The TXGenWeb Project
Taylor County
TXGenWeb

The USGenWeb Project



 Last Updated:

10 August 2013

History of Taylor County

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.

 


Census 

Cemeteries
Unknown Photographs
Obituaries NEEDED!
Photo Album NEEDED!

Taylor County Court House History

Abilene Postcards

Vital Records

The Railway of Taylor County

Hints & Tips

Recommended Reading

Military Records & Events

External Websites

Timeline for Taylor County
Lost Words

Mailing Lists

People and Events
Surnames



The USGenWeb Project was created to further the craft of genealogy in the United States and to the extent possible, keep genealogy free. One of the goals was to also develop a network of volunteers who would establish a genealogy program in each state. For this state it is the TXGenWeb Project. Use these links to visit the two websites which fully explain the goals, methods, and successes of both projects.

One part of the ultimate goal is to have a county website for each county in every state of the union. There are 254 counties in Texas and it is quite a chore to keep enough volunteers to coordinate those counties. If you are interested in adopting a Texas County, (becoming a coordinator) Go Here for a list of orphan counties or to get placed on a waiting list for a particular county. To see a list of all the counties and the county coordinators, then Click Here.
I am Cody Summerlin and as your county coordinator I will do my best to keep your site in good repair with links that work, information that is correct, and subjects that are valuable in your genealogical searches. If you have any information you would like to submit to the County Site please email me!

 

Helpful Links

TXGenWeb County Index

TXGenWeb Archives

Social Security Death Index

Information related to TEXAS

Tombstone Project

Ancestry Charts & Forms

Geographic Names Information 

United States Online Resources

Find the State a SSN was issued in.

Soundex Converter

 
 

Would you like to adopt an orphan TXGenWeb county?  Just contact the TXGenWeb State Coordinator.

 

The Mike Basham Memorial TXGenWeb County of the Month Award
TXGenWeb has initiated a program to recognize the efforts of county sponsors who provide outstanding resources and assistance to county visitors.  If you would like to nominate a county for this award.

Make your nomination here:  At the County of the Month Form

 

 County Coordinator:
Cody Summerlin

Texas State Coordinator:
Shirley Cullum

Assistant State Coordinators:

Copyright 2012-Present - Cody Summerlin-The TXGenWeb Project - All Rights Reserved

**Disclaimer** I do not live in or around Taylor County and unable to do local look-ups.