An Almost Forgotten Water-Stop in South Taylor County
By Larry Sanders
Lawn, located 24 miles south of Abilene on U.S. Highway 84 at Farm Road 604 (the Atlas ICBM Highway), is a community existing as a result of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
The town was settled in the 1890s as Jim Ned and transitioned, with a new post office, to Lawn. With the arrival of the railroad to the town’s southeast in 1909, the original community became "Old Lawn" as "New" Lawn was incorporated in 1925 to support essential rail services. “Old Lawn,” near County Road 162, soon disappeared and has no visible historic footprint.
The original town’s namesake, Jim Ned, was a Delaware Indian chief who served as scout for the Texas militia. As a scout for Capt. Samuel Highsmith, he took part in the battle against the Wichita Indians on the upper Brazos in 1847, according to The Handbook of Texas.
Local merchants enjoyed a flurry of activity in 1961 with hundreds of contractors relying on Lawn for food and services during construction of Dyess Atlas ICBM Site 6, 2.4 miles east of town.
Lawn is home to the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace office and several small businesses, including an art gallery. The Mayfield Memorial Library was established in one of the historic buildings on Main Street.
Lawn has a Volunteer Fire Department and three churches. The city’s population peaked in 1929 at 650 and is currently at 318. In 2017, Lawn Elementary School was rebuilt to accommodate a growing number of students entering the school district.
Handbook of Texas Online
Our Homes and Country Illustrated, published by Chambers and Anderson, Abilene, Texas, copyright 1903, Collection of The Grace Museum, Museum Purchase.