A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 29, 2008
Texas Midwest (Texas Midwest Day)

The “Texas Midwest” (also called the “Big Country”) is the about-20-county area around Abilene (the hub city of the mostly rural area). The city of Haskell calls itself the “Crossroads of the Texas Midwest.” The name “Texas Midwest” is not trademarked, but became established in 1994 with the formation of the Texas Midwest Community Network.

Since 1995, the Texas Midwest Community Network has sponsored a “Texas Midwest Day” at each session of the Texas legislature in Austin.


Wikipedia: Abilene, Texas
Abilene (pronounced /ˈæbəliːn/ “ABBA-leen") is a city in Jones and Taylor Counties in the central part of the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 115,930 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2006 estimated population of 158,063. It is the county seat of Taylor County. Dyess Air Force Base is located to the west 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, Texas 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.

The fastest-growing sections of the city are growing to the southwest, along Southwest Drive, the Winters Freeway, and the Buffalo Gap Road corridor; the southeast, along Loop 322, Oldham Lane, Industrial Drive, and Maple Street; and in the northeast near the intersection of SH 351 and I-20. Many developments have begun in these three areas within the last few years. There are three lakes in the city, Lytle Lake on the western edge of Abilene Regional Airport, Kirby Lake on the southeast corner of the US 83/84 & Loop 322 interchange, and Lake Fort Phantom in Jones County north of the city.
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Abilene has become the commercial, retail, medical, and transportation hub of a 19-county area more commonly known as “The Big Country,” but also known as the “Texas Midwest”. By the end of 2005, commercial and residential development had reached record levels in and around the city.

City of Abilene, Texas
About Abilene
Welcome! No matter where you’re coming from, you’ll find a little bit of everything in Abilene, and much of it with a special West Texas twist.

The City of Abilene, Texas, is located approximately 180 miles due west of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. We’re situated in west central Texas near the geographic center of the state, Situated adjacent to Interstate 20, Abilene is the center of a 22-county area commonly referred to as the Texas Midwest or the Big Country. Abilene serves as the county seat for Taylor County, one of 254 counties in Texas. Taylor County has a current population of about 120,000, 115,930 of which live within the Abilene city limits. 

Texas Midwest Community Network
Mission Statement
The mission of Texas Midwest Community Network (TMCN) is to promote a regional approach to provide the resources and awareness for its members to achieve economic and community growth.
Organization
Texas Midwest Community Network (TMCN) was founded in 1994 to provide a means by which communities in the region can work together to accomplish what one community cannot do alone.

Programs and activities sponsored by TMCN are designed to accomplish the goals as outlined in the Mission Statement.

Membership in TMCN includes cities and Regional Partners … businesses, associations and corporations that support regionalism.  Cities compose the voting membership.  Regional Partners have non-voting status, however, they are an important aspect of TMCN as they invest substantial dollars that support all activities and programs conducted by TMCN and participate in advisory groups.

TMCN is governed by an Executive Committee elected from the TMCN Council, which is comprised of a delegate from each member city.  The Executive Committee elects TMCN Officers, selects up to 3 at-large members from the business community to serve on the Executive Committee and selects the Executive Director.  In addition to quarterly meetings, the Executive Committee meets annually to review TMCN Goals and define a Plan of Action for the upcoming year.
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Member Cities
Abilene
Albany
Anson
Aspermont
Baird
Ballinger
Brady
Breckenridge
Bronte
Brownwood
Buffalo Gap
Cisco
Clyde
Coleman
Colorado City
Comanche
Cross Plains
De Leon
Dublin
Early
Eastland
Eden
Goldthwaite
Gorman
Hamilton
Hamlin
Haskell
Knox City
Merkel
Munday
Ranger
Rising Star
Robert Lee
Roscoe
Rotan
San Angelo
Santa Anna
Snyder
Stamford
Sweetwater
Throckmorton
Tye
Winters

3 December 1995, San Antonio (TX) Express-News:
ABILENE - The capitalistic impulse is alive and well in this portion of West Texas, and so is civic pride. (...) (C)apitals in this area of the Texas that also is known as Texas Midwest.

28 October 1996, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, pg. A1:
..."the Texas Midwest,’’ covers 19000 square miles and includes 21 counties.

TexNews
Thursday, March 6, 1997
Texas Midwest Day: Communities get their voices heard in Austin
By LORETTA FULTON
Regional Editor
AUSTIN - If Rep. Bob Turner’s axiom that “government is run by those who show up” is correct, then the Texas Midwest is the new capital of Texas.

More than 80 people from the Texas Midwest Community Network traveled to Austin Wednesday to observe their “Day,” recognized with resolutions in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

Community leaders and elected officials from a 20-county region surrounding Abilene that makes up the organization were enthusiastically received by a large delegation of people, including the governor and the legislators from the area.

20 October 2002, Austin (TX) American-Statesman:
... is furthered by a faded billboard on the highway between Abilene and Haskell—identifying Haskell as the “Crossroads of the Texas Midwest.”

AgTImes
John Kimbrough is still an endearing Aggie Legend
by Brent Zwerneman
Published: Oct 29, 2002
From the San Antonio Express News
HASKELL — His body hostage to a wheelchair, the undying spirit that led Texas A&M to its lone football national championship in 1939 still glows in “Jarrin’” John Kimbrough’s steel blue eyes.
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Here in Haskell, 370 miles from College Station by highway, the dust settles on pickup trucks as thick as brown sugar icing. Faded billboards pitch Haskell as the “Crossroads of the Texas Midwest,” and, ironically, the clear fork of the Brazos River is just south of here. 

Abilene (TX) Reporter-News
Welcome to Haskell
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Crossroads of the Texas Midwest, Haskell is the County seat of Haskell County, which was created by the Texas Legislature in 1858. Both are named for Charles Ready Haskell, a revolutionary soldier who was killed with Fannin at Goliad. Haskell was known in pioneer days as “Willow Pond Springs” and later as “Rice Springs.”

Texas Legislature
SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 137
WHEREAS, The Senate of the State of Texas is pleased to recognize February 16, 2005, as Texas Midwest Day in Austin; and
WHEREAS, The Texas Midwest is known for its scenic plains and rich history and is home to a host of cities offering a wide array of opportunities; and
WHEREAS, The counties that comprise the Texas Midwest are Brown, Callahan, Coke, Coleman, Comanche, Concho, Eastland, Erath, Fisher, Hamilton, Haskell, Jones, Kent, Knox, McCulloch,
Mills, Mitchell, Nolan, Runnels, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, and Throckmorton; and
WHEREAS, The area is a combination of traditional ranch lands, farms, and large stretches of oil and gas reserves; once populated with Comanche Indians and other tribes, the Texas Midwest is dotted with historic sites and museums that provide an intriguing overview of life in the Old West; and
WHEREAS, Texas Midwest Day in Austin provides the opportunity to demonstrate a strong voice for rural Texas and to bring attention to issues of concern in the region; the event also strengthens the participation of Texas Midwest citizens in the legislative process; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas, 79th Legislature, hereby commend the counties of the Texas Midwest on their many contributions to our state and extend best wishes to all who are participating in Texas Midwest Day in Austin; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be prepared for the counties of the Texas Midwest as an expression of esteem from the Texas Senate.
Fraser, Duncan, Estes
________________________________
President of the Senate
I hereby certify that the above Resolution was adopted by the Senate on February 16, 2005.

Abilene (TX) Reporter-News
Join area neighbors and go to Austin and chat up legislators
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The Texas Midwest Community Network has a full day of activities planned for Texas Midwest Day in Austin on Feb. 14.

‘’Generally speaking, rural communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to influencing state lawmakers, said Lori Dodd, president of the community network. ‘’By joining together, a larger group of rural delegates gets more attention and presents a stronger voice in Austin.’’

Area residents are invited to take part in Texas Midwest Day, which includes recognition in the House of Representatives and Senate, a photo session with legislators on the steps of the Capitol, and a meeting with state agency representatives.

Abilene (TX) Reporter-News
Texas Midwest greeted at Capitol
Miss Comanche heads up delegation of 200 in Austin

Paul A. Anthony / San Angelo Standard-Times
Thursday, February 15, 2007
AUSTIN - They didn’t come with a giant walking grapefruit or make the House speaker eat pie Tuesday.
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Representatives from more than 20 cities turned out Tuesday for Midwest Texas Day, and some ate dinner with their legislators Monday night. On Tuesday, the group was scheduled to hear presentations from state agencies on issues affecting rural Texas.

Some city and county officials came with talking points in hand.

‘’Very definitely appraisal caps and revenue caps,’’ said Nolan County Judge Tim Fambrough, referring to a task force recommendation that the state require taxing entities to hold a public election any year it plans to collect more than 5 percent in property-tax revenue over the previous year.

‘’I don’t think there’s any county in the state that recklessly spends their tax.’’

Fambrough said the biennial Austin trips - made each of the past seven sessions - have been helpful in keeping small-town residents and officials in the minds of legislators who often focus on big-city issues.

Fly Away Cafe
Matchbook Monday: Pick Abilene
by Mary Jo Manzanares on June 16th, 2008
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Abilene calls itself the “Friendly Frontier”, positioning itself as a balance of traditional Old West heritage and contemporary city.  It is in the central part of Texas, about 150 miles west of Fort Worth, and strikes me as a big small town.  Big in the sense that the population is over 100,000, but small in the sense that it is still very much of a community, rather than an impersonal city.  It looks like there’s lot to do in Abilene from visiting animals, enjoying arts and theater, viewing some historical sites, and shopping.

In fact, Abilene has evolved to become the commercial, retail, medical and transportation hub of a goodly sized piece of Texas real estate commonly called “The Big Country” or “The Texas Midwest.” Housing and services are still considered in the affordable range!  Detailed information about doing business in the city can be obtained from the Abilene Chamber of Commerce.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 29, 2008 • Permalink