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Overview

Introduction to Abilene, Texas

The central Texas city of Abilene, county seat of Taylor County, is located about 180 miles west of Dallas. The city is situated near the geographic center of the state on Interstate I-20, at the junction of U.S. Routes 83 and 277. Also servicing the city are Texas State Highways 36 and 351. Abilene maintains a full-service regional airport offering commuter flights to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Abilene was established in 1881 when the Texas and Pacific Railway completed its tracks to what was then a small town site. The railroad promoted the site as the "Future Great City of West Texas" and town lots began to sell at a rapid pace. Named after Abilene, Kansas, the original endpoint for the Chisholm Trail, Abilene became incorporated as a city in 1883 and in that same year became the county seat. During the ensuing century, Abilene evolved from a community reliant almost entirely on agriculture to a diversified community whose economy also included oil, commerce, and light manufacturing. The city's economy received a boost during World War II with the acquisition of Camp Barkeley, a U.S. Army post, whose arrival changed the demographic composition and economic profile of Abilene. The flow of federal dollars was even further enhanced in 1952, when Congress approved the establishment of Dyess Air Force Base. Expansion followed in several industries, most notably the oil industry with the development of exploration, drilling, refining, and oilfield services. Parallel expansion occurred in banking, construction, service employment, and retail and wholesale business industries. Abilene today functions as a significant regional center for distribution, commerce, industry, transportation, and education.

Arts, Culture, and Recreation in Abilene

Abilene is home to the restored Paramount Theater, which hosts art films, plays, and concerts throughout the year. The Grace Cultural Center, a beautifully restored 1909 hotel located in historic Downtown Abilene, houses a history museum, an art museum and an interactive children’s museum. The structure was originally constructed by Colonel W. L. Beckman and named for his daughter, Grace. The Abilene Zoo boasts over 200 species of wildlife over its thirteen acres and offers a wide variety of children’s programs and special events. The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum celebrates the history of the unit which became one of the most feared fighting machines of World War II. The Center for Contemporary Arts is home to dozens of exhibits by regional, national and international artists and photographers. Frontier Texas! is a multimedia facility which brings to life the Texas frontier as it existed between 1780 and 1880. Visitors can interactively "meet" some of the real people who lived and died on the Texas frontier, including buffalo hunters, Comanche warriors, pioneers, and explorers. Abilene's western heritage is showcased every May at the Western Heritage Classic, a three-day weekend event which celebrates the western lifestyle. The West Texas Fair and Rodeo is a ten-day event held each September which features food, music, rides, and exhibits celebrating West Texas.

Youth sports are very popular in Abilene and the city's local high school teams have won hundreds of district championships and dozens of state titles over the past several years. The city also has more than 40 college sports teams playing at the Division II and Division III levels. Professional sports are a few short hours away in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, home to the following teams:

  • Dallas Cowboys (National Football League)
  • Texas Rangers (Major League Baseball)
  • Dallas Stars (National Hockey League)
  • Dallas Mavericks (NBA basketball)
  • Dallas Desperados (Arena Football League)
  • FC Dallas (Major League Soccer)

People

Total Population 122,226
Male Share of the Population 51.7%
Female Share of the Population 48.3%
Senior Citizens 12.4%
Employed Population 16+ 54,051
Age of the Population 31

Families

% of people married 43.6%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 22.4%
Median Earnings25+ $29,932
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $16,488
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,482

Wealth

Median Family Income $53,997
% Above Poverty Level 80.9%
% Below Poverty Level 19.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 15 minutes
% Working from Home 2.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 2.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.7%

Housing

People Living Alone 28.8%
Median Gross Rent $778
Median House Value $97,300

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 47.5%
US/American 0.1%
English 8.4%
Irish 9.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Abilene Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 141 miles W of Fort Worth, Texas
County Taylor
Metro Area Abilene
Standard Zip Codes 79601, 79602, 79603, 79605, 79606, 79607
P.O. Box Zip Codes 79604, 79608
Company Zip Codes 79697, 79698, 79699
Phone Area Codes 325
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 32.448
Longitude -99.732

Abilene Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station ABILENE MUNICIPAL AP
Distance 3.6 miles
Jan Temp 32 to 55 F
Apr Temp 52 to 77 F
Jul Temp 72 to 95 F
Oct Temp 54 to 78 F
Annual Precip 23.7 inches
Station ANSON
Distance 24.1 miles
Jan Temp 31 to 56 F
Apr Temp 51 to 78 F
Jul Temp 72 to 96 F
Oct Temp 54 to 78 F
Annual Precip 26 inches
Station ALBANY
Distance 31.3 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 55 F
Apr Temp 49 to 77 F
Jul Temp 71 to 95 F
Oct Temp 51 to 78 F
Annual Precip 28.4 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Abilene, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Hamby (79601)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Buffalo Gap 408 $53,125
Clyde 3,733 $56,938
Hawley 612 $54,792

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Abilene Public Libraries

Library
Abilene Public Library
202 CEDAR ST
Abilene, Texas
(325) 676-6328
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Abilene Hospitals

HENDRICK MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
1900 PINE
(325) 670-2000
Emergency Service: Yes

WEST TEXAS HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
5602 HEALTH CENTER DRIVE
(325) 692-6300
Emergency Service: Yes

ABILENE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
(Proprietary)
6250 HWY 83-84 AT ANTILLEY ROAD
(325) 695-9900
Emergency Service: Yes

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Abilene High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

ABILENE H S
2800 N 6TH ST
325-677-1731
Serves 2,299 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.6

COOPER H S
3639 SAYLES BLVD
915-691-1000
Serves 2,105 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.8

WYLIE H S
4502 ANTILLEY RD
325-690-1181
Serves 854 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15

EXCEL ALTER H S
342 COCKERELL
915-671-4448
A Non-traditional School
Serves 158 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.6

TRAVIS OPPORTUNITY CTR
1101 S 9TH ST
915-671-4648
A Non-traditional School
Serves 38 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 3.8

JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER
889 S 25TH
325-677-1444
A Non-traditional School
Serves 29 students.

HOUSTON STUDENT ACH CTR
317 N 6TH ST
325-671-4624
A Special Education School
Serves 24 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 2.4

SP ED O J T
2970 S 6TH ST
325-677-8623
A Special Education School
Serves 21 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.5

ABILENE STATE SCH
842 N MOCKINGBIRD
325-692-4053
A Special Education School
Serves 14 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7

TAYLOR COUNTY LEARNING CENTER
2002 JAMESON ST
325-677-1444
A Non-traditional School
Serves 13 students.

HARMONY FAMILY SERVICES
1626 N 3RD ST
325-672-8820
A Non-traditional School
Serves 8 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6.2

SP ED HOMEBOUND
2970 S 6TH ST
325-677-8623
A Special Education School
Serves 4 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 4

WOODSON SKILL CTR
342 COCKERELL DR
325-671-4729
A Non-traditional School

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