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Life in Texas from the 1800's to 1950

Life in Taylor County Texas from 1850 to 1950

Taylor County, Texas from 1900 to 1950 as pictured in archived government photographs, vintage postcards, old school yearbooks and newspapers from Abilene, Buffalo Gap, Lawn, Merkel, Ovalo, Trent,
 Tuscola and Tye.

 

Click on the photos below to view full size

Queen Theater in Abilene 1960sQueen Theater in Abilene 1960s

The Queen Theater in Abilene Texas in the 1960s was showing Wonders of Aladdin starring Donald O'Conner but they misspelled his name in the marquee.

G.H. McDonald Endorses 1936 PlymouthG.H. McDonald Endorses Plymouth

In 1936 G. H. McDonald of Abilene Texas was manager of the Herring - McDonald Cotton Gins Co. testified in a national ad for Plymouth cars when you could own one for $510 . . . tap to view full size and read the full-page article

Sam's Store in Abilene TexasSam's Store in Abilene 1900

Sometime in the late 1800s to early 1900s a crowd gathered in front of Sam's General Store in Abilene Texas including the town band

Municipal Building Abilene 1940sMunicipal Building Abilene 1940s

Beautiful photo of the Municipal Building in Abilene Texas in the 1940s with vintage cars parked on the street and in the parking lot.

Abilene Cowgirl in 1938Abilene Cowgirl in 1938

In 1938 an attractive cowgirl posed with her horse in Abilene Texas for a postcard

Medical & Surgical Clinic in 1930Medical & Surgical Clinic in 1930

Nice photo of the Abilene Medical & Surgical Clinic in Abilene Texas in 1930

White Owl Cafe in 1930sWhite Owl Cafe in 1930s

Interesting photo from the 1930s of the White Owl Cafe in Abilene Texas with cook and staff in front and rooms for rent 50 cents next door

Winther 4 Wheel Drive Truck in Abilene in 1918Winther 4 Wheel Drive Truck in Abilene in 1918

With a Payne Webb Abilene Steam Laundry horse-drawn carriage mired in the mud to the axles the Reo Motor Sales of Abilene drove their Winther 4 wheel drive truck through the muddy street in 1918.

Wally's Restaurant in Abilene Texas in 1950sWally's Restaurant in Abilene 1950s

Wallys was a happening place in 1950s Abilene Texas

Walter Johnson Testifies for Goodyear 1939Walter Johnson Testifies for Goodyear 1939

In 1939 Walter Johnson of Ovalo Texas wrote about the huge difference switching from steel tires to Goodyear Sure-Grip rubber tires made for his farm operation and they used it in this ad

Buffalo Gap Texas in 1910Buffalo Gap Texas 1910

 

Gulf Gas Station in Abilene Texas in 1960Gulf Gas Station in Abilene Texas in 1960

Base Exchange Service Station serving Gulf Gas in Abilene Texas in 1960

Banner Ice Cream Plant in 1950Banner Ice Cream Plant in 1950

Cars lined up in front of the Banner Ice Cream plant in Abilene Texas in 1950

Pine Street in Abilene Texas in 1890Pine Street in Abilene Texas in 1890

Great photo of Pine Street in Abilene Texas in 1890 showing horses, carriages, buggies, stores and saloon

Majestic Theatre in 1959Majestic Theatre in 1959

In 1959 The Majestic Theater in Abilene Texas was showing The Amazing Colossal Man and The Cat Girl was coming up next week.

Quiet Night in Abilene in 1913Quiet Night in Abilene in 1913

In this rare photo of downtown Abilene Texas at night after a light snow in 1913 by W.C. Crosby the town is quiet and peaceful.

Hilton Hotel in Abilene in 1930sHilton Hotel in Abilene in 1930s

In this hand-colored photo of the Hilton Hotel in Abilene Texas in the 1930s is shown with period cars lining the street.

Mack Eplen's Drivateria in AbileneMack Eplen's Drivateria

Remember when you could get a hamburger for 35 cents, a coke for 15 cents, a malt for 30 cents and a root beer for 10 cents? This was Abilene Texas in the 1950s

Teddy Roosevelt in Abilene TexasTeddy Roosevelt in Abilene

Sometime between 1901 and 1909 Teddy Roosevelt appeared on the back of his train carriage in Abilene Texas

Polo Match in Abilene in 1939Polo Match in Abilene in 1939

In 1939 Abilene Texas was at the forefront of polo matches. It was a sport that came naturally to the cowboys in the region.

Atlas ICBM Missile in Downtown Abilene in 1950sAtlas ICBM Missile in Downtown Abilene in 1950s

Sometime in the 1950s an Atlas ICBM was put on display in in downtown Abilene Texas

Taylor County Courthouse in 1883Taylor County Courthouse 1883

Taylor County Courthouse in Abilene Texas in 1883

Presbyterian Church in Merkel Texas in 1910Presbyterian Church in Merkel 1910

Very nice photo of the Presbyterian Church in Merkel Texas in 1910

Man on Porch in Merkel in 1910 Man on Porch in Merkel in 1910

In 1910 a man in Merkel Texas relaxes on his porch and reads the Evening News and  Woman's Home Companion magazine

Abilene Post Office and Courthouse 1936Abilene Post Office and Courthouse 1936

1930s cars at the Abilene Texas Post office and federal courthouse

Hotel Windsor Abilene in 1954Hotel Windsor Abilene in 1954

Busy day in 1954 in Abilene Texas in front of the Post Office and Hotel Windsor

Hendrick Memorial Hospital in 1940sHendrick Memorial Hospital in 1940s

Very nice old photo of the Hendrick Memorial Hospital in Abilene Texas in 1940s

Shooting Scene in Abilene 1941Shooting Scene in Abilene 1941

In 1941 while Columbia Pictures was filming in Abilene for the movie Texas a photographer captured the actors and camera crew in action

Abilene Courthouse 1949Abilene Courthouse 1949

Taylor County Courthouse as it appeared in 1949 in Abilene Texas

Cowboy Band of Simmons University 1930sCowboy Band of Simmons University 1930s

In the 1930s the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboy Band  played for the White House

Horseless Carriage in Abilene TexasHorseless Carriage in Abilene Texas

Sometime in the early 1900s a horseless carriage pulled to the curb in Abilene Texas for this wonderful old photo

South First and Chestnut in Abilene Texas in 1800sSouth First and Chestnut in Abilene Texas in 1800s

Wagons, horses and a trolley car on the rough dirt streets at First and Chestnut in Abilene Texas in the 1800s

Abilene Police Car in 1950Abilene Police Car in 1950s

On a country road near Abilene Texas in the 1950s a policeman posed with his police cruiser.

J. M. Radford Grocery in 1930s AbileneJ. M. Radford Grocery in 1930s Abilene

In the 1930s delivery trucks lined the street in front of the J. M. Radford Grocery Company in Abilene Texas

Main Street Parade in Abilene in 1920Main Street Parade Abilene 1920

On main street in 1920 a parade of beautiful horses marched past admiring people watching  from both sides of the street in Abilene Texas in this huge incredibly detailed photo

Coca Cola Bottling Plant in Abilene in 1926Coca Cola Bottling Plant in Abilene in 1926

In 1926, drivers for the Coca-Cola bottling company in Abilene Texas posed with seven of their trucks in front of the plant.

Abilene Texas Paint Store in Early 1900sAbilene Paint Store in Early 1900s

Sometime in the early 1900s the proprietor, clerk, and customers posed inside a paint store in Abilene Texas

Pine Street in Abilene Texas in 1911Pine Street in Abilene Texas in 1911

In 1911 an unknown photographer stood in the middle of Pine Street near Citizens National Bank in Abilene Texas as a street car and a man approach him. Horses, carriages and pedestrians can be seen lining both sides of the street

1923 Abilene High School Football1923 Abilene High School Football

The 1923 Abilene High School yearbook featured this on the page dedicated to the football team

Cowboy Watches Polo Match from Horse in 1939Cowboy Watches Polo Match from Horse 1939

In 1939 a cowboy threw his right leg over his saddle horn to watch a Polo match in Abilene Texas

Abilene BBQ Drive Up Cafe 1940sAbilene BBQ Drive Up Cafe 1940s

Carhops wait on customers in their cars at the Dixie Sandwich Pig Shop in Abilene Texas in the 1940s

Downtown Abilene in 1950Downtown Abilene in 1955

Traffic came to a stop in downtown Abilene when Hardin Simmons athletes were selling balloons to drivers in 1950

Nickel Store Interior in Abilene in 1909Nickel Store Interior in Abilene in 1909

Nice clear photo of the Nickel Store in Abilene Texas with clerks and owner waiting to serve in 1909

Alexander Sanitarium in Abilene Texas in 1909Alexander Sanitarium in Abilene Texas in 1909

In 1909 several of Abilene's wealthier citizens parked their cars in front of the Alexander Sanitarium for this photo . . .

Stinson Drug Store in Abilene in the 1930sStinson Drug Store in Abilene in the 1930s

Sometime in the 1930s two uniformed women left Stinson Drug #2, bypassed the coin operated weight machines when - just as one takes a lick off her ice cream cone they were captured on film

Abilene Volunteer Firemen 1899Abilene Volunteer Firemen 1899

Abilene Texas Volunteer Firemen J. D. Hailey, Chief Clinton, Bob Lane, Lee Lane, Joe Perry and Albert Lane are pictured in this highly detailed photo

Abilene Candy Company in 1939Abilene Candy Company in 1939

Salesmen for the Abilene Candy Company proudly line up beside their company cars in 1939.

Abilene Texas High School Football Team 1923Abilene High School Football Team in 1923

Eleven players on the Abilene High School football team in 1923.

View full size

1923 Abilene High Football Team Go to Fort Worth1923 Abilene High School Football Team

1923 Abilene High School Football Team on the Way to Fort Worth

Abilene High School Boys Glee Club 1923Abilene High School Boys Glee Club 1923

Kelso, Smith, Coombes, Harvey, Gray, West, Freeman, Gavin, Bryan, Robbins, Coffman, Kelso, heath, and Howell made up the Abilene Boys High School Glee Club in 1923 . . . look closer

Four Abilene High School Students pose beside car in 1948Four Abilene HS Students in 1948

Four Abilene High School students pose beside period car in 1948

Abilene Ice Company Truck 1940'sAbilene Ice Company Truck 1940's
Abilene Ice Company Wagon 1910Abilene Ice Company Wagon 1910

Horse-drawn ice wagon from the Abilene Ice Company parked on a residential dirt street in 1910 while driver delivers a block of ice to resident's ice box.

1923 Abilene Texas High School Yearbook Cover1923 Abilene Texas High School Yearbook
Abilene Typewriter Exchange Truck 1940Abilene Typewriter Exchange Truck 1940

In 1940 B. F. Cox and Wayne Thornton were changing a flat tire on the Cox Typewriter Exchange truck in Abilene Texas when an unknown photographer captured this photo . . . See it full size

Actor Lew Ayres at Duty Hospital in Abilene in 1941Actor Lew Ayres at Duty Hospital in Abilene
Boy Sells Soda Pop at Polo Match in 1939 AbileneBoy Sells Soda Pop at Polo Match in 1939 Abilene

At a Polo Match in 1939 Abilene Texas a boy sells Coca-Cola  from metal cooler. In the 1930s West Texans from Taylor County enjoyed polo and horse and auto racing at Fair Park in Abilene . . .

Buffalo Gap Texas Train Station 1920Buffalo Gap, Texas Railroad Depot 1920ís

Travelers wait for train at the Buffalo Gap train station in 1920.

Camp Barkeley Baseball Team 1942Camp Barkeley 1942 Texas Champion Baseball Team
Construction Workers Eager to Build Barkelley Camp in AbileneConstruction Workers Sign Up To Build Camp Barkeley 1941
Refugees from Abilene, Tx Flee Drought in 1936Refugees from Abilene, Tx Flee Drought in 1936

Children look out window as older sister or mother drives hoping to escape the drought.

Federal Court House Abilene Texas 1906Federal Court House Abilene Texas 1906
Former slave Green Cumby settled in Abilene TexasGreen Cumby, ex-slave, in Abilene Tx in 1937

After he was freed, former slave Green Cumby settled in Abilene Texas

Hardin-Simmons Cowboys Football Team 1939Hardin-Simmons Cowboys Football Team 1939
Horse Drawn Parade Float Abilene Texas 1910'sHorse Drawn Parade Float Abilene Texas 1910's
Horse Drawn Street Sprinkler Abilene c1900Horse Drawn Street Sprinkler Abilene c1900

Horse-drawn sprinkler wagon helps keep the dust down on the dirt streets of Abilene Texas in 1900. This one also serves as a moving billboard for the Campbell's Store.

Former Slave John Barker in Abilene Tx 1937Former Slave John Barker in Abilene Tx 1937
McMurray College Abilene Texas 1927 Football TeamMcMurray College Abilene Texas 1927 Football Team

McMurray College Coach R M Medley with players Taylor, Osborn Park, Isaacs, Bowers, Tharp, Miller, Newton, Asst. Coach Pratt, Corbin, Roberts, Edwards, Brown, H V Hodges, Patterson, Mitchell, Hunt, Wharton, Hale and Pool in 1927.

McMurry College Abilene Texas 1924 Football Team McMurry College Abilene Texas 1924 Football Team

McMurry College Football Coach R. M. Medley with players Campbell, Hale, W. Hill, Fitzgerald, Farmer, Hunt, Bigby, Bowers, West, Young, McCandless, Brown, Donaldson, Peeples, Wood, Self, Newton, D. Hill, Ledbetter, Harkrider, Murphy, and Meader in 1924

Palace Cafe Merkel Texas 1900Palace Cafe Merkel Texas 1900
Pine Street Abilene Texas 1920Pine Street Abilene Texas 1920

In 1920, cars and pedestrians lined Pine Street in Abilene Texas to watch the parade. Tap the image to see full size.

Sijes Bakery and Ice Cream Truck 1930sSides Bakery and Ice Cream Truck 1930s

In the 1930s Jes Sides Posed with his customized Bakery and Ice Cream Truck in Abilene

Simmons College Abilene Basketball Team 1912-1913Simmons College Abilene Basketball Team 1912-1913
Simmons Cowboys Football Team 1903Simmons Cowboys Football Team 1903
Soda Pop Truck at Abilene Polo Match in 1939Soda Pop Truck at Abilene Polo Match in 1939

Green Gate Tourist Camp set up a soda pop stand from the back of a pickup truck at this 1939 polo match in Abilene Texas. Polo player garners attention from boys and men as he walks away.

Thornton Drug Store Abilene Texas 1920sThornton Drug Store Abilene Texas 1920s

Large crowd gathers in front of Thornton Drug Store in Abilene Texas in 1920. Men climbed on top of trucks and rooftops to get a glimpse of something.

Trent Texas Railroad Station 1940Trent Texas Railroad Station 1940

Train Arrives at Station in Trent Texas 1940

Resources:

West Texas History & Memories

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

Remember in Abilene when...

Books about Taylor County People and Places

Books about Taylor County TexasBooks about Abilene, Tuscola, Tye, Buffalo Gap, Impact, Lawn, Merkel or Trent Texas.

 

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
 

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