Taylor County Historical Commission

In the late seventies, this group was named the Taylor County Historical Commission, sharing the name of the larger statewide body known as the Texas Historical Commission.

Before that, it was called the "survey committee", and it was founded in the mid-1950s by the late Mrs. Dallas Scarborough. Since those days its members have included some of the outstanding citizens of Abilene and Taylor County.


  • Chairman - Jeff Salmon
  • Vice Chairman - Janis C. Test
  • Secretary - Teresa Weicht
  • Treasurer - Rev. Andrew Penns


The commission has been responsible for a steady stream of historical markers, and during the five years of Mrs. Maxine Perini's chairmanship, from 1967 through 1971, there were 22 historical markers placed in the county. During the years Mrs. Perini was chairperson, she had the invaluable assistance of two prominent Abilene historians. Those historians were Dr. Rupert Richardson, professor of history, and Robert Wagstaff, president of Hardin Simmons University and local attorney. During Mrs. Perini's term, the commission was honored twice by the state as an outstanding committee.

Also, through the efforts of Kay Dillard and her late husband, Richard Dillard, the Taylor County Commission became the first in the state to set up bylaws. Under these bylaws, the commission began electing its chairpersons. Previously, county commissioners had appointed the chairman.

The commission has other chores as well. It hosts tours and events that focus a spotlight on the county's history, that give the citizens a chance to meet some unusual and interesting historic figures, and exhibit treasures from the past.

Historical Markers

The 65 markers in Taylor County tell the story of buffalo herds, skirmishes between pony soldiers and Indians, stage coaches and mail routes, early day cemeteries, and how the railroad inched westward. The markers tell of early schools and churches, of landmarks, events and people.

The Maxine Perini Award

This award recognizes outstanding service to Taylor County in the preservation of its history and the promotion of historical events. The Taylor County Historical Commission has recognized these individuals as Maxine Perini Award Winners:
  • 1995 - Maxine Perini
  • 1996 - Vernon Williams
  • 1997 - Ann White
  • 1998 - Jim Bucherie
  • 1999 - Jack Holden
  • 2000 - R. Lee Rode
  • 2001 - Anita Lane
  • 2002 - L.D. (Denny) McFarland
  • 2003 - Juanita Zachry
  • 2004 - John C Stowe
  • 2005 - Cherry Gleason
  • 2006 - Karen Turner
  • 2007 - Larry Abrigg
  • 2008 - Jack North
  • 2009 - Rev. Andrew Penns
  • 2010 - Kathy Aldridge
  • 2011 - Jay Moore
  • 2012 - Steve Butman
  • 2013 - Loretta Fulton
  • 2014 - Bill Minter
  • 2015 - Tom Perini
  • 2016- Janis C. Test
  • 2017-