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One of the reasons Abilene is known as the Key City is because, of its location. The city is the middle of "a geographic key to the success of the Big Country region, pulling its workforce from twelve neighboring counties." Abilene's overwhelming western heritage, attracts all sorts of cultural events, sports, entertainment, and activities.

Abilene has been the gateway to the east or west, north or south. Depending on where you want to go. Abilene is the key to your journey's success and the reason the "Key City" nickname stuck early in the early 1950s.

Abilene Was Referred to as "The Key City" by a Dallas Newspaper and it Stuck

The Key City has been a proud badge of honor for Abilene, so much so that hundreds of businesses (both past and present) have taken the "Key City" name and attached it to their business, civic groups, charity organizations, even churches.

Google Maps
Google Maps
Today It's been estimated that a few dozen businesses identify as Key City in the business name.

For several years I thought that the key city had something to do with having the "keys to the city" (boy was I wrong). I was interviewing the Abilene Mayor a couple of decades ago when I made a comment about the keys to the city of Abilene and Mayor McCaleb corrected me. He went on to enlighten me that it's more about what part of the State we're in. The Mayor said, "the Key City is a central location that connects east to west and north to south in the state."

The Key City is in the Big Country and Abilene has also been labeled as the "Friendly Frontier" and the "All-America City" in 1990 after receiving national recognition from National Civic League but that's for an entirely different article, posing the question are we still the All-America City?

These are some businesses, civic groups, churches and others that have Key City in their name (and not a one of them makes keys):

  • Key City Church
  • Key City Septic & Plumbing
  • Key City Metal Buildings
  • Key City Veterinary
  • Key City Dance
  • Key City Painting
  • Key City Homes
  • Key City Entertainment
  • Key City Dental
  • Key City Motors
  • Key City Collision
  • Key City Windshield
  • Key City Nutrition
  • Key City Balloons
  • Key City Lumber

KEEP LOOKING: See what 50 company logos looked like then and now

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