Look Who's Talking about Texas History

Davick Services recommends the Facebook Group "West Texas History & Memories" for history, famous people, old photos, stories, unclaimed estates and genealogy of the Western Half of Texas . . . Check it out and join the conversation

Books about Taylor County, Abilene Texas

Favorite stories about  the history of Taylor County and the people from Abilene, Tuscola, Tye, Buffalo Gap, Impact, Lawn, Merkel, Moro and Trent Texas.


This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Abilene StoriesAbilene Stories: From Then to Now

A collection of fascinating and colorful stories spanning the history of Abilene, Texas.
Although Abilene has long lived in the shadows of the literary limelight, it has not been for a lack of good writing, good writers, and interesting stories. Now coming out of the shadows, ''Abilene Stories: From Then to Now'' offers a community scrapbook, a gathering of the civic congregation where more than a hundred friends have stopped by for a visit. The laughter is heavy and the smiles broad as stories are told and memories jogged. . . . Read more

A Personal CountryA Personal Country

by A. C. Greene

This book brings alive what one man feels about his childhood home. The place is West Texas, seen across a long vista in which today’s events and people merge with the author’s boyhood and young manhood. It is a harsh, remote country, where the weather is always very close and the horizon far away. The Brazos country of long-ago Fourth of July fishing expeditions; the grass-grown remains of a way station of the Butterfield Stage Line; the streets of Abilene; the sparse grazing lands under infinite skies—all are made resonant by a native son’s affection and understanding. It is a way of life—resilient and persnickety—that is almost gone . . . Read more Look inside or browse more books by A.C. Greene

The Lonesome PlainsThe Lonesome Plains: Death and Revival on an American Frontier

Loneliness pervaded the lives of pioneers on the American plains, including the empty expanses of West Texas.

"More renowned as the U.S. Weather Bureau's chief meteorologist in Galveston during the fateful 1900 hurricane, Isaac m. Cline experienced the plains hot winds while stationed in Abilene, Texas, in 1886. These hot currents left swaths in fields that looked burned by fire  . . . "  Read more, Look inside

A People, A PlaceA People, A Place:

The Story of Abilene Volume I; The Future Great City 1881-1940

Early biographers of Abilene, the present author included, laid heavy emphasis on "the people," the human element in the establishment and continuing life of the city. But the geographical characteristics of "the place" is also important in its creation, its history, and its future. The intertwining of these two themes dictated much of the story of the town called Abilene, Texas . . . . Read more

And the Rains Never Came

by Jerry Doyle

Found Inside: I don't guess you have heard the latest. " Lincoln and Neva Jo both shrugged their shoulders and looked puzzled. The sheriff continued, "Earlier this week, the Abilene Bank called the note on the Double 4 Ranch, forcing them into a bankruptcy sale!" Lincoln was startled and responded, "No shit! The Double 4? It's the oldest ranch in the county, It's been around since the 1860s. I thought that if any of us survived this long drought, it would be John Wharton and the Double 4 . . . Read more Look inside

Spirits of the Border V: The History and Mystery of the Lone Star State


According to this book about haunted places in Texas. "Three connected rooms in the Travel Lodge Motel in Abilene are haunted. In one of the rooms the light in the bathroom will flicker on and off through the night (the switch is sideways, making a loud clicking noise). In another room a specter plays with the visitors belongings. It likes to use their credit cards, money and driver's license to play a game of poker under the bed. In the last room during the hours of 12 and 2:30 a foul smell is present in the room, which is said to the same spirit that likes to play with the lights and belongings... It also chronicles stories of ghosts at other places in and around Abilene.  . .  Check it out  . . . for more like this see Mysterious Texas

A People, A Place: The Story of Abilene Volume 2: The Modern City, 1940-2010

In 1940, Abilene, Texas was just an overgrown country town of some 25,000 souls. World War II wrought a permanent change through the advent of a major army training camp housing 60,000 troops. Although the base closed at the end of the war, the city soon attracted an air force base that continued to leaven the community. Over the next seventy years, Abilene grew to be home to nearly 120,000 citizens. Population growth carried with it the need for geographic expansion, infrastructure upgrade, and economic diversification, but also unimaginable cultural change . . . Read more

Michael's Eyes: The Adventures of Michael Barone

by Charlie Boring

The fictional account of the life of Michael Barone. Michael was born with an ability that no other human has been known to possess. As Michael grows up in the small Texas town of Anson and later in Abilene, his life and his adventures are shaped by his secret ability to be able to see in the dark... Read more Look inside

The Song in You: Finding Your Voice, Redefining Your Life

by Ladonna Gatlin

"Abilene, Texas, August 18, 1954. On their fourth try, Billie and Curley Gatlin finally welcomed a daughter into the Gatlin Family... My Brother, Larry, Steve, and Rudy already performing veterans at ages six, four, and two, respectively, were crazy about me! Crazy might be a good word to describe the path my life has taken . . ." Read more

The Movie Lover's Tour of Texas: Reel-Life Rambles Through the Lone Star State

by Veva Vonter

Texas movies are as vast as the Lone Star State. This book offers readers the chance to visit Texas vicariously by viewing movies filmed in and about the state that reflect Texas history, cultures, and landscapes. Found inside: "However, The Stars Fell on Henrietta was not filmed in Henrietta. As often happens, the actual place was deemed inappropriate, and much of the film was shot farther west, in various locations around the Panhandle Plains towns of Abilene and Anson. The oil boom town itself was recreated in the Prairies and Lakes town o Bartlett   . . . " Read more Look inside

Man with the Killer Smile: The Life and Crimes of a Serial Mass Murderer

"n 1906 he pulled up stakes once again, this time lighting out for the small towns of Tuscola and Ovalo, Texas, in southern Taylor County. Both towns were separated by less than three miles There he found work driving a..." On a cold, windy December night in 1926, hell was unleashed on a tenant farm near Farwell, the last Texas town before the New Mexico border. Prone to the bottle and fits of rage, the burly man with the smiling blue eyes was in no mood to quarrel with his third wife over his bootleg whisky and sexual abuse of his stepdaughter..." Read more Look inside

A Texas Ranger in the Union Secret Service

"There exists today in Tuscola, Texas the Jim Ned Consolidated Independent School District and Jim Ned High School. But without attempting to determine the vexed question of Jim Ned's parentage, I return to my narrative." You might think that the incredible adventures of James Pike in the American Civil War are too amazing to be true. But his service was lauded by Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and George Thomas, among others. Having already served as a Texas Ranger before the war, Pike had a taste for danger. He was even on the raid that found Cynthia Parker, the white mother of Comanche Chief, Quanah Parker . . .Read more Look inside

The Women There Don't Treat You Mean: Abilene in Song

Just what is it about Abilene - the one in Texas - that keeps attracting the attention of singers, songwriters, and listeners alike? Certainly Abilene is an easy word to rhyme, but there is more to it that just "Abilene, Abilene, prettiest town I've ever seen." The name also summons up images of West Texas and of a town, located between Fort Worth and El Paso, that offers a place for escape, for romance, for fresh beginnings... Read more

Growing Up Colt: A Father, a Son, a Life in Football

You watched him vie for the Heisman and national championship, and earn a third-round NFL draft spot. Now meet Colt McCoy up-close and personal! He grew up in several small towns in Texas and attended Jim Ned High School in Tuscola, Texas, where his father was the head football coach. Colt threw for nearly nine miles of passing yards and averaged more than three touchdown passes ... Read more

Texas: A Year With the Boys

"When Best Selling New York author William Hoffman set out to write a book about Abilene Texas oilman Jack Grimm's search for the Titanic, he never dreamed where that would lead him. Not into the eerie depths of the Atlantic Ocean, but into the even stranger Twilight Zone of Texas Millionaire society...From Dallas to Houston and from Abilene to Midland, William Hoffman mingles with the "Boys" and comes back with an outrageous tale. Come along with him into this zany world of wheelers and dealers who help to prove that truth is stranger. . . at least in Texas!" Recommended by James Marcus Gosdin @ West Texas History and Memories . . . Read more

Early Abilene (Images of America)

During the 1870s, there was wondrous change in West Texas. The area was ripe for settlement, and as the Texas and Pacific Railroad pushed west from Fort Worth, towns began springing up along the tracks. Ranchers coming to the area took advantage of the vast grasslands, and the new arrival of settlers was the beginning of a town named Abilene. Deriving its namesake from the town of Abilene, Kansas, the locals hoped the city would become a shipping point for cattle on their way to eastern markets. . . . Read more

Spooky Texas: Tales Of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore

Chapter 30: Lost and Found in Abilene

Suitably, hauntings and paranormal happenings in the Lone Star state are larger than life. Included in this must-read collection are tales of the ghost lights of Marfa, the werewolf of Elroy, and the Devil's brand in the eternal roundup of El Paso. Your hair will stand on end as you read about the mysteries and lore in Spooky Texas including the Restless Spirit in Wink, The Half-Clad Ghost in Waco, The Weeper in Laredo, No Trespassing in Amarillo, On the Front Desk in Bandera, Madstone in Socorro, Eternal Roundup in El Paso, The Gray Lady in Fort Worth, Lost and Found in Abilene... Here's 35 spooky tales from Texas . . . Read more, Look inside

See Also: Mysterious Texas

Texas' Most Haunted EXPOSED

"The ghost of a young woman roams the shoreline of this lake near Abilene, Texas scaring couples who have parked there after dusk. There are 5 variants of the story surrounding the lake. The first claims that Comanche warriors once did battle with a platoon of Calvary near the lake. The Comanche won the battle; however, upon returning to camp, a terrible storm hit. They were swept to their deaths into the lake by a flash flood while the women and children watched helplessly ..." Read more Look inside

To Make a Long Story Short:

The Stories and Exploits of Gene Franklin Jackson

This collection of Gene's stories did not just happen. We all knew that he was a good story teller, because he would occasionally break out with, "Oh, that reminds me", and one of his many stories would evolve. Nearly every time someone would conclude, "We ought to record that!". . .  Look inside

Life in the Dweeb Lane - Memoirs of Time Spent on the Dork Side

by D. Earl Kelly

"But, it was all moot considering my parents moved  at mid-term of my senior year to Abilene, Texas which was large enough to make my home town look like an ant farm. So, there i was. The new kid at a huge new school . . . Read more

Team of the Century: The Greatest High School Football Team in Texas

Fifty years ago Abilene High School, under legendary Coach Chuck Moser, became a football dynasty in Texas. Moser moved to Abilene in 1953 at age thirty-four. What followed were seven of the most amazing years in the rich history of Texas high school football. The 1954, 1955, and 1956 teams won state championships. From 1954 to 1957 the Eagles won an incredible forty-nine consecutive games. Abilene captured six district titles in a row in a rugged West Texas league . . . Read more Look inside

From Moro to Bluff Creek: An Autobiography

by Larry Webb

Found inside: "The historic communities of Moro and nearby Bluff Creek in West Central Texas were once heavily wooded with many species of towering oak ... This utopian setting, which took Mother Nature hundreds of thousands of years to form, was about to change as the tumultuous aftermath of America's Civil War prompted Anglo settlers from the losing side to flee in droves from   . . . Read more Look inside

A Saint from Texas

Yvette and Yvonne Crawford are twin sisters, born on a humble patch of Texas prairie but bound for far more dramatic and tragic fates. Just as an untold fortune of oil lies beneath their daddy's land, both girls harbor their own secrets and dreams-ones that will carry them far from Texas and from each other.

Found inside: "As if our Diors weren't bad enough, in 1952 Daddy put us through another scandal. He'd been shacking up with  this pretty but pudgy fake blonde matron from Merkel, Texas. Once a week she'd drive her powder blue Cadillac into town, pass the Piggly Wiggly, and park on one side of the road, and Daddy would drive his new hearse and park it on the other side  . . ." Read more Look inside

Lost Abilene

In 1881, the Texas & Pacific Railroad described Abilene as the "Future Great City of the West." While the train line was laying rails west out of Fort Worth, a group of ranchers, wanting the new town to become a prominent cattle-shipping point, selected the name Abilene after Abilene, Kansas, which was a main cattle-shipping town in the 1870s. With the arrival of the railroad to Abilene, this part of Texas opened up for settlement. Families rushed  . . . Read more

Abilene History in Plain Sight

A guide to the people, places, and events that define Abilene. It provides the high vantage point from which you come to know the lives behind the names--Cooper High School, Shotwell Stadium, and Maxwell Golf Course--and to meet those who are honored by the naming of a park or street (such as Egbert Kirby, Nelson Wilson, Vera Minter, and Walker Ely). In this engaging book, the past is picked up, dusted off, and given a new shine. As you learn the story behind the church, school, or college that you drive past, it will create a connection that serves to endear Abilene to you more deeply. This is a book that brings the relics of the past out of the dark and straight into the hometown in your heart . . . Read more Look inside

Catclaw Country: An Informal History of Abilene in West Texas

by Katharyn Duff with Betty Kay Seibt

History of Abilene in west Texas. Contents include: A land long neglected, some first families, a town on the prairie, wrestling with demon rum, culture comes to Catclaw, Abilene's churches, schools, rolling stock, jazz age to depression, military influence, petroleum heritage, Abilene at century II, census of 1880, marriage licenses 1878-1886, business directory 1883, first Abilene high school graduating class, charter members for Abilene churches, oldest federated study club in Texas, city directory 1905 . . . Read more

Love Unbounded:

The Influence of First Baptist Church on Abilene, Texas

 In 1881, six months after the establishment of Abilene, Texas, seventeen residents met at the local public school building and chartered First Baptist Church of Abilene. These founders instilled a mission-minded focus in the new institution. While First Baptist was not the only institution that served Abilene, the church’s importance cannot be overlooked. For over 125 years, First Baptist Church of Abilene has played a prominent role in the Abilene community . . . Read more . . . for more like this please see Texas Church History

Abilene on Catclaw Creek: A Profile of a West Texas Town

by Katharyn Duff

Chocolate Lizards: A Novel

Broke, desperate, and stranded in Abilene after losing his shirt in a poker game, a Harvard-educated actor agrees to help a hard-drinking, hard-living Texas millionaire save himself from bankruptcy in exchange for a ticket out of Texas ... Read more Look inside

From the Cotton Fields to a College Professor: My Life's Experience

by Dr Joe H. Alcorta

Dr. Joe H. Alcorta was born in Novice, Texas, and at the age of two months, his parents took him to Monterrey, Mexico. For seven years, he lived in Mexico. Upon his return, he graduated from Olton High School, and then he received his bachelor's degree from Hardin-Simmons University. He obtained his master's degree from Howard Payne University and earned his PhD degree from Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. He has served on many city boards, and he was elected to the Abilene City Council for two terms . . .  Read more Look inside

Buffalo Days: Stories from J. Wright Mooar

by James Winford Hunt - first President of McMurry College in Abilene

J. Wright Mooar tells the story of the buffalo hunter, from the hunter's perspective, in this first-person account published more than seventy years ago.

"James Winford Hunt moved with his parents to the Texas Panhandle in 1881. He worked on a ranch until he could save enough money to purchase printing equipment. When he did, he started the Press Leader in Lubbock. He then moved his publishing venture to Plainview, establishing the Texan Press . . . " Read more Look inside

The Goddess of War, A True Story of Passion, Betrayal and Murder in the Old West

John Wesley Hardin is the most famous gunfighter of the American Wild West. The subject of conversations from the Mexican border to the rowdy saloons of Kansas, he was the greatest celebrity of the age. He wrote an autobiography, but he only told what he wanted known, and few have researched beyond that. Today, Hardin is an enigma. Part of the mystery is his disastrous relationship with Helen Beulah Mrose, yet she has not been researched at all. Until now. The author names Taylor County courthouse records as a primary source for this book . . .   . . . Read more Look inside

They Called Them Soldier Boys: A Texas Infantry Regiment in World War I

They Called Them Soldier Boys offers an in-depth study of soldiers of the Texas National Guard’s Seventh Texas Infantry Regiment in World War I, through their recruitment, training, journey to France, combat, and their return home. Gregory W. Ball focuses on the fourteen counties in North, Northwest, and West Texas where officers recruited the regiment’s soldiers in the summer of 1917.

"For example, the regimental Headquarters Company consisted of Captain Wagstaff's Taylor County Company and  " ... Read more Look inside

Pioneer Days... Two Views

Early Days in West Texas and Recollections of Miss Tommie Clack

by Kathryn Duff & Betty Kay Seibt Mary Hampton Clack

Text, Image, and Christians in the Graeco-Roman World: A Festschrift in Honor of David Lee Balch

Twenty-four scholars join their efforts to congratulate David Lee Balch for a long career of dedication to scholarship and teaching. "Professor Balch was born in West Texas in 1942 and attended Pampa High School in Pampa, Texas. His educational journey is astounding and extends from Abilene Christian University in Texas, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in . . . " Read more Look inside

Gospel Tracks through Texas: The Mission of Chapel Car Good Will

In 1895 a different kind of railroad car rolled into Texas, bringing the “good news” of the evangelical Gospel to transient railroad workers and far-flung communities alike ... Author Wilma Rugh Taylor’s portrayal of this ministry for the car named Good Will, which served Texas, provides a view of life in towns such as Denison, Texline, Marshall, San Antonio, Laredo, Abilene, and Dalhart . . . Read more

Baker's Dozen: We Were Thirteen, the Caseys of Tuscola, Taylor County Texas

Table of Contents
1. The Casey Clan
2. Taylor County, Texas
3. The Tuscola Valley, Early Settlers
4. Tuscola, Texas . . . Read more

The family of Bennie Gray Halsted & Alpha Arvilla Ohlhausen

Sheriff of Armstrong County, Texas, Sharecrop farmers of Taylor County, Texas, ranchers of Kerr County, Texas

 The Texas You Expect: The Story of Buffalo Gap Historic Village

The Buffalo Gap Historic Village, in Buffalo Gap, Texas, got its start in 1956 as the "Ernie Wilson Museum of the Old West" and was housed in the original Taylor County Courthouse. Over the next fifty years, however, the museum evolved into a full-fledged historic village, boasting twenty buildings and more than 9,000 artifacts. With this transformation, the historic village also began to tell a story about the history of a time period--the critical decades between 1875 and 1925. . . . Read more

A History Of Texas And Texans; Volume 5

"Her father landed with his family at Galveston about twenty-four hours before the battle of San Jacinto, and he hurried to the spot, joining Houston's army and took part in the glorious battle which gave Texas its independence. Later he spent his career as a farmer near Hempstead in Waller County. Mr. and Mrs.. Harvey's children were: Mrs. Lottie C. Dabney, who died in San Angelo; Peter Harvey, who died in Nugent Texas; and Mrs. L.B. Creath, who is still living and a resident of Abilene, Texas" . . . . Read more

900 Miles on the Butterfield Trail

by A. C. Greene

Short as the life of the Southern Overland Mail turned out to be—less than three years in its span—the saga of the Butterfield Trail remains a romantic high point in the westward movement, forming familiar elements in historical plots, functioning as a vibrant backdrop against which mythic adventures, western thrillers, movie serials, and television spectacles have raced. A. C. Greene offers a history and guide to retrace that historic and romantic Trail.  A. C. GREENE was born in 1923 in Abilene, Texas and after service in WWII he graduated from Abilene Christian College. He served on the staff of the Abilene Reporter-News, ran his own bookstore and headed the journalism department at Hardin-Simmons University. . . . Read more Look inside

Judge Legett of Abilene

A Texas Frontier Profile (Centennial series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A & M University) . . . Read more

Abilene Landmarks:

An Illustrated Tour: The Story of Abilene as told through 100 of its most historic buildings

Every city has a look and feel that informs how people respond to it. Visitors react to the skyline, clean streets, traffic patterns and the like, while its citizens speak of civic pride, heritage, and spirit. This love of place illustrates the passions and values of the society that fosters it. Some economists and thinkers refer to social capital, others cultural capital, when discussing the value added by the appreciation of the history and heritage of a community. The more people know about their hometown, the more they support it, love it, and keep it. The settlement that sprang up . . . Read more

The Romance of Hardin-Simmons University

The sixteen chapters of this book were originally a series of sixteen letters in which Mr. Featherston gave human interest insights into the history, spirit, and character of Hardin-Simons University . . . Read more

 The family of Bennie Gray Halsted & Alpha Arvilla Ohlhausen:

Sharecrop farmers of Taylor County, Texas, ranchers of Kerr County, Texas, Sheriff of Armstrong County, Texas

 . . . Read more

 Sketches of History: Methodist in South Taylor County Texas

by Wayne L. Burkey, Pastor Tuscola United Methodist Church  . . . Read more . . . for more like this please see Texas Church History

 1975 Yearbook: Abilene Christian School, Abilene, Texas

This copy is a soft cover reprint of a previously owned high school yearbook. Whether you no longer have your own copy or want to surprise someone with a unique gift, the memories in this yearbook are sure to make someone smile! All the pages and images are reproduced . . . Read more

 August Harvest (A Collection of Sandusky Samplin's)

August Harvest (A Collection of Sandusky Samplin's), edited by Marilyn Latimer Tittle and Linda Latimer Faulkner. Spiral-bound cookbook published by G & R Publishing Co. From or for the 1995 "Sandusky Harvests" Sandusky family reunion in Merkel, Texas. Illustrated with the Sandusky coat of arms . . . Read more

 Rose Hill Cemetery Records 1884-1986, Merkel, Taylor Co. Texas

by Becky Jacobs Rynders, West Texas Genealogical Society . . . Read more

Frontier Texas: History of a Borderland to 1880

The West Texas frontier--the area encompassing the region stretching from Fort Worth to the Caprock, from Palo Duro Canyon to the San Saba River--has been a crossroads of humanity for thousands of years. Each group of humans who trekked across its sun-drenched prairies had to contend with the challenges of life in an area that has always been a climatic, geographical, political, and cultural borderland . . . Read more

The History of Dyess Air Force Base: 1941 to the Present

The reader is led from the construction and World War II training operations through the Cold War with the Soviet Union, to bomber and missile nuclear alert, and to the transition of a world-wide conventional weapons response capability with the B-1B and air mobility options provided by the C-130 Hercules transport. The book includes a photo tour of the base as well as information on topics such as . . . Read more

From Vision to Reality: The History of Taylor Electric Cooperative, Inc 1939-2004

"When Abilene was established in 1881 as a center for shipping wool and cattle, little thought was given to improving the lives of those living in the surrounding ranching and farming communities that supplied the raw products that supported the local economy. Gradually, during the ensuing 58 years, the rural people began to dream of living with less drudgery, more conveniences, and a quality of life equal to that enjoyed by the people in the city. Then, in September 1939, bold steps . . . Read more

Pioneers of the Abilene Area - Volume 1
Painted Memories -- People, places, and moments from the easel of H.C. Zachary

The stories and paintings of H.C. Zachry. Nearly 200 pages of the paintings of the renowned artist from Abilene, Texas.

Abilene (Texas) High School Alumni Directory 1888-1994

by Abilene High School

See More Books about Abilene Texas (including yearbooks)

West Texas History & Memories

Remember in Abilene when...

Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

Amazing People from Texas County by County

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)

Texas History by Category and Event

Amazing People from Taylor County Texas

Famous People from Taylor County TexasAmazing People from Abilene Texas, Taylor county

Early Life in Tarrant County

Taylor County Treasures

Rare Artifacts, Memorabilia, Ancestry and History Records from Abilene, Tuscola, Tye, Buffalo Gap, Impact, Lawn, Merkel and Trent.  See All Taylor County Treasures (eBay)

What's your Favorite Book about a Texas County, Town, Person or Place? Here's our best reads list County by County


Mysterious TexasTrue Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texcas
 Loneliest, Least Populated Counties in Texas
Texas Cowboy HistoryBooks about Texas People County by County
Taylor County Appraisal District
Taylor County TX Experts
Life in Taylor County Tx 1900 - 1950
Taylor County Unclaimed Estates
Taylor County Products
Taylor County People
Books about Abilene Texas