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It's believed that we in Abilene and the Big Country live in what is known as "West Texas." But do we really? The answer to that for me is "I thought" that 'West Texas' was the area of Texas we live in, the western portion of the Lone Star State.

However, I recently learned from a website known as the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) that the real West, Texas is about 175 miles east of Abilene, Texas. Honestly, I did not know, I did not even have a clue that there was a town called "West" that even existed.

Interestingly enough, why is a town named West, closer to East Texas than West Texas? The fact is the town of West is more in central Texas than anything else. Furthermore, it can't really be referred to as a town because its population is 3,319 as of the latest 2022 census figures (a town has a population of less than 2,500).

LOOK: This is where the Real West Texas is

Okay, while West, Texas is only 22 miles north of Waco, it is 75 miles south-southeast of Dallas, Texas. The real fact of the matter is, that "West" Texas was named after a very wealthy cattle rancher that helped settle McLennan County and the city of West, back in the early 1840s.

The city of West was named after a rancher that helped settle McLennan county and the city of West

Much like the history of Abilene, the railroad that was put between the cities of Waco and Hillsboro back in 1881 had a lot to do with how West got its name. The path that the railroad took, cut right through the land owned by Thomas West. Mr. West had been farming and ranching in that area of Texas since the 1850s.

So, we do not live in West, Texas however, we do live in west Texas the area and not the city. To simplify things, why didn't they name the city Thomas? Because Thomas, Texas is 180 miles east of West, Texas (the city that is). Learn more from the Texas State Historical Association's (THSA) website, it always tends to have the answers.

LOOK: Classic Signs You Still See Around Abilene

These signs are still standing in and around the Abilene area. Many of the businesses are still going too.

LOOK: Here is the richest town in each state

Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and ritzy restaurants. Read on to see which town in your home state took the title of the richest location and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows—your hometown might even be on this list.

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