Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

Nationally known country and western singer-songwriter Willie Hugh Nelson was born in 1933 in Abbott.  He attended Abbott High School, where he played on the baseball, basketball, and football teams.

He began his musical career playing the guitar for an occasional quarter tip in the local barbershop. Later, Willie worked and sang live on Hillsboro radio station FHBR on Sunday mornings.

Whitney Medical Center fundraiser

Not forgetting his roots, Willie has returned to Abbott and Hill County for concerts to benefit the Abbott Volunteer Fire Department, the American Heart Association, the Lake Whitney Medical Center, and more.

Abbott Methodist Church
  Abbott Methodist Church

When the Abbott Methodist Church, where he had worshiped as a child, was threatened with possible demolition, Willie offered more than the asking price to insure that the building remained in town. At the service to celebrate the church’s rebirth, where he sang numerous songs both solo and with the congregation, he said "Sister Bobbie and I have been going to this church ever since we were born. I don’t know what persuasion y’all were when you entered this door, but now you’re all members of the Abbott Methodist Church and will be, forever and ever. We’re starting a Department of Peace here in Abbott; we’ve got departments of war everywhere, so go forth and spread the peace."

Willie Nelson Platinum Album for "Always on My Mind"
Willie Nelson Platinum Album
for "Always On My Mind"

When the Hill County Courthouse needed massive restoration after a fire on New Year’s Day 1993, Willie stepped up and performed a "Blaze to Glory" benefit concert. He remembered accompanying his grandparents to the Wednesday night gospel meetings at the Hill County Courthouse as a kid, and said "My grandparents were gospel singers. They would meet there with other gospel singers in the area. That's where I really got turned on to that type of music." Because of that memory, he felt it important that the concert be held on the courthouse square.  Later, after the courthouse reopened, he returned to perform at a second fundraiser appropriately titled "Return to Glory".

The Cell Block Museum in Hillsboro has a display of Willie Nelson memorabilia, including platinum albums, early photos, a red bandana, posters, and much more.

Willie Nelson in concert
Willie Nelson
  Willie Nelson,
Left Halfback at Abbott High School

True Texas Tales of the People, Places, and Events of Hill County, Texas