A lasting tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers of WWI and black veterans of WWII, who in service to God, Country, and Community, gave or risked their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today, while for them, these very freedoms were often denied. — — Map (db m78013) WM
“I shall never surrender or retreat”
Edward, James, George,
sons of Anson Taylor
died at the Alamo
March 6, 1836
Taylor County was named
for these gallant men
Erected by the John Hudnall Chapter of the . . . — — Map (db m79762) HM
Established as a U.S. Army training camp in 1940, Camp Barkeley (whose main entrance was about seven miles south of this site) became one of the nation’s largest World War II military training bases. The 12th Armored Division, activated at Camp . . . — — Map (db m74770) HM
Dedicated to the memory of all men of the 12th Armored Division in World War II. Camp Barkeley, 1943-44.
12th Armored Division Units
Total Personnel – 10,937 Men
• CCA • CCB • CCR • 572nd . . . — — Map (db m74769) HM WM
The 45th Infantry Division, comprised of National Guard units from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, was one of the first four divisions ordered into Federal service by Congress’ joint resolution in 1940. Initially stationed at Fort Sill . . . — — Map (db m79761) HM
This marker honors Abilene’s educational era of Colored–Negro–Black schools from the 1890’s to 1969. The Abilene Public School Board moved the Abilene Colored School to this site at North 8th and Treadaway in . . . — — Map (db m86152) HM
This school, formed to provide a Christian education for all grade levels, was founded in 1906 by A.B. Barret, an early educator and preacher for Texas Churches of Christ. It was first called Childers Classical Institute in honor of Col. J.W. . . . — — Map (db m86512) HM
Abilene Municipal Cemetery is composed of five different burial grounds. The oldest documented grave is that of Florence Phillips, who was buried in the Masonic section in 1881 shortly before the establishment of the local Masonic Lodge in 1882. . . . — — Map (db m78358) HM
The first public school for African Americans in Abilene was established in 1890. Located in the 200 block of Plum Street, the one-room school was named the Abilene Colored School. Its first class consisted of 22 students and one teacher.
In . . . — — Map (db m78835) HM
The oldest existing business institution in Abilene is the Reporter Publishing Company, started by C.E. Gilbert. The first newspaper was printed on June 17, 1881, three months after the town was founded. Soon after Gilbert began publication, a fire . . . — — Map (db m85807) HM
The Texas legislature provided for the establishment of this institution in 1899 as a center for the treatment of epilepsy. Opened in 1904 under the direction of Dr. John Preston, it was largely self-sufficient, with surrounding land used for . . . — — Map (db m86314) HM
Founded in 1928, the Abilene Woman's Club had several club homes before hiring noted architect David S. Castle to design a clubhouse at this site, then on the edge of town. Contractor Oscar Rose completed the structure in 1955, and the building's . . . — — Map (db m92590) HM
Albert G. Maroscher
Maj Inf U.S. Army
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal
Army Commendation Medal
K I A
Vietnam 15 April 1968 . . . — — Map (db m87072) WM
Site of main entrance to Camp Barkeley, one of the nation’s largest military camps of World War II. At peak, 60,000 men were in training here. Named for Pvt. David B. Barkeley of the 89th Division, who died on a secret scouting expedition behind . . . — — Map (db m77729) HM
Abilene Christian University began as an educational institution on this block known as the West End residential area. In 1906, Allen Booker Barret, a Tennessee educator and preacher, and five trustees purchased land and a house from Col. John W. . . . — — Map (db m85792) HM
Claiborne W. Merchant and his twin, John, were born in Nagodoches. “Clabe” married Frances Bell in 1856. He served in the Confederate army and later became a cattle rancher. Merchant established his first ranch in 1874 in Callahan County . . . — — Map (db m78020) HM
Mustered into service during World War I, July 16, 1917, at Abilene with officers, Capt. R.M. Wagstaff; 1st Lt. A.J. McDavid; 2nd Lt. E.B. Sayles; and 1st Sgt. Elmer C. Stearns. Company had 139 enlisted men from the area who trained here at the West . . . — — Map (db m78969) HM
Dr. William H. Butler, Sr., was the first African American physician to practice medicine in Abilene. He was born in Dec. 1875 in Palestine (Anderson Co.), where he attended grade and high school. He continued his education at Wiley College in . . . — — Map (db m86530) HM
In 1879, after her husband’s death in Jamaica, Helen Fanny Harris Drummond returned with her children to England. She immigrated with them to the United States in 1885, settling in Brazos County, Texas. In October 1891, she purchased 100 acres in . . . — — Map (db m77654) HM
On January 21, 1963, Dyess Elementary was the first school in the Abilene Independent School District to integrate all students. African American military families living on Dyess Air Force Base were previously forced to send their children to the . . . — — Map (db m100832) HM
A philanthropic African American woman greatly improved Abilene’s minority neighborhoods. Eugenia Pickard was born in Georgia about 1877. She moved to Texas in the early 1900s and settled in Abilene. Here she owned several properties and made them . . . — — Map (db m79785) HM
Founded in 1881, the city of Abilene became a regional economic center, yet civic boosters believed that the discovery of oil and gas in the area had the potential to advance the area’s economy and population even further. Significant oil . . . — — Map (db m77768) HM
In 1878 James Robert Fletcher, his wife, and son Lorenzo Thomas (1868-1939) came here from Granbury. Their caravan included a small herd of cattle and work animals. A carpenter came to construct a two-story ranch house. Fletcher filed for a patent . . . — — Map (db m77767) HM
To All Hardin-Simmons Men and Women
Who Have Served Their Country in War
Roll of the Dead of World War I
Chester A. Adams • Jack Blount • Kenneth Burns • Ennis Camp • Robert Embry • Aubrey Fisher • Allister Goodnight • O.A. Keele • Reed . . . — — Map (db m87073) WM
Organized as Abilene Baptist College by cattlemen, preachers, and Sweetwater Baptist Association in 1891.
Named for New York pastor James B. Simmons, after he donated funds for completing the first building, . . . — — Map (db m87070) HM
Henry Sayles (1852-1916), born and reared near Brenham, Texas, studied law under his father, noted legal scholar John Sayles (1825-1897). Henry practiced law in Galveston where he met and married Hattie McAlpine. The couple moved to Abilene in 1886. . . . — — Map (db m86310) HM
This landmark building opened its doors on June 6, 1930, with a celebration attended by more than two thousand guests. Entrepreneur H.O. Wooten envisioned a hotel with accommodations matching those available in New York City, accomplishing the goal . . . — — Map (db m94650) HM
Born in Georgia to Rebecca (Norwood) and William W. Parramore, James Harrison Parramore moved with his family to Gonzales County in 1849. James attended Gonzales College before joining the Confederate army. He married Mary Jane Goodson in 1866; they . . . — — Map (db m86513) HM
Born in present Oklahoma, James Winford Hunt grew up on the Texas high plains. A newspaper publisher for several years, he became a Methodist minister in 1903. While a pastor in Abilene, he convinced the Northwest Texas Conference of the Methodist . . . — — Map (db m78333) HM
Judge W.R. Ely had the rare privilege of living to see the fruits of his leadership take form in the superb Texas highway system. He helped lay the basis for it in his service on the Highway Commission from 1927 to 1935, half of that time as its . . . — — Map (db m78892) HM
Dan T. Laughter (1871-1952) first worked as an undertaker while employed in a northeast Texas furniture store. In 1900, he came to Abilene, and five years later he founded this undertaking company with his partner, C.M. Tandy. In 1908, at the flip . . . — — Map (db m94648) HM
Four months after his record-setting trans-Atlantic solo flight, Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974) landed here for one hour and thirty-six minutes during a nationwide publicity tour. Touching down at Kingsolving Field (now the site of Abilene . . . — — Map (db m62523) HM
Albany, Texas native William Edwin Dyess (b. 1916) graduated from John Tarleton Agricultural College and became an aviation cadet at Randolph Field, San Antonio. Dyess went to the Philippine Islands as commander of the 21st Pursuit Squadron of P-40 . . . — — Map (db m77614) HM
Organized about 1879 as Lytle Gap Methodist Episcopal Church, South, this fellowship first me in private homes and a schoolhouse. The church name was changed after the community became known as Potosi in the 1890s. This sanctuary, the second for the . . . — — Map (db m77746) HM
The early community support system for citizens of color in Abilene included Mt. Zion Baptist Church, organized in 1885, and the first area school for Black children, which opened in 1890 with 22 pupils. Because of African Americans’ continuing . . . — — Map (db m81284) HM
One of the earliest fine houses in Abilene. Built 1903 in Colonial Revival Style by Dr. Jefferson Davis Magee (1861-1935) and wife, Anna (Wilbanks). A native of Pike County, Miss., educated in east Texas and at the Louisville (Ky.) Medical College, . . . — — Map (db m80175) HM
Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
”I Have a Dream”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American leader of nonviolence and a prophet of peace in a time of trouble. He dared valiantly to dream that . . . — — Map (db m79784) HM
Between the years 1840 and 1920, the Methodist Church founded nearly eighty colleges in Texas. Four colleges in the Northwest Texas Conference had closed for various reasons by 1920, when the Rev. James Winford Hunt was appointed commissioner of a . . . — — Map (db m87010) HM
From its earliest days, education for Mexican Americans in Texas has varied from none at all to apparent equality. The Republic of Texas in 1839 and 1840 established laws governing a system of schools. As these institutions took shape, Mexican . . . — — Map (db m80887) HM
Welsh-born Morgan Jones arrived in the U.S. in 1866. As a contractor for numerous railroad lines, he became a railroad legend by laying tracks spanning more than 1,000 miles across Texas and the west. He was president of the Fort Worth and Denver . . . — — Map (db m78327) HM
The Rev. James Curry, a missionary from Sherman, Texas, organized this congregation in 1885. It is the oldest African American church in the city. The Rev. James Lewis served as first pastor of the congregation, which met in a small house near the . . . — — Map (db m78834) HM
This structure was completed for the Abilene office of the United States Weather Bureau in 1909. The interior contained living quarters and an observatory for the administrator. The first official in charge here was W.H. Green, who served until . . . — — Map (db m85796) HM
Founded in March 1919, the American Legion was established as a World War I veterans’ organization. Abilene Post No. 57 was organized on July Fourth and chartered in September of that year, one of one hundred such chapters formed in the Legion’s . . . — — Map (db m86531) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m85803) HM
Redbud Park Prairie Dogs
The Redbud Park prairie dog town was a natural prairie dog town. The enclosed area was established in 1979 with Revenue Sharing Funds.
Weight: 1.5-3 lbs.
Length with tail: 3-5"
Shoulder . . . — — Map (db m87077)
This church began as a mission in the 1880s to serve Catholics in the Abilene area. Early members included Abilene pioneer Theo. Heyck and City Marshal J.J. Clinton. Priests came by train from Weatherford to conduct worship services, first in . . . — — Map (db m86309) HM
This site was set aside for use as a school by Stoddard Johnston, a newspaperman who platted the town of Abilene in the early 1880s. While the first schoolhouse was under construction in the spring of 1881, classes were held in a tent pitched . . . — — Map (db m94651) HM
Here each New Year’s Eve at midnight for thirty-seven years John J. Clinton, Abilene Chief of Police, emptied his revolver. He began in 1885, decreeing that saloons close at midnight, and that trigger-happy cowboys and townsmen observe the curfew. . . . — — Map (db m79729) HM
John and Laura Hudson Guitar of Missouri moved to Abilene in 1898. John was already a wealthy businessman who owned a number of cotton gins and cotton oil mills throughout Texas, most in towns served by the Texas & Pacific Railroad. He held large . . . — — Map (db m85794) HM
In December 1880, H.C. Whithers of the Texas & Pacific Railroad met local men here to decide on a site for a cattle shipping center. Bypassing the county seat of Buffalo Gap, the railroad platted a new town named Abilene for the famous cattle town . . . — — Map (db m78016) HM
Known throughout West Texas as “a city within itself,” Thornton’s Store was one of Abilene’s leading businesses for nearly seven decades. E.L. Thornton (1896-1964) moved to Abilene from Arkansas in 1919, after service in World War I. He . . . — — Map (db m79730) HM
The main route–1876 to 1887–for several hundred thousand longhorns driven north to stock ranches and Indian reservations and to supply beef market.
Was also called Dodge City Trail, for its main terminus; or Fort Griffin Trail, . . . — — Map (db m94649) HM
This memorial is dedicated to all men and women of Taylor County who have served in the armed forces of their country
Those names of men and women inscribed hereon gave their lives in the cause of freedom as the result of enemy action or . . . — — Map (db m79740) WM
With the arrival of the railroad in Abilene in 1881, a railroad car was used as the first depot. In 1882, a two-story structure was built consisting of a passenger waiting room, office space, dining and a hotel on the second floor. Located a few . . . — — Map (db m105926) HM
The Bankhead National Highway, from Washington, D.C., to San Diego, California, was the nation’s first all-weather, coast-to-coast highway. The southern road skirted the western mountains and was largely free from ice and snow, so it could be used . . . — — Map (db m105928) HM
In the late 1890s, Mr. George Bennett, president of Acme Pressed Brick Company, donated funds for the purchase of this bell. For two decades, this bell swung from the bell tower of the Old Main building, serving as a timepiece for what was then . . . — — Map (db m87071) HM
The Hotel Grace was built in 1909 by Col. W.L. Beckham, a hotel builder and operator from Greenville, Texas. He named his newest hotel for his daughter, Grace.
At that time, the Grace was the major hotel between Fort Worth and El Paso. The . . . — — Map (db m85806) HM
The original Camp Barkeley was one of the United States Army’s largest training installations during World War II. The base was located southwest of Abilene, Texas near what is now Dyess Air Force Base. The base was named after David B. Barkley, a . . . — — Map (db m86532) HM
Chartered March 3, 1871, by Act of U.S. Congress, to build a railroad to the Pacific Coast, the Texas & Pacific Railway Company, under leadership of Colonel Thomas A. Scott, President, began construction across West Texas in 1880. General Grenville . . . — — Map (db m61250) HM
Organized July 18, 1917 at Camp Bowie, Texas, the 36th Division was composed of National Guard units from the states of Texas and Oklahoma, and traced a part of its lineage to the Washington Guards of the Texas Revolution. During World War I, the . . . — — Map (db m79587) HM WM
Born in Bainbridge, Georgia, Thomas Middlebrook Willis was an important early leader in Abilene. Willis moved to Waco, Texas with his parents, Dr. Thomas L. And Mrs. Letitia Willis, in 1866. T.M. Willis first came to this area in 1878 to investigate . . . — — Map (db m78018) HM
This two-story brick home was designed by Abilene architect William P. Preston for the family of William Gray and Shirley (McCollum) Swenson, and was completed ca. 1910. Swenson was a first generation Swedish-American, and he was a lifelong . . . — — Map (db m78017) HM
Oldest public cemetery in Taylor County; used by residents of Buffalo Gap even before the earliest known headstones were erected about 1877.
In the older section of the ten-acre plot are 146 graves, many of Civil War veterans and pioneer . . . — — Map (db m74794) HM
Founded 1885 by Presbyterian Church. Institution previously operated as a high school. In peak year, over 300 pupils, many from distant places, attended.
First president was W.H. White. College had greatest success under J.M. Wagstaff. . . . — — Map (db m74717) HM
In 1541, the Spanish explorer Coronado is thought to have passed this way en route from New Mexico to the fabled Indian villages of “Quivira”, though his path across vast Texas plains is now difficult to determine.
Upon finding . . . — — Map (db m77745) HM
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U.S. Congress created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 to provide jobs on public lands for unemployed workers, specifically young men and World War I veterans. Quick to recognize the benefits of . . . — — Map (db m79332) HM
Located in Taylor County's historic first courthouse and jail. Although Taylor County was organized in July 1878, the building was not completed until May 20, 1880 because of Indian scares and lack of funds. Scene of frequent jail breaks, lynchings. . . . — — Map (db m74762) HM
Probably named for the pass in Callahan Divide (Mountains) crossed by thousands of buffalo that once inhabited this area.
Besides providing the native Apache and Comanche Indians with food, buffaloes drew the first white hunters here about . . . — — Map (db m74716) HM
On Aug. 29, 1863, Indian raiders (probably Comanches) coming north from Mason County, with stolen horses, were caught a mile east of Buffalo Gap by Lt. T.C. Wright and eleven State troopers.
The outnumbered soldiers were forced to attack up a . . . — — Map (db m74715) HM
Activated 1 October 1919 at Headquarters, Park Field, Tenn. 9th Bombardment Squadron, which became a unit of the 7th Bomb Wing in April 1931, participated in three major battles during World War I - - Lorraine, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne . . . — — Map (db m95827) HM
(Name Plates from Left to Right, Top to Bottom)
• Dedicated to A1C John L. Levitow for Bravery, 24 Feb 1969 in Long Binh, South Vietnam • Dedicated to 1st LT James P. Fleming for Bravery, 26 Nov 1968 in Duc Co, South Vietnam • . . . — — Map (db m95830) HM WM
The Butterfield Overland Mail, the first public transportation facility spanning the area from the Mississippi to the Pacific with passenger and mail service, 1858-61, used the 2400-foot peak to the northeast as a beacon. The drivers and passengers . . . — — Map (db m77734) HM
Born into an affluent Tennessee family, Cornelia Fort attended the Ward-Belmont School in Nashville and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York in 1939. She returned to a society life in Tennessee but was soon introduced to flying by a . . . — — Map (db m77737) HM
Maintained from 1858 to outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 as a stage stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route, which was the first mail and passenger line to link the east and west coasts of the United States. In 1870's this was a stop for branch . . . — — Map (db m77765) HM
Human activity in this area has been traced to prehistoric eras. Native American tribes roamed this land with the buffalo, deer, turkey, mountain lion, and black bear. Among the first recorded ventures into the canyon were the Military Road Survey . . . — — Map (db m77736) HM
On Feb. 15, 1870, Cpl. Hilliard Morrow and five men of Co. E, 24th U.S. Infantry, set out from Fort Griffin to relieve guards at Mountain Pass mail station near here. Soon after arriving, however, they were besieged by a raiding party of 75 . . . — — Map (db m94935) HM
On New Year’s Day, 1871, Indian raiders who had stolen horses in Coleman County were pursued and overtaken here by 18 Texas Rangers and cowboys. Leaders of the group were Captain James M. Swisher and rancher Sam Gholson.
The Indians took . . . — — Map (db m77733) HM
Originally named Coates for early settler Kem Coates, Cedar Gap community formed in the late 19th century. Coates, on whose land the post office was later located, arrived in the 1870s, and by the early 1880s, a number of families from Robertson . . . — — Map (db m74815) HM
Probably named for Jim Ned, Delaware Indian chief. During Republic and early statehood of Texas (about 1840-1860), he was a scout for the Texas Militia on several campaigns against wild Indians in this area.
Dams near junction of two main . . . — — Map (db m77769) HM
Created 1858. Named for Edward, James and George Taylor, 18, 20 and 22, Tennesseans who came to Texas in 1833 and died at the Alamo March 6, 1836.
Organized 1878, with county seat at Buffalo Gap, through which went the Fort Concho to Fort . . . — — Map (db m74817) HM
One of major horse-drawn transportation projects of history. Was authorized by Act of Congress on March 3, 1857. Contract for semi-weekly service overland to San Francisco, California, was awarded to company headed by John Butterfield; another . . . — — Map (db m41558) HM
Near this site, an important link in the frontier transportation system was an area landmark. The Butterfield Overland Mail maintained a stage stop at the falls and crossing of Valley Creek beginning in 1858. The twice-weekly mail and passenger line . . . — — Map (db m77995) HM