Abilene, named after the Kansas cattle town, owes its beginning to the Texas and Pacific Railway. Before the railroad, the area was home to Native Americans, the U.S. military and, later, buffalo hunters and ranchers. When the railroad arrived Abilene was promoted as the "future Great City of West Texas." The city was established on March 15, 1881.
Abilenes economy includes oil, agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, culture and retail. This city is home to seven institutions of higher education and Dyess Air Force Base. Today, the area boasts of the worlds largest wind farm.
Abilene is a designated Cultural District, All-America City and Preserve America city, and is home to a philharmonic orchestra, regional ballet, community theater, opera and Broadway plays.
The West Texas Fair and Rodeo was first held in 1884 and continues with to be held in mid-September. The Western Heritage Classic Ranch Rodeo is held the second weekend in May.
Abilene is on the Texas Forts Trail. www.texasfortstrail.com. The city lies on U.S. 84, a segment of the Ports-to-Plains Highway connecting the states heartland to coastal ports.