Buffalo Gap

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Promotion: Nearby Taylor County

Buffalo Gap, an incorporated community, is at the intersection of Farm roads 89 and 1235, thirteen miles southwest of Abilene in central Taylor County. It was founded in 1877 and has had a post office since 1878. The Callahan Divide, the topographic boundary between the Brazos and Colorado basins, crosses Buffalo Gap from east to west. Elm Creek passes through and once served as a watering hole for buffalo. The present Buffalo Gap highway (Farm Road 89) follows the old Center Line Trail, which was surveyed in 1874 and ran from Texarkana to El Paso. Another major road entered the county on the south side of the mountains and passed through Buffalo Gap in the direction of Fort Phantom Hill. The road forked at Buffalo Gap; one branch led southwest to Pecos County and the other to Tom Green County. Buffalo traveled through the area on the way to the high plains. The earliest history of Taylor County centers around this gap in the divide, where in the 1860s and 1870s buffalo hunters made winter camp and from there transported their kill to Fort Griffin and other convenient centers of trade.

As it was the only town in Taylor County, Governor Richard B. Hubbard, acting Texas secretary of state, approved the selection of Buffalo Gap as the temporary county seat of Taylor County, on April 30, 1874. On July 3, 1878, this action was formalized. Twenty days later the judge, sheriff, clerk, and commissioners met. The first general public election was held with eighty-seven voters. By 1880 Buffalo Gap had 1,200 people, a drugstore, a carriage and blacksmith shop, a big hotel, a jail, three or four grocery stores, and a saloon. Buffalo hunting was popular in 1875. The carcasses sold for five to fifteen dollars, and the bones were used to refine sugar (see BONE BUSINESS). In 1895 the Santa Fe Railroad was built through town.

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Susan J. Nix | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Buffalo Gap is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Buffalo Gap is classified as a Town


Latitude: 32.28389500
Longitude: -99.83436400

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Buffalo Gap by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Buffalo Gap
Pop. Year Source
543 2020 United States Census Bureau
498 2019 Texas Demographic Center
464 2010 United States Census Bureau
463 2000 United States Census Bureau
499 1990 United States Census Bureau