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Abilene

Abilene (ăb´Ĭlēn). 1 City (1990 pop. 6,242), seat of Dickinson co., central Kans., on the Smoky Hill River; inc. 1869. It was (1867–71) a railhead for a large cattle-raising region extending SW into Texas. Millions of cattle followed the Chisholm Trail into the cow town's stockyards prior to shipment. "Wild Bill" Hickok was Abilene's marshal for a time. The city, a still shipping point for a wheat and cattle region, has feed and flour mills. Abilene was the boyhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower; the Eisenhower Center includes his old family homestead, a museum, the Eisenhower Library, and his grave. 2 City (1990 pop. 106,654), seat of Taylor co., W central Tex.; inc. 1882. Buffalo hunters first settled there; the town, which was founded in 1881 with the coming of the railroad, was named after Abilene, Kans. Abilene grew as a shipping point for cattle ranches and has become the financial, commercial, and educational center of a large part of W Texas. The city's diversified manufactures include electronic, aircraft, and missile components; oil-field and agricultural equipment; food and dairy products; clothing; metals; and musical instruments. Livestock (cattle, sheep, and poultry); agriculture (cotton, wheat, sorghum, and hay); and minerals (oil, natural gas, caliche, sand, gravel, and clays) are important to the area's economy. Regional petroleum industry headquarters are in Abilene, and Hardin-Simmons Univ., Abilene Christian Univ., and McMurry College are there.

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Abilene

ABILENE

ABILENE, an early cattle town in Kansas, was established by Illinois cattle buyer Joseph G. McCoy in 1867 as a depot to which drovers might bring Texas livestock for rail shipment to Kansas City. Trail drivers' attempts to reach market in 1866 had failed largely because of the hostility of settlers in Missouri and eastern Kansas. Residents there feared the spread of Texas fever, which prevailed among longhorn cattle and could infect their domesticated cattle. Located on the Kansas Pacific Railway, Abilene was a popular shipping point for several years, until the westward advance of settlers forced the drovers to new cattle towns farther west.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dykstra, Robert R. The Cattle Towns. New York: Knopf, 1968.

Edward EverettDale/s. b.

See alsoCattle Drives ; Cow Towns ; Railroads .

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Abilene

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