Abilene ( AB-i-leen) is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in Texas, United States. The population was 117,063 at the 2010 census, making it the 27th-most populous city in the state of Texas. It is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2017 estimated population of 170,219. It is the county seat of Taylor County. Dyess Air Force Base is located on the west side of the city. Abilene is located off Interstate 20, between exits 279 on its western edge and 292 on the east. Abilene is 150 miles (240 km) west of Fort Worth. The city is looped by I-20 to the north, US 83/84 on the west, and Loop 322 to the east. A railroad divides the city down the center into north and south. The historic downtown area is on the north side of the railroad.
Abilene was incorporated soon after being founded in 1881, and Abilenians began to set their sights on bringing the county seat to Abilene, and in a three-to-one vote, won the election. In 1888, the Progressive Committee was formed to attract businesses to the area, which later became the Board of Trade in 1890. By 1900, 3,411 people lived in Abilene, and in that decade, the Board of Trade changed its name to the 25,000 Club in the hope of reaching 25,000 people by the next census. However, this committee failed when the population only hit 9,204 in 1910. Replacing it was the Young Men’s Booster Club, which became the Abilene Chamber of Commerce in 1914.
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