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Abilene, Kansas

Located on the north bank of the Smoky Hill River, about 95 miles west of Topeka, Abilene is the county seat and largest city of Dickinson County. Though best known as the Queen of Kansas Cowtowns, Abilene already existed for a decade before the cattle came to town.

First settled in 1858, it was named by Timothy and Eliza Hersey from a passage in the Bible, meaning "city of the plains." The first terminus of and later a station on the Butterfield Overland Stage Line, the Hersey's secured a contract with the company to feed the passengers and employees. The establishment, consisting of two log houses, a log stable and corral for horses, advertised to the west-bound traveler: "the last square meal east of Denver."

The next structure built was a dwelling known as "the Hotel," owned by C. H. Thompson, and located on the east bank of Mud Creek. More homesteaders began to come to the area and among one of them was a man commonly known as "Old Man Jones," who erected a log house which he turned into a store, selling some limited supplies, but mostly whiskey.

Abilene, KS - 2nd Street

Abilene, KS - 2nd Street

Abilene, KS - Brethren in Christ Church

Abilene, KS - Brethren in Christ Church

Abilene, KS - Broadway Street

Abilene, KS - Broadway Street

Abilene, KS - Brookville Hotel Restaurant

Abilene, KS - Brookville Hotel Restaurant

Abilene, KS - Brookville Hotel Restaurant - 2

Abilene, KS - Brookville Hotel Restaurant - 2

Abilene, KS - Building

Abilene, KS - Building

Abilene, KS - Cedar Street

Abilene, KS - Cedar Street

Abilene, KS - Church

Abilene, KS - Church

Abilene, KS - Cowtown Days, 1874

Abilene, KS - Cowtown Days, 1874

Abilene, KS - Dickinson County Courthouse

Abilene, KS - Dickinson County Courthouse

Abilene, KS - Eisenhower Family Home

Abilene, KS - Eisenhower Family Home

Abilene, KS - Eisenhower Family Home - 2

Abilene, KS - Eisenhower Family Home - 2

Abilene, KS - Eisenhower Presidential Library

Abilene, KS - Eisenhower Presidential Library

Abilene, KS - Elms Hotel

Abilene, KS - Elms Hotel

Abilene, KS - Great Plains Theatre

Abilene, KS - Great Plains Theatre

Abilene, KS - Hardware Store

Abilene, KS - Hardware Store

Abilene, KS - Kirby House Restaurant

Abilene, KS - Kirby House Restaurant

Abilene, KS - Lebold Mansion

Abilene, KS - Lebold Mansion

Abilene, KS - Loading Cattle, 1867

Abilene, KS - Loading Cattle, 1867

Abilene, KS - Loading Texas Cattle

Abilene, KS - Loading Texas Cattle