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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Abilene in Taylor County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Pine Street Shootout

 
 
Pine Street Shootout Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
1. Pine Street Shootout Marker
Inscription. When the young railroad town of Abilene incorporated in 1883, the first city officials desired to project a more civilized image to visitors and new settlers, as the new town had already developed a lawless reputation since its 1881 founding. Strong laws prohibiting several forms of disorderliness were enacted, especially in places where alcohol was served. Ordinances made it illegal to fire a gun within the city limits, and gambling was completely outlawed.
     On the evening of January 8, 1884, City Alderman Frank Collins and his brother, Walter, who was a Taylor County deputy sheriff, entered a saloon at the northeast corner of North First and Pine streets. The saloon proprietor, Zeno L. Hemphill, confronted Frank Collins about the newly-passed anti-gambling laws. (Hemphill had been convicted of assault in 1880 and was scheduled for an April 1884 trial for killing a man the previous year.) Angry words, and then punches, were exchanged, and Hemphill drew a gun and shot Walter Collins, who had stepped between the two men. Gunfire then broke out between Frank Collins and Hemphill. When the dust settled, Walter Collins and Zeno Hemphill were dead, and Frank Collins died from his injuries after two months.
     As a result of the incident, the enforcement of the new city ordinances became a top priority. John J. Clinton was appointed
Site of Pine Street Shootout Behind Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
2. Site of Pine Street Shootout Behind Marker
View to north across N. 1st Street
as City Marshal, and he served in the position for 37 years. In addition, the episode likely influenced voting in the June 1887 state prohibition election, in which Abilene citizens voted “dry,” although the state voted against prohibition. A city prohibition law was defeated in 1894, but in 1902, citizens voted to ban alcohol sales within the city limits, and Abilene saloons remained shuttered for 75 years.
 
Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16528.)
 
Location. 32° 26.97′ N, 99° 43.971′ W. Marker is in Abilene, Texas, in Taylor County. Marker is at the intersection of N. 1st Street and Pine Street, on the right when traveling west on N. 1st Street. Click for map. Marker is located on the N. 1st Street sidewalk at the northeast corner of the intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Abilene TX 79601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Presbyterian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); The Texas & Pacific Railway (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Abilene Reporter-News (about 400 feet away); Site of Curfew by John J. Clinton (about 500
Marker at Northeast Corner of Intersection image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
3. Marker at Northeast Corner of Intersection
feet away); The Hotel Grace (about 500 feet away); Hotel Wooten (approx. 0.2 miles away); Taylor County Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Abilene's First School (approx. Ό mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Abilene.
 
More about this marker. Underneath the marker is a tablet noting the historical marker project contributors. The tablet states,

Historical Marker Project Contributors

Abilene Indoor Gun Range • James M. Alexander & Co. • Mr. & Mrs. Downing Bolls Jr. • Mr. & Mrs. Glendel L. Bruce • Sheriff Les D. Bruce & Family★ • Philip L. Bruce & Family • Jimmy & Peggy Campbell • COBAN Technologies, Inc. • The Collins Families of Mississippi & Texas • John Cummins & Family★ • David Doherty & Family★ • Teron Durant & Family • GT Distributors, Inc. • James D. Hill & Family★ • Lone Star Electric • Cheryl Mynar & Family • Tommy & Kelly Pope★ • Prisoner Transportation Services (PTS) • Taylor County Historical Commission

★ Denotes Officers of The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office

“Pine Street Shootout” Historical Marker, Abilene Texas
 
Also see . . .
View to West Along N. 1st Street image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
4. View to West Along N. 1st Street
Marker is on north (right) side of street
 Double Historical Ceremonies Include Pine Street Shootout. Article from the January 7, 2012 edition of the Abilene Reporter-News on the dedication of the marker. (Submitted on July 20, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Notable Events
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 181 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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