence until the 1870s, when, after much bloodshed, they were defeated by the United States Army. The earliest group of European settlers in Taylor County were buffalo hunters and bone gatherers, who arrived during the 1870s. Sam Gholson, William C. Dunn, and William E. Cureton were among the early settlers. As more people moved into the area, the county was organized in 1878, and Buffalo Gap, a small settlement near the center of the county, became the seat of government. By 1880 there were 917 people living in the area, and ranching completely dominated the local economy. The agricultural census for that year counted 107 farms and ranches, encompassing 30,213 acres, but only 3,099 acres were described as “improved.” Over 30,000 cattle and almost 6,000 sheep were reported, but only 157 acres were planted in wheat, the county’s most important crop at that time; another 73 acres were planted in corn. Settlement accelerated when the Texas and Pacific Railway built through the area in the early 1880s. Buffalo Gap was bypassed by the railroad, which was routed instead to pass through the northern part of the county to the site of a new town, to be called Abilene. In 1881 the railroad connected the area to national markets and encouraged immigration. While Abilene began to develop into a shipping center, Buffalo Gap declined in population, and, after an election held in 1883, Abilene became the county seat. Attempts by the people of Buffalo Gap to challenge the election results by force of arms were quickly suppressed.Courtesy of Texas State Historical Association