Definitions

Abilene

Abilene

[ab-uh-leen]
Abilene. 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.

City (pop., 2000: 115,930), west-central Texas, U.S. Founded in 1881 as the new railhead for the overland Texas cattle drives, it took the business of the previous railhead, Abilene, Kan. It is the site of several educational institutions, the West Texas Fair, and the reconstructed Old Abilene Town.

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Abilene is a city in Dickinson County, Kansas, United States, 163 miles (262 km) west of Kansas City. In 1900, 3,507 people lived here. The population was 6,543 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Dickinson County.

History

Abilene began as a stage coach stop in 1857, established by Timothy Hersey and Eliza Hersey and named from a passage in the Bible, meaning "city of the plains." The town grew quickly when Joseph G. McCoy decided to use the town for the location of his stockyards.

With the railroad pushing west and the cattle traders soon used Abilene as the largest stockyards west of Kansas City. The Chisholm Trail ended in Abilene and brought in many travelers and made Abilene one of the wildest towns in the west.

Town marshal Tom "Bear River" Smith was initially successful policing Abilene, often using only his bare hands. He survived two assassination attempts during his tenure. However, he was murdered and decapitated on November 2, 1870. Smith wounded one of his two attackers during the shootout preceding his death, and both suspects received life in prison for the offense. He was replaced by Wild Bill Hickok in April of 1871. Hickock's time as marshal was short lived. While standing off a crowd during a street brawl, gambler Phil Coe took two shots at Hickock, who returned fire killing Coe, but then accidentally shot his friend and deputy, Mike Williams, who was coming to his aid. He lost his job two months later in December.

In 1880 Conrad Lebold built what the newspapers called the finest house west of Topeka. Lebold was one of the early town developers and Bankers from 1869 through 1889. The Hersey dugout can still be seen in the cellar of the Lebold Mansion.

In 1890, Dr. A.B. Seelye founded the A.B. Seelye Medical Company. Seelye developed over 100 products for the company including "Wasa-Tusa," an Indian name meaning to heal.

Abilene became home to Dwight D. Eisenhower when his family moved to Abilene from Denison, Texas in 1892 where he attended elementary school through high school. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library is located in Abilene. It is now the burial site of President Eisenhower, his wife, Mamie, and one son.

Geography

Abilene is located along I-70, Kansas' main east west highway, at (38.919721, -97.217329).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.7 km²), all of it land.

Abilene's sister city is Minori, Japan.

Landmarks

  • Eisenhower Presidential Center and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum
  • Lebold Mansion National Register Property listed in 1973. Built in 1880 in the Italianate Tuscan villa style. Today this decorative arts museum is home to one of the finest collections of American Victorian antiques and artifacts.
  • Greyhound Hall of Fame
  • Hall of Generals - A wax museum of figures of generals from World War II
  • Old Abilene Town and Museum - A replica of a part of old Abilene.
  • Seelye Mansion and Museum - A Georgian style mansion built in 1905 at a cost of $55,000. The 25 room mansion contains the original furniture and Edison light fixtures. The Patent Medicine Museum contains many artifacts of the A.B. Seelye Medical Company.
  • Heritage Center of Dickinson County - Two museums including the Historical Museum and the Museum of Independent Telephony. The Museum of Independent Telephony tells the story of C.L. Brown, whose independent Brown Telephone Company grew to become the telecommunications company known today as Sprint Nextel Corporation
  • Great Plains Theatre - Originally First Presbyterian Church, built in 1881, Landmarked, and is now a live professional theatre. www.greatplainstheatre.com

Climate

Over the course of a year, temperatures range from an average low below in January to an average high of nearly in July. The maximum temperature reaches an average of 67 days per year and reaches an average of 14 days per year. The minimum temperature falls below the freezing point (32°F) an average of 117 days per year. Typically the first fall freeze occurs between the last week of September and the first week of November, and the last spring freeze occurs during April or the first week of May.

The area receives nearly of precipitation during an average year with the largest share being received in May and June—which when combined average 20 days of measurable precipitation. During a typical year the total amount of precipitation may be anywhere from 22 to . There are on average 79 days of measurable precipitation per year. Winter snowfall averages about 14 inches, but the median is less than . Measurable snowfall occurs an average of 7 days per year with at least an inch of snow being received on five of those days. Snow depth of at least an inch occurs an average of 11 days per year.

Source: Monthly Station Climate Summaries, 1971-2000, U.S. National Climatic Data Center
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Notes: Temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation includes rain and melted snow or sleet in inches; median values are provided for precipitation and snowfall because mean averages may be misleading. Mean and median values are for the 30-year period 1971–2000; temperature extremes are for the station's period of record (1948–2001). The station is located one mile (1.6 km) west of Abilene at 38°55′N 97°14′W, elevation .

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,543 people, 2,836 households, and 1,772 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,584.7 people per square mile (611.7/km²). There were 3,104 housing units at an average density of 751.8/sq mi (290.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.52% White, 1.01% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.96% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.72% of the population.

There were 2,836 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,778, and the median income for a family was $46,052. Males had a median income of $31,971 versus $17,361 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,356. About 4.8% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.

Attractions

Greyhound Hall of Fame

The Greyhound Hall of Fame is located straight across from the Eisenhower Presidential Library. It contains exhibits on the breed of greyhounds, the history of greyhounds, the racing of greyhounds, and the chance to meet some retired greyhounds.. Abilene has been called the greyhound capital of the world.

Old Abilene Town

Old Abilene town is a historical part of the city. It contains original buildings from the 1800s that have been restored. It showcases live performances from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. There are currently plans to renovate and expand this tourist destination.

The Seelye Mansion

The Seelye Mansion is one of the largest homes in Abilene. It has been converted into a museum for Dr. Seelye.

Noted Residents (past and present)

See also

References

External links

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