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Abilene replaces Buffalo Gap as seat of Taylor County

October
23
1883

On this day in 1883, the new railroad town of Abilene became the Taylor county seat. Taylor County was organized in 1878 with Buffalo Gap as the original seat. When the Texas and Pacific Railway began to push westward in 1880, several ranchers and businessmen met with H. C. Whithers, the Texas and Pacific track and townsite locator, and arranged to have the railroad bypass Buffalo Gap. They agreed that the route would traverse the northern part of the county and consequently their own land, and that a new town would be established between Cedar and Big Elm creeks east of Catclaw Creek. C. W. Merchant apparently suggested the name Abilene, after the Kansas cattle town. By 1890 the city had a population of 3,194; in 2000 it had 115,930 residents.

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